Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

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Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
Wirksworth Station Overview.jpg
Wirksworth Station as it is today.
LocaleDerbyshire, England
Commercial operations
NameWirksworth branch
Built byMidland Railway
Original gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Operated byWyvernRail plc
Stations5 (to be 6)
Length9 miles (14 km)
Preserved gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Commercial history
Closed to passengers1947
Closed1964 (freight)
1989 (completely)
Preservation history
1992WyvernRail is formed
1996Light Rail order granted
1997Derby and Wirksworth Railway Association is formed (later to become EVR)
2000Volunteers start clearing vegetation from the line
1 October 2002Wirksworth re-opens and its passenger trains begin
2003WyvernRail and Network Rail agree fifteen-year lease-purchase deal
2004Gorsey bank reopens and 12 mile (0.8 km), passenger trains begin
1 September 2005Ravenstor opens and 34 mile (1.2 km) passenger trains on 1 in 27 (3.7 %) incline (of the same name) begin
2007Iridgehay level crossing reinstated and later reopened
8 March 2008Idridgehay reopens and 3+12 miles (5.6 km) passenger trains begin
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
Cromford and High Peak Railway
Stoneycroft Quarry
Coldwell Street
Gorsey Bank
Rood Lane
A517 Ashbourne Lane
King Street
To Belper
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.