Peak Rail

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Peak Rail is a preserved railway operating timetabled steam services for tourists and visitors to the Peak District and the Derbyshire Dales.


Template:Peak Rail

In 1968 the former Midland Railway main line from London to Manchester (originally built as the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway), was closed between Matlock and Buxton in Derbyshire. In 1975 the Peak Railway Preservation Society took matters in hand, and after opening a Steam Centre at Buxton, by 1991 had reopened the section of line between Matlock and Darley Dale. In 1997, this was extended to half a mile short of Rowsley village, with a new station constructed next to the site of the former goods yard at Rowsley South. Several railway preservation groups are based at the latter, often working in support of and cooperation with Peak Rail. For further details see Rowsley South railway station.

Motive Power

Operational Steam Locomotives

  • RSH 0-6-0ST No. 7136 (Carries No.WD150 "Royal Pioneer")

Steam Locomotives Undergoing Restoration

  • LMS 2-8-0 Class 8F no. 48624 - Nearing end of restoration, boiler removed for tubing and steam testing before reassembly, painting and running. Not expected to steam until autumn 2008.
  • Vulcan Foundry 0-4-0ST No. 828 "Vulcan" (works number 3272[1])- Restoration currently paused.

Steam Locomotives Undergoing Overhaul

  • RSH 0-6-0T No. 7597 "Zebedee" - Work ongoing, frames being repaired and wheels away for re-tyring, boiler in very good condition.

Stored Steam Locomotives

  • W.G.Bagnall 0-6-0ST No. 2746 (Carries bogus BR No. 68012 "The Duke")
  • Hunslet 0-6-0ST No.3888 rebuilt from 3163[2] (Carries bogus BR No. 68006)

Operational Diesel Locomotives

Diesel Locomotives Undergoing Overhaul/Restoration

Stored Diesel Locomotives

Diesel Multiple Units

  • BR Class 108 units 51566+59387+53933, 51567+53627, and 51937+54484

Ongoing Projects

Darley Dale in June 2007, looking north

The Engine Shed project has been ongoing for six years. Of October 2007, the roof and wall cladding is in place, with work on the flooring and internal elements of the shed continuing. A revised completion date for the Engine shed is now Easter 2008.

Negotiations for the lease of a further mile of trackbed to the North have been ongoing for three years, whilst discussions regarding access to Matlock station Down Platform continue. Developments with the latter caused an unprecedented amount of speculation and concern in the local media in the first quarter of 2007, but since that time attention has focused on the extensive redevelopment of nearby Cawdor Quarry and the construction of the A6 relief road just north of Matlock. The latter has now been completed, and work on reconnecting Peak Rail to Network Rail metals continues.

In late February 2007, the railway's 'Two-Train Running' project reached fruition and was approved by HM Railway Inspectorate. Through improvements to infrastructure and signalling, this project allows two trains in steam on the line, utilising a refurbished and extended passing loop at Darley Dale. The advantages of this enhancements has allowed the working of freight and passenger services on Special Event Days, with multiple passenger workings to follow in future operating seasons.

Issues outstanding

No.WD 150 'Royal Pioneer' at Matlock Riverside in June 2007

Essentially the former Manchester main line as it is can be considered in four sections:

From London via Derby to Ambergate Junction as the Midland Main Line

Overlapping this from Derby to Ambergate and on to Matlock as the Derwent Valley Line.

Peak Rail operates a section from Matlock to Rowsley and has an interest in the line onwards through Bakewell to Buxton station. From there, the line could follow the former LNWR line to Manchester although through trains would have to reverse, or extend from Millers Dale on its original route, to join the still-existing line to Chinley on the Hope Valley Line.

In 2004 Derbyshire County Council published a study which concluded that reopening the line for a local service was technically feasible and that the track bed should remain clear of development, but not an economic possibility in the near future.

Meanwhile the Derwent Valley Line, it is said, has been allowed to deteriorate both in infrastructure and quality of service and in 2005 a document was published by the Friends of the Derwent Valley Line, assisted by the County Council, arguing for improvements to the current service. Network Rail has stated its intention to carry out necessary repairs in 2008, which includes the strengthening or rebuilding of three bridges on the branch.

See also


  1. Industrial Railway Society; Industrial Locomotives, Industrial Railway Society, Melton Mowbray, UK, 14EL 2006, pp. 63–64
  2. Fox, Peter & Hall, Peter; Preserved Locomotives of British Railways, Platform 5, Sheffield, UK, 11th Edition 2002, pp. 66–67

External links

Railway museums and heritage railways in England


Amerton • Appleby Frodingham • Avon Valley • Battlefield Line • Bideford and Instow • Bluebell • Bodmin and Wenford • Bowes • Bredgar and Wormshill • Bristol Harbour • Bure Valley • Cambrian (Society) • Cambrian (Trust) • Chasewater • Chinnor and Princes Risborough • Cholsey and Wallingford • Churnet Valley • Cleethorpes Coast • Colne Valley • Dartmoor • Dean Forest • Derwent Valley • East Kent • East Lancashire • East Somerset • Ecclesbourne Valley • Eden Valley • Elsecar • Embsay and Bolton Abbey • Epping Ongar • Foxfield • Gloucestershire Warwickshire • Great Central • Great Whipsnade • Helston • Hythe Pier • Isle of Wight • Keighley and Worth Valley • Kent and East Sussex • Kirklees Light • Lakeside and Haverthwaite • Lappa Valley • Launceston • Lavender Line • Leighton Buzzard • Llewellyn's Miniature • Lincolnshire Wolds • Lynton and Barnstaple • Mid-Hants "Watercress" Line • Mid-Norfolk • Mid-Suffolk • Middleton • Midland • Nene Valley • North Gloucestershire • North Norfolk • North Tyneside • North Yorkshire Moors • Northampton & Lamport • Northamptonshire Ironstone • Paignton and Dartmouth • Peak Rail • Perrygrove • Plym Valley • Ravenglass and Eskdale • Ribble • Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch • Rudyard Lake • Rushden, Higham & Wellingborough • Seaton Tramway • Severn Valley • Sittingbourne & Kemsley • South Devon • South Tynedale • Spa Valley • Steeple Grange • Swanage • Swindon and Cricklade • Tanfield • Telford • Volk's Electric • Weardale • Wells and Walsingham • Wensleydale • West Somerset • Wisbech and March "Bramleyline" • Yaxham

Centres and Museums:

Barrow Hill Engine Shed • Birmingham Museum • Bressingham Steam Museum • Buckinghamshire Centre • Coventry Centre • Darlington Centre and Museum • Didcot Centre • East Anglian Museum • Mangapps Museum • Moseley Trust • National Museum, York • Rutland Museum • Shildon Museum • Swindon Steam Museum • The Railway Age, Crewe • Walthamstow Pump House

Heritage Railways:

England • Scotland • Wales • Northern Ireland • Isle of Man • Channel Islands