Steam travel returns to Matlock
PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 September 2011 | UPDATED: 20:04 20 February 2013
Robert Falconer was present to witness steam travel return to town
This summer, for the first time in 42 years, it was possible to travel by train from Northwood and Darley Dale into Matlock Station. A long-awaited event that Peak Rails volunteers and a group of contractors have been working hard to achieve for many months.
The newly restored Platform 2 at the well-kept old Midland station now allows the special service from Darley Dale to pull right into Matlock. The extended track has also been connected to the national network, so its now possible to travel by train from Darley Dale to Paris!
The first train to arrive at the platform on 2nd July was welcomed by Neil Whitehouse and Michael Parry of Sainsburys, which has worked closely with Peak Rail, allowing its land north of the station to be used for passenger access. Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin cut a celebration cake after the arrival of two steam locomotives (0-6-0 Austerities No. 68013 and Lord Phil), and a plaque was unveiled in memory of the late Peak Rail joint managing director Jeremy Clegg. On the days following, a new engine shed was opened at Rowsley South, dedicated to former volunteer and supporter Roger Bennett, and the chairman of the National Railway Heritage Awards Committee unveiled a plaque to the volunteers who have worked so hard to restore the turntable to its former glory.
Peak Rail now has its sights firmly set on heading north towards Bakewell, with Rowsley as the first objective.
Peak Rail operates a service at weekends in October, on 25th and 26th October and has a special ghostly service on 29th. For details and times go to www.peakrail.co.uk