Buxton Line

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Buxton Line
Principal stations (from north to south)

Manchester Piccadilly
Heaton Chapel
New Mills Newtown
Furness Vale
Whaley Bridge
Dove Holes

The Buxton Line is a railway line in northern England, connecting Manchester with Buxton in Derbyshire. Passenger services on the line are currently operated by Northern Rail and most continue through Manchester from Blackpool North.

It has its origins with the Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge Railway, which the LNWR built to connect with the Cromford and High Peak Railway, with, in 1863, an extension to Buxton. This forestalled the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway's plans for the area, and hindered the Midland Railway's attempts to reach Manchester.

The latter two railways were forced to combine forces in a line following the LNWR, but north of it, through New Mills (part of what is now known as the Hope Valley Line), branching at Millers Dale. As a result, Buxton, one of the largest towns in the Peak, never achieved main line status.

The LNWR had in fact, offered the use of the line (at a price, no doubt) but, with its climb through Dove Holes, the Midland did not consider it useful for express trains, saying that it went up a steep hill merely for the sake of going down. The LNWR may have saved costs in construction but it proved difficult to operate, even with the powerful locomotives they had been forced to introduce for their lines north of Manchester. In later days, a seventeen mile stretch was operated using banking engines, the longest such section on the British railway system. In 1957 there was a serious accident at Chapel-en-le-Frith in which driver John Axon, who died at his post attempting to control a runaway freight, received the George Cross.


  • Pixton, B., (2000) North Midland: Portrait of a Famous Route, Cheltenham: Runpast Publishing
  • Bentley, C., (1997) British Railways Operating History: Volume one, The Peak District, Carnarvon: XPress Publishing.

Railway lines in Northern England:
Main lines:  Cross-Country Route   East Coast Main Line   Midland Main Line   West Coast Main Line
 Chester-Manchester Line    Hope Valley Line   Liverpool-Manchester Line    Manchester-Preston Line   Settle-Carlisle Railway
Commuter lines:  Airedale Line Blackburn-Bolton Line   Caldervale Line   Mid-Cheshire Line   Dearne Valley Line  
 East Lancashire Line   Glossop Line   Hallam Line   Harrogate Line   Huddersfield Line Kirkby Branch Line  
 Lancaster-Heysham Line   Leeds-Bradford Lines   Liverpool-Wigan Line    Manchester Airport Line  
 Manchester-Southport Line   Northern Line   Oldham Loop Line   Northallerton-Eaglescliffe Line  
 Ormskirk Branch Line   Pontefract Line   Sheffield-Hull Line   Sheffield-Lincoln Line   Stockport-Stalybridge Line  
 Wakefield Line   Wharfedale Line   Wirral Line   York & Selby Lines  York-Scarborough Line
Rural lines:  Barton Line   Borderlands Line   Buxton Line   Cumbrian Coast Line   Doncaster-Lincoln Line  
 Durham Coast Line   Esk Valley Line   Tees Valley Line   Furness Line   Hull-York Line   
 Oxenholme-Windermere Line   Penistone Line   Ribble Valley Line   Newcastle and Carlisle Railway  
 Yorkshire Coast Line
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