The Bill for the Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway was passed by Parliament in 1891. Its main driving force had been William Arkwright, who wanted to develop the coal reserves on his estates east of Chesterfield. The line was planned to run westwards to Warrington and eastwards to new docks at Sutton-on-Sea, with branches to Sheffield and Manchester, giving a total route of 170 miles. The middle section, from Chesterfield to Lincoln, was begun first and due to lack of funds was the only part of the railway to be constructed. Engineering works were heavy as the line crossed several valleys, involving the construction of viaducts and tunnels. Full opening of the truncated main line took place in March 1897. Coal was the main traffic, with relatively infrequent passenger services. The LD&ECR was taken over by the GCR in 1907 which put in connections to its own main line at Duckmanton. Problems with the Bolsover Tunnel, 1 mile and 864 yards long, brought about the line's closure between Chesterfield and Langwith Junction in December 1951, with the whole line finally closing in 1957. (1)
The Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway, opened March 8 1897, was essentially a coal-carrying route sponsored principally by the Arkwrights of Sutton Scarsdale. It was intended to link the east and west coasts of England at Sutton-on-Sea and Warrington but only the central section from Chesterfield to Lincoln was completed. Short though this section may have been, it crossed both the main north-south river valleys and the Magnesian Limestone escarpment, so several major engineering works were involved, including the 1 mile 864 yards long Bolsover Tunnel. This tunnel always caused problems and led to the early closure of the line west of Langwith Junction in 1957. The deep cutting that took the LDECR line through Scarcliffe is still clearly visible from the footpath running south from the main street. It is marked by a line of dense vegetation from the site of the tunnel mouth which took the line from Bolsover under the magnesian limestone escarpment, as far as the site of the station at the east end of the village. (2)
Bibliographic reference: Leleux, R. 1976. Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. Vol 9: The East Midlands. pp 152-153.
Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 2000. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. Part V. North East Derbyshire. pp 4, 11.
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Centred SK 47572 69581 (15480m by 2819m) Approximate
CALOW, NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
SUTTON CUM DUCKMANTON, NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
LANGWITH, BOLSOVER, DERBYSHIRE
OLD BOLSOVER, BOLSOVER, DERBYSHIRE
SCARCLIFFE, BOLSOVER, DERBYSHIRE
CHESTERFIELD, CHESTERFIELD, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Jan 16 2024 4:05PM
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