Rock fall costs Derbyshire visitor attraction £40,000
A Derbyshire visitor attraction is steaming ahead despite rocky times.
Steeple Grange Light Railway, which is located near Wirksworth, had been closed for several months as a result of the pandemic – and its opening was further delayed by a rock fall earlier this year.
Work has been taking place on the line after the rock fall – with the final cost likely to be £40,000 – and the attraction has now been able to partially reopen.
John Morrissey, of Steeple Grange Light Railway, said: “The safety of our visitors and members is, of course, paramount.
“With the help of specialist contractors we made an assessment of what needed to be done to clear and stabilise the line following the rock fall.
“The Railway Inspectorate approved and this work has started with much of it being carried out by the contractors.
“With the approval of the inspectorate, the railway partially reopened in August with a limited service, initially along our short quarry branch line where 300-million-year-old fossils can be seen.
“Later we also opened part of the length of our mainline.
“Our opening was especially popular with families as many destinations further away had been difficult to get to.
“Young people coming to the railway clearly enjoy the rides with a variety of engines to be seen at work.
“Because the line was not fully open there was no charge but donations were welcome and our visitors have been very generous.”
To add to the problems, part of the line has been flooded recently.
John said: “Uniquely perhaps it’s not been caused by climate change but by the rupture of a Severn-Trent high pressure water pipe.
“Railway volunteers, kindly aided by our neighbours Mount Cook Adventure Centre, strove to limit the extent of damage caused by the water.
“Despite the problems this has caused, the railway hopes still hopes to open for a few days during the school half-term holiday in late October.”
Steeple Grange Light Railway is a volunteer-operated 18-inch gauge line.
It is built on the track bed of the Killer’s Branch of the old Cromford and High Peak Railway, now the High Peak Trail.
Passengers are carried in old manriders once used to convey miners below ground.
For more information about Steeple Grange Light Railway, visit www.SGLR.co.uk