Buxton Line


Buxton Line
Buxton Line
Overview
Type Heavy rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale North West England
East Midlands
Termini Buxton
Operation
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Northern Rail
Character Branch line
Depot(s) Longsight Depot
Rolling stock Class 150
Class 156
Class 323
Technical
No. of tracks Two
Track gauge Standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
[v · d · e]Buxton Line
Legend
Manchester Piccadilly Manchester Metrolink
Unknown BSicon "vBHFr  legende" + Track turning from right
Transpennine Line
Liverpool to
Continuation to left
Unknown BSicon "vBHFr legende" + Unknown BSicon "ABZ3lf"
Unknown BSicon "ABZ3lg" Continuation to right
and Glossop Line
Manchester Line
Stop on track
Levenshulme
Stop on track
Heaton Chapel
West Coast Main Line
Continuation to left Unknown BSicon "ABZ3rg"
Track turning right + Unknown BSicon "vBHFr legende"
Stockport
Davenport
Stop on track Unknown BSicon "tCONTg"
Cowburn Tunnel
Woodsmoor
Stop on track Unknown BSicon "tLUECKE"
Hazel Grove
Unknown BSicon "kABZgl" + Unknown BSicon "vBHFg legende"
Exit tunnel
Continuation to left Unknown BSicon "kKRZul" Unknown BSicon "kABZql" Unknown BSicon "KRWgr+r"
Hope Valley Line
Middlewood
Stop on track Straight track
Middlewood Tunnel
Enter and exit short tunnel Straight track
Disley
Stop on track Straight track
Disley Tunnel
Enter and exit short tunnel Straight track
New Mills Newtown
Stop on track Straight track
Furness Vale
Stop on track Straight track
Whaley Bridge
Unknown BSicon "exSTR" + Unknown BSicon "ÜWol" + Unknown BSicon "vBHFg legende"
Unknown BSicon "ÜWc3" Straight track
Cromford and
Unknown BSicon "exSTR" + Unknown BSicon "ÜWc1"
Unknown BSicon "ÜWolr" + Stop
Unknown BSicon "ÜWur"
Chapel-en-le-Frith
High Peak Railway
Unknown BSicon "exCONTf" Unknown BSicon "ÜWu+l" Unknown BSicon "ÜWo+r"
Enter tunnel Enter and exit short tunnel
Eaves Tunnel
Dove Holes Tunnel
Unknown BSicon "tSTR" Enter and exit short tunnel
Barmoor Clough Tunnel
Dove Holes
Track turning from left
Transverse track + Unknown BSicon "vBHFr legende"
Unknown BSicon "tSTR" + Transverse track
Track turning right
Unknown BSicon "vSTRa" + Track turning left
Unknown BSicon "eABZ3rg"
Unknown BSicon "xABZqrxl" + Unknown BSicon "PORTALg"
Unknown BSicon "exSTRlg"
Buxton LNWR
Unknown BSicon "vSTRl-KRZu" + Unknown BSicon "kABZc2"
Unknown BSicon "exTUNNEL1" + Unknown BSicon "kABZq+l"
Track turning from right Unknown BSicon "exBHF"
Millers Dale
and Midland (closed)
Unknown BSicon "kABZg+l" + Unknown BSicon "vBHFf legende"
Unknown BSicon "exSTR" + Unknown BSicon "exvBHFf legende"
Straight track Unknown BSicon "exCONTf"
Former line to Matlock
Goods Depot
Non-passenger head stop Unknown BSicon "eHST"
Higher Buxton
Track turning left Junction from right
Stub of former
Continuation forward
Ashbourne Line


The Buxton Line is a railway line in northern England, connecting Manchester with Buxton in Derbyshire. Passenger services on the line are currently operated by Northern Rail and most continue through Manchester from Blackpool North.

History

It has its origins with the Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge Railway, which the LNWR built to connect with the Cromford and High Peak Railway at Whaley Bridge. In 1863, it built an extension from Whaley Bridge, via Chapel en le Frith to Buxton. This forestalled the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway's plans for the area, and also the Midland Railway's attempts to reach Manchester.

The latter two railways were forced to combine forces in a line following the LNWR, but north of it, through New Mills (part of what is now known as the Hope Valley Line), branching at Millers Dale. As a result, Buxton, one of the largest towns in the Peak, never achieved main line status.

The LNWR had in fact, offered the use of the line (at a price, no doubt) but, with its climb through Dove Holes, the Midland did not consider it useful for express trains, saying that it went up a steep hill merely for the sake of going down. The LNWR may have saved costs in construction but it proved difficult to operate, even with the powerful locomotives they had been forced to introduce for their lines north of Manchester. In later days, a seventeen mile stretch was operated using banking engines, the longest such section on the British railway system. In 1957 there was a serious accident at Chapel-en-le-Frith in which driver John Axon, who died at his post attempting to control a runaway goods train, received the George Cross medal.

The line was electrified, at 25 kV AC overhead, between Manchester and Hazel Grove in 1981. Colour light signalling, controlled from LNWR built boxes at Edgeley Junction and Hazel Grove, covers the line as far as Norbury crossing, which itself has a small hut controlling two semaphore signals in the Middlewood area. Farther south, signalling is mostly semaphore and is controlled from boxes at Furness Vale, Chapel-en-le-Frith and Buxton.

Present day services

Over the section between Edgeley Junction and Hazel Grove there are four trains per hour in each direction, more frequently at peak hours. The Manchester to Buxton service runs hourly, combining with an hourly Manchester Piccadilly to Hazel Grove service to give Davenport, Woodsmoor and Hazel Grove stations a half hourly off peak service to and from Manchester.

South of Hazel Grove, the off peak pattern is hourly. The hourly Liverpool to Norwich East Midlands Trains service and the hourly Transpennine Express service between Manchester Airport and Cleethorpes run over the Edgeley to Hazel Grove section but only a few of these trains call at Hazel Grove, most being nonstop between Stockport and Sheffield.

Buxton to Manchester services are operated by Class 150 and Class 156 diesel units. Piccadilly to Hazel Grove services used to utilise Class 323 electric multiple units, but very few services currently use these units at present on the line. For many years, services on the Buxton branch were in the hands of Class 104 diesel units based at Buxton depot.

Passenger information systems have been installed at Davenport, Hazel Grove and New Mills Newtown.

References

  • Pixton, B., (2000) North Midland: Portrait of a Famous Route, Cheltenham: Runpast Publishing
  • Bentley, C., (1997) British Railways Operating History: Volume one, The Peak District, Carnarvon: XPress Publishing.

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