The Ashover Light Railway was authorised in 1919 and formally opened in 1925. The 7 1/2 mile line from Clay Cross was built primarily to serve stone quarries between Stretton and Ashover. Regular passenger services came to an end in 1930, and the summer service ended in 1936. The line closed in 1950. (1)
Opened in 1925, the Ashover Light Railway was the last commercial narrow gauge passenger railway to be opened in Britain. On the purchase of the Overton Hall Estate by the Clay Cross Company, with the intention of that company to develop the minerals on the estate, it was proposed to build a railway to link the estate with the existing Midland Railway. The Ashover Light Railway was incorporated in 1919, with subsequent orders being granted in 1922 and 1924 for continuing the line to Clay Cross and for carrying passengers. It was built with war surplus equipment that had been used in France during the 1914-1918 war. Laid to a gauge of 60cm, construction began in the autumn of 1922 and was finished in the spring of 1925. The line was carried over the main Chesterfield to Derby road on the outskirts of Clay Cross by a steel girder bridge. Nine public roads were crossed on the level, although only two were provided with gates. A daily passenger service ended in 1931, after which a summer service was provided on three days a week. This was withdrawn in 1936. After the cessation of passenger services, the railway continued with its main function, namely hauling stone from quarries at Fallgate and Ashover. It was threatened with closure from 1947 onwards, finally closing in 1950. Dismantling of the railway began in October 1951. The course of the railway can still be traced, although from Ford Lane to a point above Woolley the track bed has been flooded by the Ogston Reservoir. (2, 3)
Stretton and Ashover Light Railway. The Stretton and Ashover Light Railway was a seven mile railway of 2ft gauge, built by the Clay Cross Company, linking its main works at Clay Cross with quarries at Milltown and Ashover. For much of its course it followed a contour route along the River Amber and its tributaries, thus avoiding the need for expensive earthworks. It was opened in 1925 and closed in 1950; a passenger service was provided until 1936. The most visible trace of the line today is the section of raised trackbed to the south west of Hockley Lane where it runs close to the Amber between Fallgate and Ashover. The line terminated at the Butts (SK343633) but there is little obvious evidence to indicate the former presence of the railway at that point. The quarries at Fallgate and Milltown (around SK 355621) where there were sidings, continue to be worked. Because it was contour route, a considerable section of trackbed has disappeared under Ogston Reservoir. (4)
Stretton and Ashover Light Railway Track Bed. A section of raised embankment to the west of the straightened course of Horsecar Brook marks the trackbed of the Stretton and Ashover Light Railway which ran parallel to the North Midland main line at this point and which had a station adjacent to the LMSR station. (5)
Unpublished document: Brown, A (ARS Ltd). 2016. A Heritage Impact Assessment of Plot 1 Jetting Street, Fallgate.
Unpublished document: Brown, A (ARS Ltd). 2016. A Heritage Impact Assessment of Plot 2 Jetting Street, Fallgate.
Unpublished document: Brown, A and Grange, E (ARS Ltd). 2017. A Heritage Impact Assessment of Plot 3 Jetting Street, Fallgate.
Unpublished document: Burpoe, M (ARS). 2020. Heritage Impact Assessment of land opposite Overton Lodge, Jetting Street, Ashover.
Bibliographic reference: Leleux, R. 1976. Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. Vol 9: The East Midlands. p 150.
Article in serial: Band, S. 1968. 'The Ashover Light Railway', Derbyshire Life and Countryside. Volume 33 (11), p57, 59.
Bibliographic reference: Gratton, R & Band, S R. 1989. The Ashover Light Railway.
Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 2000. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. Part V. North East Derbyshire. p 26.
Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 2000. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. Part V. North East Derbyshire. p 38.
Unpublished document: Brown, A (ARS Ltd). 2016. A Heritage Impact Assessment of Land South of Jetting Cottage and Jetting Forge, Fallgate, Derbyshire.
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Centred SK 36956 60856 (5613m by 4586m) (Approximate)
ASHOVER, NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
BRACKENFIELD, NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
CLAY CROSS, NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
STRETTON, NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Mar 12 2021 2:45PM
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