(From A walk on 27th June 2016)

HURDLOW QUARRY & 'Y' Point Site.

To reach the old track bed and reach the 'Y' point site I took a taxi from Buxton to the public footpath entrance on the A515 just to the south of the Brierlow Bar Book Store. There is a bus service but I just missed
one when arriving at Buxton station and with an hour between buses decided it was easier just to take a taxi. It's a rather strange public footpath as it leads nowhere and takes you onto private land that is fenced off.
As it also leads to a  farm access bridge over the railway it may once have led elsewhere, possibly onto the Earl Sterndale Road but at preset only to the old track bed.

The use of the word "Low" for 'High' in the Derby Dales is interesting as the word completly contradicts it's proper English meaning. I may be wrong but my thinking is that it may be from the old Scottish word "Law"
 which  means a Hill. SCottish Gaidhlig and Scots words wereused south as far as Derbyshire therefore the pronouciation of Law may well have been changed over the centuries. The best known use of "Law" is in
Dundee where you have the main peak above the City known as the "Dundee Law". You don't say the "Dundee Law Hill", as that would be using Hill twice, you just say "The Dundee Law or "just the "Law". You will
find the word being used or still printed in maps around the north east of Scotland, in particular.

The Brierly Grange area from Google. Note how you reach the track bed from the public footpath on the A515 and where you meet the track bed have to
decide which way to go first, northwards to where the track bed ends by the quarry or southwards to the site of the Y points (Reversing Triangle), which
you get to by the footbridge over
the working railway. You have to return to the A515 Footpath entrance to leave the site.

Left: The footpathe entrance by the A515. N.B. The high stone pillar to the left and the public footpath post on the right. Right: Opposite view.

You come to a gate but there is a side gate that opens to let you go forward. View from the south side of the gate towards Hurdlow Quarry.

On the public footpath, towards the old track bed. Left: Towards the track bed.                                                                                  Right: Reverse view. Back along the footpath to the A515 entrace.

View back towards the road entrance.

Left: On the public footpath towards the old track bed.                                                                               Right: Meeting the track bed that runs horizontally across your path.

The track bed running towards the 'Y' Point site.


I decided to start with the walk northwards towards where the track bed ends by the side of the quarry then return to this point and complete the walk too and from the 'Y' point site and as far south as possible to
where the original route and the newer route meet, to complete my visit to this site.

Left: At first the walk looks straight forward. Right: However, you come to a walled-off section which you have to climb over. This is obviously private farm land and if there are any Sheep grazing you should not
          enter. Thankfully, there were no Sheep on the actual track bed but they were in the field to the south side, which they kept to, except two that quicky scarpered off before I got anywheree near them.

Within the walled section

Northwards towards the end of the track bed by the quarry.

Back towards the walled off section.

The slop shows the height of the track bed from the A515 which is just behind the trees at the bottom.

Northward views.

Northwards. The stones on the track bed make it appear more railway-like.

The only Sheep I came across but while I was contemplating turning back they both scuttled off into the field on the right, so I kept going hoping there weren't any more up around the bend, which thankfully
there weren't.

Left: Towards the end of the track bed, high above the surrounding countryside.                                                                                    Right: Looking back from the same spot.

This is interesting. Utility stop valve of some sort. However, as it is in middle of the track bed I wonder if it was there when the railway was working! The stones have been deliberately placed there to act as weights
or possible protect against any farm macheinery passing over it..

Left: Remains of what had been a farm gate. You can see how easy it is for the Sheep to get too and from the track bed.                   Right: Northwards with a fine view over the countryside to the north.

Left: View to the east with King's Sterndale Quarry in the distance.                                                                                 Right: Right: Landscaping at the quarry.

The end of the line. Fenced off from the quarry. The old route ran westwards across the quarry and close to the north portal of Hurdlow tunnel then
curved northwards, over the Earl Sterndale Road then through Hillhead Quarry to Harpur Hill and Ladmanlow. The track bed is not seen again or
walkable until you get to Burlow where you can walk  via Harpur Hill and Landmanlow.

Taken from the fence. The end o the line. You can visualise the track bed continuing beyond the quarry. 

Looking down on the main A515 road and the B road too and from Buxton via Harpur Hill and Burlow. The Brierlow Bar Book Store is below where the roads meet.
The road to Burlow is on the left and the A515 on the right.



Back at the junction with the foot path and I continue along the track bed to the 'Y' point site.

You enter a shallow rocky cutting. Left: Southwards.                                                                                                   Right: Northwards.

Close to where the track bed is cut off by the present working railway. This had been fenced off but there is a hole in the fence that is easy to get through. The footpath continues to the right but is fenced off at both
ends of  the path. You have to return back from there but, of course, I just had to go right up to the end first.

Left: The track bed coming in from the north.                                                                                                      Right: The embankment leading up to where it is cut off by the present main line.

Looking back from the end of the track bed along the embankment. Left: Northwards. Right: Towards the end of the track bed by the main line.

Left: Towards the quarry from the track bed.                                                                                             Right: Back towards the foot path. The railway was on an embankment at this point.

The break in the track bed where it crossed the present working line. The track bed level is so perfect that you wouldn't know there was a gap.
This is the east side of the track bed, looking towards the 'Y' point that is just ahead in the trees. The main line curved to the left and went
down to the north end of Hurdlow Quarry, while the triangle track ran to the right and on to the head shunt. Trains were turned so that loading
doors would always be on the correct side at their destinations. It is also said that it also stopped the weight in the wagons forcing the doors
open. The end of the head shunt is to the far right in line with the base of the trees.

A train of spoil wagons and gangers working on the new line just south of Hurdlow tunnel. The two trees on the left mark the site of the turning triangle and
the old track bed running horizontally across the scene.  Just to the left of the middle of the train you can make out the old track bed rising towards the
triangle. The bridge up ahad is the public foot path bridge as seen below, left. Interesting to see that the new line was double tracked. I would be interested to
know if the original route ran on the flat before the cutting was dug out for the new route, or if there had already been a bridge there! If it wasn't for the 'Y'
points the cheapest and easiest way would have simply curved from this point towards the trees on the right. The new line opened in 27th June 1992. I read
somewhere that the tunnel had been designed for double track but it  was never laid. It certainly looks in this photo as if it had!

(John Marshall. 22nd June 1964).

The footpath bridge and the working track line. From the original track bed.

Having looked around this spot I then turned back along the track bed to where I got onto the old track bed to make my way over the footbridge and to reach the turning triangle site.

Left: The old track bed heading north from where it is cut off by the working branch. Right: On the embankment above the stone-built farm access bridge. 

Left: From the footpath leading to the footbridge, towards the end of the track bed toward the running railway.      Right: The embankment from the footpath.

Back to the end of the embankment and here you see the need to turn to the right and get over the gate towards the Footbridge that spans the railway
and takes you over the the 'Y' point site. This is private property and permission should saught. However, it may be that there is no-one around for a
long time, therefore crossing the gate should only be done if there are no cattle grazing or if the barn is in use with animals. Use your common sense
and respect for the situation. In this instance there were no animals present.

The south end of Hurdlow Tunnel. Hurdlow station was just outside the northern portal.

Taken from the footbridge. Left: Towards Hurdlow quarry. The original route crossed by the trees on the left. The 'Y' points were off to the right.

Left: Western side of the footbridge and the working railway.                                     Right: Where the original line crossed the newer line, looking along the old embankment before the line turned northwards..


Left: The embankment of the original line to the south points of the triangle on the right, where it ran down to meet the newer line at Hurdlow Quarry.
Right: From the same spot the eastern end of the 'Y' points. The main line turning left and the north side of the Y turning right, toward the head shunt.

Left: Track curving away to the right of the triangle towards the head shunt.                                 Right: Track curving off to the left for Hurdlow and southwards.

Left: Curving southwards.                                                                                                                                                                 Right: Curving off towards the Head shunt. 

Left: By the Y point, looking along the embankment where it crossed the newer line.                                                                                        Right: The north curve towards the head shunt.

The eastern curve. Left: Southwards towards Hurdlow quarry.                                                                          Right: Reverse view, towards the eastern points and the head shunt.

North end of the traingle. Left: west side towards Head shunt.                                                                                        Right: East side towards the head shunt. This is where the points were and the two lines met.

Both. Towards the head shunt. As there were Cows grazing close by I did not attempt to go up to where the stop blocks would have been. There doesn't appear to be anything to see there.
As this section was Horse drawn I would have thought that there had been remains of a stable building of some sort. There are no sign of such.

Cropped image to get closer to where the stop blocks were at the end of the head shunt.

On the old track bed. Looking across the working railway gap . The track bed at this point
has been split too, for farm access.

Left: South end of the triangle. Looking south towards meeting of the two lines at Hurdlow quarry.
Right: Reverse view. The headshunt line turned left while te main line turned to the right.

Ditto. To photo above, right.

Left: On the south side of the 'Y' points where one side lead to the head shunt, while the other side carried on to Whaley Bridge.      Right: On the old track bed looking down towards Hurdlow Quarry sidings.

It was a pleasant surprise to suddenly hear a Freightliner Class 66615 creeping up to a stop at Hurdlow, right alongside the original track bed.

The train from the original track bed as it pulls up at the stop board at Hurdlow.

Both. Close to the point where the two tracks separated at Hurdlow Quarry. This is fenced off anf wildly overgrown and as the grass was still very wet from heavy rain the day before I didn't even try
to venture across it.


Class 66622 was on the rear of the train.

66622 and the train are hauled into the quarry. It is not possible to get to where the two lines met asit is fenced off and quite overgrown, which was a disappointment.

Left: The way back onto the footpath over the footbridge bridge and back to the A515.                                                       Right: From the footbridge towards Hurdlow quarry. The old track bed is in the field to the right.

Left: The two trees that mark the turning triangle are seen from the foot bridge.                                                           Right: View back towards the main road from the footbridge.

The farm access under bridge on the old embankment.

The farm access bridge. Even that has been walled off as a through path.


As I was returning back to the main road EWS Cl66065 shunts a train of stone wagons up to the north end of Hurdlow Quarry.

Back at Brierlow and the bus stop by the Book Store. The present day working line embankment is seen in the distance, while the original line behind
the hill and quarry.
Here I caught the bus, from Ashbourne, back into Buxton for the train back home.





My Thanks To..... 

John Neave for his kind permission to use a number of his 1960's photographs when the railway was still in operation. Check out John's ''Going Loco'', which includes a C&HPR history. At....

Mark Norton for the use of 1940's photos by his late father Dennis J. D. Norton. http://www.photobydjnorton.com/CHPR_Menu.html#Links

Reading: The Cromford & High Peak Railiway by John Marshall. Published by Martin Bairstow. Printed by The Amedeus Press 2011.
                 The Cromford & High Peak Railway by Alan Rimmer.

Other Railway Walks....

The Dudee & Newtyle Railway  The first passenger railway in Scotland opened in 1831, which had three inclines operated by stationary steam engines. The main source of income was from
                                                           the numerous stone quarries in the area and local farming produce. Passenger numbers were always sparse.
                                                          The inclines were abandoned in the mid 1800's by new deviations that allowed through locomotive running.
                                                          The line also included the Dundee Law (Hill) tunnel built at 300ft above the City. Both the north & south portals of the tunnel are buried below modern housing schemes.
                                                          Passenger services ended in 1955 and the line closed completely in the mid 60's.

                                                          Unlike the C&HPR none of the Engine houses were preserved. The inclines can still be followed but sections have been back-filled or ploughed over.
                                                          This web site tries to cover as much as possible.

Boddam To Ellon Branchline Built by the GNSR in the latter part of the 20th century. The passenger service only lasted until 1934 but goods remained up to total closure in 1949.
                                                     The GNSR built a large Golf course and Hotel at Cruden Bay, with an electric tramway between the station and hotel. All that remains today is the Golf course.

Dyce To Fraserburgh and Peterhead WalksWalking the whole of the 50 odd miles of the Ex GNSR branch from Dyce Jctn to Fraserburgh and Peterhead, via Ellon and Maud
                                                                                 Junction that closed between 1967 and the latter 70's. I worked over the routes as a secondman at Kittybrewster Loco Depot in the 60's
                                                                                  and enjoyed seeing the route and old stations that are still to be seen.

Other web pages....

Kittybrewster Memories  Kittybrewster Loco Depot, Aberdeen.

Tivoli Memories  The Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen.

Hosted by www.theatreorgans.com


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