A train trip to Matlock...

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caravanman

Engineer
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
4,270
Location
Nottingham, England.
Hi folks, I like to think of my trips out as mini-adventures, but this little trip is more of a micro-adventure. :D

Matlock in Derbyshire is an interesting town located on the Derwent River. The main tourist attraction in the old days was the nearby "spa" or "baths". Nowadays the twisting roads and hills attract a lot of motorbikers to the area. Cromford is also nearby, which I believe is the site of the worlds earliest modern style factory, Arkwrights Mill.

I set off from home on a glorious sunny morning, bus into town, and then a train from Nottingham station to Derby, run by "Crosscountry" rail franchise.

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Picture above shows the station booking hall, where one can visit the ticket counter, or buy and collect pre-booked tickets from machines.

Below is a shot of a local foundry emblem on the station stairs, the foundry long gone, but their product still in use!


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I changed trains at Derby, onto an "East Midlands Railway" train, pictured below. This unit is described as a low emissions train, apparently some sort of trial attempt to reduce the carbon footprint.

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(Yes I did put my mask on after the photo) :D

Derby to Matlock is a new route for me, I have visited the area before by car, as it is quite close to Nottingham. The line is interesting, as it runs through several towns where fabric mills once thrived, driven by the Derwent.

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An old gas lamp stand above, and the station entry below. (Peak Rail is a private short steam line.)

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Below, no former spa town would be without it's band stand. Set in a splendid park.

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Matlock Bridge over the river Derwent, below.

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I like the old slightly decaying atmosphere of such places, long past their glory days, but still with a lot of character to display. I think another train trip to the area is on the cards to re-visit the Cromford Mills complex.

All in all, a grand day out, Gromit!
 

cirdan

Engineer
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
2,595
Thanks for that fascinating report.

I visited Matlock about 25 years ago, and seeing your photos, it doesn't seem to have changed very much. It's a beautiful little town. I don't know if it's still there but back then there was an excellent railway bookshop in the old station building. I also took a ride on Peak Rail and I took a day trip to Critch and did the National Tramways Museum. I also got to walk a section of the long closed but very famous Cromford and High Peak Railway, including the site of one of the inclines that used to use winding engines because it was too steep for locomotives, but I can't remember which section that was.

The presently operating line to Matlock and its disused continuation (partially restored by the Peak Railway) was (I believe) once the Midland Railway's main line that I think continued to Manchester via Bakewell and Buxton. This line carried the famous blue diesel Midland Pullman service. Even the Beeching plan suggested the line be retained but BR closed it anyway. I think the alignment is now a footpath but there is I believe a campaign to reopen it as a working railway.
 

caravanman

Engineer
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
4,270
Location
Nottingham, England.
I also got to walk a section of the long closed but very famous Cromford and High Peak Railway, including the site of one of the inclines that used to use winding engines because it was too steep for locomotives...
I have visited the area previously by car, and enjoyed seeing the Critch tram museum and the High Peak rail workings. Cromford canal provides a nice walk, and I believe the high peak rail goods were transferred to the canal for onward transport, but I may have that wrong.
 

JontyMort

Service Attendant
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
157
Location
United Kingdom
The presently operating line to Matlock and its disused continuation (partially restored by the Peak Railway) was (I believe) once the Midland Railway's main line that I think continued to Manchester via Bakewell and Buxton. This line carried the famous blue diesel Midland Pullman service. Even the Beeching plan suggested the line be retained but BR closed it anyway. I think the alignment is now a footpath but there is I believe a campaign to reopen it as a working railway.
It was indeed the Midland’s main line to Manchester, via Bakewell (Buxton was just off the main line, which dived through the Dove Holes tunnel). It was quite heavily engineered, compared with the London & North Western’s line via Crewe, but the Midland were intent on getting to the major traffic centres (their line to Scotland via the Settle & Carlisle was even more expensive).
The terminus in Manchester - Central station - was a very grand affair. And the Midland Hotel outside was where an engineer called Henry Royce met a 26-year-old venture capitalist (as we would now describe him) called Charles Rolls.

Eddie, next time you should definitely stop off at Cromford. It’s an interesting spot, and the station is beautiful.
 

flitcraft

Conductor
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
1,019
Loved your report on your outing to Matlock. Back in the Before Times--summer of 2018, my husband and I spent some time in the area on the way to the Peak District, stopping at the charming B and B in Matlock and wandering through Matlock Bath. Lovely old bridges there and a thoroughly charming town. But we missed the little tourist train, sadly. Peak District rambles were also quite memorable. My first time in that neck of that green and pleasant land...
 
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