(Upadate: June 2017)


Edited June 2013

On the road up from Wirksworth to where I joined the Incline I came across these concrete base stones, which I believe are the remains of
the Rope-Way  that went from Middleton Quarry across to Middlepeak Quarry. It was this rope-way that put the quarry branch out of use.

Updated June 2016.

Another visit to Middleton Top on the 16th of June 2016. While walking up the hill towards Middeton you pass the opening that leads into the site of what
was the short quarry branch that cae off at Middleton Bottom. I have voisted the site from that end and passed this entrance a few times but this is the
first time that I noticed that there were still a section of track still in place, just where the stop block of the siding was. The rails look very old.

This is still a working site and also a private dwelling. I did not go beyond this entrance. The section of track is behind me, on the left.
The business here deals with Marble and Granite stone.

This looks rather wide and I wonder if it isn't the remains of two lines that may have ran side by side, originally!

Left: The track stops short of where it came in from Middleton Bottom.                                            Right: From the quarry entrance, towards the Middleton-Wirksworth road where the bracch entered Middlepeak Quarry.

The stop block was where the large, yellow bags are laying across the track. The Middleton
road climbs up behind this, to the right.
N.B. I have since learned that the track continued
across the road and into Middlepeak quarry. 24th June 2017.


Update 24th June 2017

It seems you never stop learning! While passing this spot on the 24th June, 2017, I came across two chaps working at the entrance to the old quarry branch as it came off
at the bottom of the Middleton Incline..
From this I learned that the track didn't stop at this point but originally crossed the road and into the site of Middlepeak Quarry.
After the closure of the branch the Middleton Road was redesigned and te gradiant levelled to suite the new formation. It was also nice to have learned that the owner of
this land fully intends to keep the track in place at this spot.

From the Middleton Road, with the remaining quarry branch track still in situe.

Where the quarry branch crossed the road and entered Middlepeak Quarry. Here the track bed has been in-filled and the road incline redesigned
for it's present use.

Standing at the spot where the track bed came out of Middlepeak Quarry and up to the junction at Middleton Bottom.


From Wirksworth to the incline over bridge at Middleton Bottom. I joined the track bed from the unofficial path on the right by the lampost. Looking
towards Middleton.  You can catch the 6.1 bus from Wirksworth (Hourly) but the stop is way up ahead, beyond the Spread Eagle Inn, with a longish
walk, either back to this  spot or walk up to Middleton Top. This is only a 10-12 minute walk from Wirksworth and about the same again up the
incline to  Middleton Top. It is all on an incline. (June 2016).


Continuing up the Incline...............

Middleton Bottom. The winding wheel is within the fenced off area on the left. The short quarry branch ran off to
the left of that and into the tree line, while the incline climbed off to the right of this.

This where I joined the track for my visit to Middleton Top on the 24th Aug 2012 and again when walking from Wirksworth to Parsley Hay on
the 25th of August 2012. Looking up the incline towards the high farm over bridge.

Looking up the incline from Middleton Bottom

The Farm track over bridge on the Incline. Looking towards the summit. (May 2012)


A 1961 photo close to the same spot as the 2011 one on the left. I'm wondering what the strange rock formation on the top of the bridge was for and
how safe was it! It is no longer there. (D. J. Norton).

Around the same spot. Saddle Tank 47000 descends the incline with a water tank ascending as counter balance. Locos would not
have been allowed to work by themselves on this steep gradient.

The sign up ahead on the right points to the path that I would have taken to join the track bed at this point.
The bus stop is just a minutes walk up the left hand side of this bridge.


The railway bridge over the B5035. The signpost indicates the short walk to the Rising Sun Inn at Middleton. That would have been nice if I had had the time for a visit. (Aug.2011)
N.B. On passing the Rising Sun Inn on the 24th June 2017 I found it completely boarded-up.  I have no idea if this is permanant or possibly until a new management takes over.

The railway over bridge over the B5035. East side looking towards Hopton. (24th June 2017). 


Railway over bridge over the B5035.  West side, looking towards Middleton (just around the bend). (24th June 2017).

The top of the incline looking down to Middleton Bottom (Aug.2011).

The rear of the engine house as seen from the road leading up to the site entrance. (24th June 2017).

Left: At The Summit Middleton Top (Aug 2011).                                                                                                                            Right: 16th May 2016. The signal has been changed. However they have the signal arm back to front!

Wagons waiting for the descent. Note the wheel block by the left side wheel.
(Author Unknown)

From almost the same spot. Right: 24th June 2017.                                                                                         Right: When the railway as fully working.

The Engine House.

The Engine House. (27th Aug 2011)

Left: The Engine House and the decorative windows. (27th Aug. 2011).                                                    Right: in April 1967.

The decorative window frames

This indicator was linked directly to the main wire and gave a true indication where the wagons were anywhere on the gradient.

This notice board can be seen to the right of the signal in the photo below.

1961. Middleton Top. Taken from the Engine House (D. J. Norton)

The starting signal for the incline is still standing.  (Aug. 2011).                               This wagon sits by the wheel pit and gives a demonstration of how the wire was attached.

The Hanging On Chain is well displayed

Left: The wagon coupling and chain. The chain also wound around each buffer to give added strength and balance the pull on the drawbar. Right: The Wheel Pit and the demonstration wagon. N.B. The possible
Wheel axel lubricator between the two grids in the foreground right. See Below. Also seen just up ahead is a sole remaining Wire Guide Fitting in the four-foot. See two photos below. (Aug. 2011)

The Hanging-On chain. (24th June 2017).

This shows the weight of the chain linking the two ends of the wagon sole bar. (24th Aug. 2012)

The large wire wheel axel fits into this interesting object and must have been  for servicing & lubrication of the axle
bearing . It is dated 1829.

There doesn't appear to be many of these still remaining. The wire cable guide wheel fitted onto this. It would be nice to see
a completed one at this site. (Aug. 2011). In the offocial video set it shows this pot with it's wheel and cable running over it
and being used for demonstration. It's a pity the wheel and wire was removed.

A piece of the wire rope is fixed to a sleeper, for display. 16th May 2016.

The Engine House (Side Views)

Off-side photos of the  engine house. 24th June 2017).

The wheel outside the engine house where the wire was channeled onto the big wheel. On the left you can see the rope that turns this wheel
during the engine demonstration.

Side View (24th Aug. 2012).

The Steam Engine outside wall fixtures. (24th Aug. 2012).

Site of the old Loco Shed and water tank (Looking North). Note, the two short sections of rail are standing on
single stone sleepers.

I'm standing on what would have been within the single track loco shed

The wooden locomotive shed stood level with the side of the house. The house has also changed considerably, according
to the 1960's photo below. N.B. From the photo below it is seen that the upper windows of the  house have been changed
from a single to two windows.

1960's photo of a Saddle Tank loco standing on the shed road. The shed originally had a substantial roof. The
situation as above couldn't have offered much protection. The loco too appears in the same grimy state that
 most mainline steam locomotives were at this time as full dieselisation of B.R. was within a year away,
which also probably played it's part in this line being closed. (John Neave).

A very good quality colour photo at the same spot. Saddle Tank
608012 looks nice and clean too. (Tibshelf (Flickr)

The boilers are in the open but originally did have a roof over them at some stage.

New photo 16th. May 2016.

Static Steam Engine at Middleton Top. (D.W.K Jones).                                                        Right: From a similar angle. during the Open Day  26th August 2013.

The engine is still ran a number of times throughout the year. Worked by compressed air.

MIddleton Engine Video (Gaz111h YouTube)        Middleton Engine (Video) (gwaithwyr YouTube)        Middleton Engine Video (millefleurx YouTube)

Left: The Bike Hire Shop.                                                                                                            Right: An original Horse Trough. Still used by Horses and Dogs. (Both Aug. 2011)

Visitor Center, bicycle hire, shop and conveniences with the Engine House behind. Aug. 2012.

Original Fish Belly rails resting on individual stone sleepers.                    These are demonstrated alongside the information office and shop.

Fish-belly rails and stone sleepers. 24th June 2017).

Individual stone sleepers by the Engine House door way. 24th June 2017).

Individual stone sleepers.

Visitor center and station house from the picnic area. (Aug. 2012).

The Ex Station House.Aug. 2012.

Redhill Quarry (Middleton Top)

At Middleton Top there was a small quarry called Redhill that had a siding with a loading platform. (May 2012).


Workmen's steps still useable today. Above three photos from 24th Aug. 2012.

The loading bay. New photos. 16th May 2016.


A narrow guage track ran along the top for tipping stone into the railway wagons.

Views looking northwards alongside the main running line, on the left by the cars.

Left: The crushing plant stood on the right.                                                                                               Right: Remains of the narrow gauge stop block.

The Loading platform at Redhill  quarry. 26th June 2012.

David's photo shows the crushing plant, sitting above the loading siding. On the right. N.B. The stop blocks on the main running line. The incline had
seased working but the line northwards continued in operation for some time afterwards. As it did from Middleton Bottom towards Sheep Pasture and
High peak Goods. This period is what helped the engine house and engine to be preserved. All the other engines houses were demolished at the time
of their closure. However, it's believed parts of the Bunsell and Hopton engines were used for replacementss to the Middleton Engine.

Middleton Top Site from the slag heap. April 1967. (John Evens). On the left you can see the railess loading platform (above). The stone crushing
building is seen on the far left.

Left: By the water tank. Towards the summit.                                                                                                                    Right: Towards Hopton. (Photos by David Russon).

Views from Middleton Top picnic area. Midpeak Quarry below. Known locally as "The Big Ol'e". Part of the site is now a nature reserve.

Way board at Middleton Top. Aug. 2012.

The track bed continues northwards to Hopton incline and then the 11 miles to where the High Peak Trail meets the Tissington Trail at
Parsley Hay, then to the end of the Trail at Hurdlow. 

High Peak Trail Video




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

John Evens for the fantastic colour photos taken in April 1967 just prior to the line closing. John's photos can be viewed on Flickr under JodrelAviator.

David Russon for the use of his B&W photos.

Reading: The Cromford & High Peak Railway" by John Marshall. Published by Martin Bairstow. Printed by The Amadeus Press.

Other Railway Walks....

The Dundee & Newtyle Railway  The first passenger railway in Scotland built 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.

Other web pages....

Kittybrewster Memories. Kittybrewster Loco Depot, Aberdeen.

Tivoli Memories The Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen.

Hosted by www.theatreorgans.com


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