The Route Explored - A documentary in the company of Alan Rimmer, a leading authority on the C & HP, about the now closed line including archive footage and photographs.
The Cromford and High Peak Railway, of standard gauge, was opened by 1831 at the dawn of the Railway Age, from Cromford to Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire - a distance of 33 miles. Engineered by Josias Jessop - the line originally employed 9 inclined planes over which wagons were hauled by stationary seam engines.
The inclined plane enabled the line to climb from the valleys of the Rivers Derwent and Goyl: to the southern uplands of the Peak District, where the track reached a maximum elevation of 1266 feet above sea level.
Hopton Incline, 1in 14 over its steepest section carried the distinction of being the steepest adhesion worked gradient in the British Isles to be regularly worked by steam locomotives.
To to avoid engineering works of any magnitude., the line was buiilt with a number of tight curves, the most severe being at Gotham, where the line swung through almost 90 degrees on a radius of 2.5 chains.
Taken over by the London and North Western Railway in 1877, the greater part of the northern section of the line from Ladmanlow, near Buxton to Whaley Bridge, closed in 1892. The southern section continued to carry traffic for over 60 years, closing in stages until finally in 1967 the operational life of the High Peak came to an end.
In the company of Alan Rimmer, a leading authority on the line, we follow the original alignment from Whaley Bridge to Cromford. The jouney is enriched by the memories of footplate men, and those having close associations with the line. Plus a chronicle of a 19th Century passenger and archive cine film.
[Ian's Note: there is a lot of footage of the C & HPR on B&R Vol.54 "Steam Through the Peaks" and B & R Vol.101 "Peak Line Steam"] Availability:
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