Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

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Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
Wirksworth Station Overview.jpg
Wirksworth Station as it is today.
Locale Derbyshire, England
Terminus Ravenstor
Duffield
Commercial operations
Name Wirksworth branch
Built by Midland Railway
Original gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Operated by WyvernRail plc
Stations 5 (to be 6)
Length 9 miles (14 km)
Preserved gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Commercial history
Opened 1867
Closed to passengers 1947
Closed 1964 (freight)
1989 (completely)
Preservation history
1992 WyvernRail is formed
1996 Light Rail order granted
1997 Derby and Wirksworth Railway Association is formed (later to become EVR)
2000 Volunteers start clearing vegetation from the line
1 October 2002 Wirksworth re-opens and its passenger trains begin
2003 WyvernRail and Network Rail agree fifteen-year lease-purchase deal
2004 Gorsey bank reopens and 12 mile (0.8 km), passenger trains begin
1 September 2005 Ravenstor opens and 34 mile (1.2 km) passenger trains on 1 in 27 (3.7 %) incline (of the same name) begin
2007 Iridgehay level crossing reinstated and later reopened
8 March 2008 Idridgehay reopens and 3 12 miles (5.6 km) passenger trains begin
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
Cromford and High Peak Railway
Incline
Ravenstor
Stoneycroft Quarry
Wirksworth
Coldwell Street
Gorsey Bank
Rood Lane
Idridgehay
Shottle
A517 Ashbourne Lane
Hazelwood
King Street
A6
To Belper
Duffield
To Derby

The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway is a heritage railway in Derbyshire. Its operations are based at Wirksworth station. It is currently planned to extend the railway along the former Midland Railway branch line which joined the main-line at Duffield.

When complete it will be one of the few Heritage Railways that operates a whole branch line in its original form and entire length.

The line is operated by diesel locomotives, which haul former multiple unit trailer cars and also uses heritage diesel multiple units.

History[change | change source]

Origin[change | change source]

The "Wirksworth Branch" was the product of early nineteenth century railway rivalry. Since 1835 Wirksworth's citizens had been promoting the idea for a branch line from the North Midland Railway (later the Midland Railway) at Duffield. The Midland was initially uninterested, but then realised that the branch could be extended to Rowsley. This was difficult, but the branch could avoid the section from Ambergate, on its Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway, which was shared with its rival the London and North Western Railway.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. Sprenger, Howard (2004). The Wirksworth Branch. London: Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-625-6.