Station Name: DARLEY DALE
|Location:||The first station was opened on the south side of Station Road (B5057). It was re-sited on the north side of the road by the Midland Railway in the Spring of 1873.|
|Company on opening:||Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midland Junction Railway|
|Date closed to passengers:||6.3.1967|
|Date Re-opened:||December 1991|
|Company on Re-opening:||Peak Rail|
|Present state:||Station extant.|
|OS Grid Ref:||SK273626|
|Date of visit:||June 1989, March 1992 & 3.10.2009|
Notes: Darley Dale Station was situated on what became the Midland Railway’s (MR) main line between Ambergate and Manchester Central. Darley Dale Station was opened as Darley by the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midland Junction Railway (MBM&MJR) as part of a line that ran from Ambergate to Rowsley. The station opened with others along the route to passengers on Monday the 4th June 1849.
The LNWR had a route to London from Manchester and so it had no interest whatsoever in a line that connected into the Midland Railway network so by 1851 it was obvious that the continuation of the line to Buxton was not likely to occur any time soon. The MBM&MJR found itself in financial difficulty and in July 1852 it leased its line to the MR and LNWR for a period of 19 years. This led to a period of stagnation and Darley station remained as a station on a branch line.
Darley station was originally located on the southern side of a level crossing that carried what became Station Road over the line. It would have consisted of two platforms with a stone building.
At the time of opening Darley was only served by 5 trains a day (and 2 on Sundays). One weekday service in each direction just called at Matlock Bath. Trains were operated by the MR from the very start.
Goods facilities remained on the south side of the level crossing and including private sidings serving the Darley Dale and District Stone Company who had a mill nearby. To cater for the large quantity of stone shipped from the station Darley Dale had a 5 ton crane. To the north of the station the Stancliffe Estate also had private sidings constructed on the Up side immediately to the south of Church Lane Crossing signalbox in 1900 and replaced and earlier facility to the north of the box, also on the Up side. The new sidings were linked to a private line that ran to Stancliffe and other quarries. There is a pedestrian subway under the A6 road at Darley Dale where the line once ran. Traffic had ceased to use the line by the early 1930s.. A footbridge at the station and another at Church Lane Crossing, were provided in 1911.
In 1923 Darley Dale became part of the London Midland Scottish Railway (LMS) but little changed and the pattern of services remained the same.
Much to the surprise of many the Ambergate to Manchester Central line was cited for closure in the Beeching Report. It was a very busy line but it was considered to be a duplicate route and therefore expendable. Darley Dale lost its goods service on 6th April 1964 and on the 6th March 1967 all of the intermediate stations between Matlock and Chinley, including Buxton’s Midland station closed to passengers. Just over a year later from the 1st July 1968 the line to Buxton closed completely. Track lifting began in 1969 but between Darley Dale and Millers Dale track lifting didn't start until 1st June 1970, with recovered material being removed via Matlock. . Darley Dale station became derelict but it was not demolished.
Today Peak Rail operates train services that call at Darley Dale during weekends and holiday periods. Both platforms are now in use by Peak Rail. At the present time Peak Rail's only building is on the up platform; this contains an exhibition which is primarily of the line from Matlock to Rowsley South Junction, including Rowsley 2nd shed.. It covers MR, LM&SR and BR material. There is also a waiting room; other facilities include toilets with disabled access and parking for a small number of cars. In time Peak Rail are hoping to renovate the Downside building (via the Derwent Valley Railway Trust), which is currently owned by Derbyshire Dales District Council. Tickets must be purchased on the train however, as there is no longer a dedicated ticket office at the station.
Darley Dale has a small yard south of the level crossing, on the up side of the line. This is used to stable some rolling stock and locomotives, most of which are undergoing restoration. Following the completion of Rowsley's Engine Shed, it is anticipated that the yard will effectively form the railway's Diesel Depot. The yard is not open to the public, except by prior arrangement.
The Derwent and Wye Valley Railway Trust are leading the project to reinstate the footbridge at Darley Dale, and ultimately to raise funds to restore the Down platform building. So far they have funded restoration of wooden fencing and installation of Midland-style lamps on the platforms at Darley.
Sources: Lost Railways of Derbyshire by Stan Yorke. Published by Geoffrey Kingscott & The Monsal Trail then and now by Alistair Lofthouse – Ald print.
Eight and a half miles of the Matlock - Buxton line now forms the Monsal Trail starting at Coombs Road Viaduct, one mile southeast of Bakewell and finishing at the head of Chee Dale, about three miles east of Buxton. There is a diversion round the tunnels.
Further reading: Railway from Buxton to Bakewell, Matlock and Ambergate (Scenes from the Past) by JM Bentley, 1992. Railways around Buxton by JM Bentley, 1987.
To see other stations between Manchester Central & Matlock click on the station name:Manchester Central, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Withington & West Didsbury, Didsbury, Heaton Mersey, Cheadle Heath, Hazel Grove (Midland), Buxworth, Chinley (2nd site) STILLOPEN, Chinley (1st site), Chapel-en-le-Frith Central, Peak Forest, Cheedale Halt, Buxton (Midland), Blackwell Mill Halt, Millers Dale, Monsal Dale, Great Longstone, Hassop, Bakewell, Rowsley (2nd site), Rowsley (1st site), Rowsley South PEAK RAIL, Matlock Riverside PEAK RAIL & Matlock STILL OPEN. See also Stockport Tiviot Dale & Stockport Portwood
|Last updated: Wednesday, 17-May-2017 08:58:48 BST||
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