HIGH PEAK RAILWAY WALKS
(From walks on Tuesday 29h of May & 26th June 2012)
(Update January 2015) (Updated May 2017).
MIDDLETON TOP To HOPTON SUMMIT
This turned out to be quite a fair walk. As usual I had to take the train from home to Whatstandwell. Arriving there at 09.20 then walking via the Cromford Canal to High Peak Goods.
From here I walked the three gradients, Sheep Pasture Bottom to Middleton Top then started over fresh ground via Hopton Incline and stopping just short of Longcliffe. I had run out
of time and had to return by 13.00 so that I could get back to Whatstandwell for the 17.46 to Derby and arriving back home again at 21.30. If I had gone onto Longcliffe. I would not
have got back home that same day. It isn't easy finding a B&B, Guest House or Hotel in this rather sparse, if beautiful area.
From Middleton Top 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. (Aug. 2010)
The long straight track bed runs past the site of Middleton sidings. The slag heap on the right is now a carpet of green.
Shunting at Middleton by the slag heaps 1960's. (John Neave)
Left: Looking back with the engine house chimney in the background . Right: towards the curve, Ex Intake Quarry spur and to Hopton tunnel.
While walking between Middleton Top and Hopton you don't realise that you are walking on a long and heavily built stone embankment. You have to go down onto the
lane following on the south side of the track bed to see how impressive this stone embankment really is....
The long embankment also has a farm crossing tunnel built into it.
All three photos taken on the 24th August 2012.
Just ahead of the tunnel you come across the gated entrance of the spur into Intake Quarry, just visible through the undergrowth.
The site of the Ex Jctn and spur into Intake Quarry. 26th June 2012.
Left: A level crossing where a side road ran into a quarry. Right: Reverse view from track bed on Hopton side o the road. 26th June 2012.
The quarries served by rail in the Wirksworth area.
Blocked off entrance to the now unused Intake Quarry by the Ex crossing . This quarry had a rail link. Not easy to find the link by the mainline
just before the old level crossing.
Left: The track bed winding towards Hopton Tunnel. Right: Back towards Middleton.
The western end end of Hopton Tunnel
The eastern end of Hopton tunnel.
Left: Southern mouth of Hopton Tunnel Right: By John Neave 1960's.
Now and then (The eastern end of tunnel). Right: John Neave. 1960's.
The tunnel is interesting in that the center section is lined by wood.
The eastern entrance to the tunnel
Views from eastern end of tunnel.
Part way into the tunnel the roof and walls have been re-enforced by wooden slats and
held in place by old rails. 10th June 2017.
Looking back towards the eastern end of the tunnel.
Remains of a water tank used for watering Steam locomotives
As you reach the base of Hopton Incline and if you keep to the fence on the side of the road you will see the remains of a water tank lying down the
bank. This tank is of the style used at Sheep Pasture and Middleton Top depots for watering the locos. I have not see anything of the tank used at
Hopton Summit and this may be from there but I wonder if this tank is that from Middleton Top and if so, why it ended up down the bank at Hopton.
I had missed this tank on previous visits and was pleased to actually find it, by accident, during my walk to Parsley Hay on Sunday 27th Aug. 2012.
If you walk too central or to the right of the track bed at this spot you will not notice the tank over the fence and down the embankment side.
Just ahead of the tanks you reach the site of the junction from the Hopton Wood quarry branch.
Left: The Hopton Wood quarries branch line came in form the right. Right: The old quarry from the branch track bed
The branch is in the immediate foreground, with the line stretching northwards toward Hopton Wood quarries.
Left: Leaving the junction. Right: Running towards Hopton Woods. There were a number of high, stone embankments on the branch.
The stone-built embankment of the Hopton Woods branch is seen from the main track bed. 26th June 2012.
The way sign is by the site of Hopton Wood branch junction
Actual site of the branch junction. On the left.
Train coming off the Hopton Wood branch, while shunting it's train. Same spot as above right. (E. R. Morten).
The road running down to Hopton Woods, with the entrance to the old works on the left.
A loaded Lorry leaves the works, with the Mines at Hopton Woods Quarries in the background. 26th June 2012.
The over bridge leading into works (to the right).
Around the spot where the train derailed and went down the bank, landing in the road in 1937. The driver was killed but the Fireman and guard
survived. (26th June 2012).
NLR-0-6-0T 27521 lies on Manystones Lane on the 6th Oct. 1937. (H. Townley).
Both above. The Hopton incline from line side hut.
Looking up the incline. The ballast is still quite fresh since track lifting.
Back towards Hopton Tunnel. The battery-driven chairs are on hire from the High Peak visitor centers.
Line side hut. Used when unloading wagons over the hopper. This is probably where wagons
were tied and untied from the wire at the bottom of the incline when the static steam engine
was in use.
Left: Looking south. Bottom right. Remains of the wire wheel site. Right: Junction with the Cromford-Buxton road (Manystones Lane). From Via Gellia Road bridge.
A number of individual companies use this site.
Overlooking the work site. On the right is the hopper drop with rails still attached over the gap.
Short siding for the hopper drop. 26th June 2012.
Looking down the incline with the Hopper drop on the left and the Ex railway hut on the right. 26th June 2012.
The lead into the Hopper Drop by J. W. Sutherland. 21st Aug. 1964.
Close to the same spot above. This shows how clear the railway and the countryside in general was in the middle 70's. You can see
that the hopper drop had a construction over it (On the far left) It had been cold. Both the steam and exhaust are condensed in
the frosty air. Author unknown. From Flickr (jb303).
YouTube video of double-headed steam train tackling Hopton Bank Click the line of text.
Looking up Hopton Incline. It was around this position in 1937 that Saddle Tank 27521 became derailed, killing the driver. The loco lay on the road for a
about nine days before it was rescued.
Looking down Hopton Incline towards the line side hut.
Ditto: From approaching the summit.
Approximately at the same place as above. Saddle Tank No. 68012 nears the summit. (John Neave).
An inthusiast Special on Hopton Incline, passing Via Gellia bridge. From Manystones Lane. The period cars are just as historic today. (Kerry Parker)
Almost the same spot today on Manystones Lane. (Google Earth). Everywhere is so overgrown compared to those times.
It is not recommended to cycle down this, or any of the gradients. Along with the speed the track bed is quite gritty, making steering
and braking very difficult.
The 1 in 14 gradient as it reaches the summit. Backs up what has been said against cycling down the gradiant(s).
On the level at Hopton summit.
Reverse view. South end of station site
Same spot as above. John Neave. 1960's. The trap point is open against the Up direction of travel.
The official Trail Guide
Some sort of 'Coral' but what is it for! A dry-stone wall demonstration, perhaps! June 2017. This structure has been demolished.
Dedication stone to the C&HP Railway at Hopton station site.
Both above: An old lime Kiln. Seen from the station level. 26th June 2012.
Left: Wider view of the old Kiln, seen from the station site. Right: Hopton station house.
Approaching the same spot as above right in the 1960's (John Neave)
From the north end of the station site.
The Station House
The company-designed wrought iron window frames. 26th June, 2012.
Out building with a plaque dedicated to C&HP Railway staff.
HOPTON GOODS YARD & SHED (SITE) Updated June 30th 2013.
The entrance to Hopton Goods Yard from the station.
The goods shed is complete but has a number of new add-ons to the sides and rear of the building.
Two views from Hopton Summit.
Way sign by Hopton level crossing site.
To HOPTON SUMMIT TO LONGCLIFFE
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.
Reading: The Cromford & High Peak Railiway by John Marshall. Published by Martin Bairstow. Printed by The Amedeus Press 2011.
Other Railway Walks....
The Dundee & 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.
Other web pages....
Kittybrewster Memories. Kittybrewster Loco Depot, Aberdeen.
Tivoli Memories The Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen.
Hosted by www.theatreorgans.com
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