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The Ashover Light Railway

The Ashover Light Railway is no longer to be found at Ashover but at Peak Rail, Rowsley. The original plan was to build a section of narrow gauge railway at Ashover but, for various reasons, it has not been possible and so this is why the ALRS has now found a home at Peak Rail.

Our aim is to find and preserve any artefacts of the A.L.R.S. and further an interest in local mineral extraction over the years in our area.

The original line was built in 1925 by the Clay Cross Company to extract minerals for their iron and steel production.

A passenger service was introduced between Clay Cross and Ashover and was very popular at bank holidays in the 1930s. The line closed in 1950. The last few years has seen a gradual change in the landscape at Rowsley with the erection of a workshop along with a yard for wagon storage and a main line that runs the length of the site to the station, originally used by the Derbyshire Dales Narrow Gauge Railway. The layout at the station incorporates a turning triangle not dissimilar to the one at Ashover Butts on the original line.

We have two diesel locomotives on the point of completing major overhauls and a battery loco, Spondon, originally used at a power station, which is presently being used as a workhorse moving tools and materials around site. We also have a vertical boilered gas fired steam loco nearing completion.

It is hoped, in future, that we can extend the track in a southerly direction and we have a further Ruston diesel awaiting overhaul. There are plans to build an Ashover replica station building on the existing station platform. We are intending to run a passenger service during Peak Rails special events.

What has been achieved is due to a small team of volunteers with an age range of mid teens to mid seventies. We would like to increase the size of our team to enable these projects to progress.

You don’t have to be a carpenter, diesel fitter or bricklayer to join us, just someone who is enthusiastic and willing to get stuck in. We are in attendance on Saturdays.

Come down to the Peak Rail site where you will receive a warm welcome, tea and biscuits.

If you are interested in coming to see us call James on 078666 89004 or just turn up on the day.


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