The Great Northern Railway started to plan their 'Derbyshire lines' in 1872 in order to tap the coalfields with outlets to both east and west. Eastwards the lines would link up with the main GNR system. The western outlets would be at Stafford and Burton-on-Trent. While the driving force behind the railway's construction was the desire to break the Midland Railway's monopoly of the Derbyshire-Nottinghamshire coalfield, the towns of Ilkeston, Derby, Burton and Stafford were also an attraction. The line was opened in 1878, to goods in January and to passengers in April. GNR westbound trains ran in to Derby Friargate station. This was nearer to the town centre than the Midland station and the GNR provided a competitive service. The Burton and Stafford services ended on December 4 1939 although holiday trains and excursions ran west of Derby until 1964. East of Derby passenger trains continued to run until September 1964. (1) The line has now been dismantled.
A section of the former GNR line was used as a test track by British Rail, known as The Mickleover Test Track. The line had closed in 1967 and the Test Track ran the 5¼ miles between Egginton Junction and Mickleover with a maximum line speed of 65 miles/hr and was equipped with facilities to introduce track defects for test purposes. A run round loop was provided at both the Egginton and Mickleover ends of the line and there was an additional siding at Mickleover approximately 660ft long with platform level loading available at the buffer stop end. There were two further sidings leading into a 2TS train shed which was approximately 160ft long. There was a permanent building at the Mickleover Depot incorporating a laboratory, mess room and control office. The line was closed and lifted in 1990 following the announcement of the building of the A50 M1 to M6 link road. (2)
An archaeological evaluation was carried out in March and April 2007 by University of Leicester Archaeological Services on land at the former Bristol Street Motors, Alfreton Road, Derby, in advance of housing construction by George Wimpey Ltd. Remnants of the Great Northern Railway embankment were located near the north-east boundary of the site. The western limit of this embankment was delineated by a reinforced brick-concrete wall, perhaps intended to hold back flood waters from the river to the west. The eastern limit was also observed. (3)
Bibliographic reference: Leleux, R. 1976. Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. Vol 9: The East Midlands. pp 128, 179-180.
Website: The Mickleover Test Track. http://british.railway.org/page45.html.
Unpublished document: Tate, J (ULAS). 2007. Archaeological Evaluation on Land at the former Bristol Street Motors, Alfreton Road, Derby.
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Centred SK 46640 43279 (22656m by 15383m)
BREADSALL, EREWASH, DERBYSHIRE
DALE ABBEY, EREWASH, DERBYSHIRE
ILKESTON, EREWASH, DERBYSHIRE
MORLEY, EREWASH, DERBYSHIRE
STANLEY, EREWASH, DERBYSHIRE
WEST HALLAM, EREWASH, DERBYSHIRE
BEARWARDCOTE, SOUTH DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
EGGINTON, SOUTH DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
ETWALL, SOUTH DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
HILTON, SOUTH DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
RADBOURNE, SOUTH DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
DERBY, DERBY, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Mar 30 2022 12:53PM
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