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Tarmac secure the future of heritage railway line

Steeple Grange Light Railway

Steeple Grange Light Railway back on track thanks to grant from Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund

A POPULAR heritage railway line in Derbyshire will soon be back on track after a donation from the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund helped pay to clean-up the line following a rockfall.

Stabilization and remediation work was needed on the Steeple Grange Light Railway (SGLR) line, near Matlock, in the Peak District, after extreme weather caused boulders and soil to fall from cliffs at the former Dark Lane Quarry.

The rockfall near the Porter Lane Bridge effectively blocked the railway line and a path running alongside it, forcing SGLR to close a section of the line between Steeplehouse and Recreation Bridge.

However, following a grant of £32,636 from the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund for the repairs, the track is reopening.

Dr John Finch, director of SGLR, said: ‘We are extremely grateful to Tarmac. The grant has effectively saved us. A horrendous frost and temperatures of –15°C brought down two huge boulders which, thankfully, didn’t damage the line but forced us to close.

‘Work on the rock face revealed a considerable amount of further stabilization was required before the railway line, the lineside path, and other areas could be reopened for public use.’

The 1km, 457mm (18in) gauge line was built in 1985 on the former Killers branch line from Steeplehouse Junction, on the Cromford and High Peak Railway, to Middleton Quarry.

The Tarmac grant enabled SGLR and its contractors to remove trees and vegetation from the crest and rock face, remove the boulders, undertake a tactile inspection of the face, and remove loose rubble by light hand-scaling.

‘We have also dealt with other infrastructure issues along the line, thus securing the future of the railway for years to come,’ added Dr Finch.

Aaron Laycock, manager at neighbouring Dene Quarry, said: ‘We know how popular the Steeple Grange Light Railway is, especially during the summer, so it is great that we have been able to help through the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund.’

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