Monday, 30 July 2007

Derbyshire Dales Railway

Henry and Mary Frampton-Jones have been involved in railway preservation for a number of years. They have a particular interest in 2-foot passenger carrying lines. Having gathered a collection of 2-foot gauge wagons, coaches and industrial diesel locomotives, they organised the building of a short demonstration line at the Rowsley site of Peak Rail called the Derbyshire Dales Narrow Gauge Railway. At present, the railway comprises extensive sidings (with one container as the locomotive shed and a second as the carriage shed), Parkside Station (complete with refreshment facilities) and a running line around two hundred yards long. Work is currently in hand to extend the running line.

I became involved a few years ago to assist with the paperwork involved in obtaining permission to carry passengers. Although 'miniature' railways operate under a less-onerous regime, a track gauge of two feet requires most of the precautions expected of a standard gauge line. Every aspect of the operation had to be risk assessed and procedures set up for maintenance, certification of the volunteer staff and safe operation of the railway.

We obtained permission to operate in time for the planned public opening, initially using a single air-braked bogie coach top and tailed by a Ruston 'LBT' and a Lister 'Railtruck'. The Lister was loaned at short notice after the intended Ruston '48DL' had to be 'stopped' for attention to the tyres. After 'shopping' the '48DL' took up duties working the service with the 'LBT'. A combination of the demands of work and other projects I'm involved in means that I'm no longer Operations Manager and Health and Safety Advisor on the railway but I'll continue to assist in any way I can.

Click for my photos of the narrow gauge.

The Peak Rail website has a narrow gauge page.