Friday, 1 July 2011

Track Diagrams: Peak Forest

(Click on either image to enlarge)

D - Doll (reduced-size goods line arm)
DW - Doll (reduced-size goods line arm) on wooden post
DS - Diamond with double-slip
CS - 'Catch Rails' (Trap points with a switch in both rails)
CR - 'Catch Rail' (Trap points with a switch in the outer rail)
T - Tubular post
W - Wooden post

In August 1967 I visited Peak Forest on the Derby - Manchester main line and recorded what I could see. Back home, I produced a 'fair copy' (oddly, using a blue fountain pen).

At the Manchester end of the Up Platform, there was an interesting Midland signal - wooden bracket, lower quadrant goods arm and a mechanical route indicator. Nearby, a small triangle indicates Peak Forest Summit. The gradient diagram below confirms the summit location. In both directions, trains approached Peak Forest via a gruelling 3-mile climb at 1 in 90 - from the north via Dove Holes Tunnel.

You can find more detailed track and signalling diagrams of the route in the excellent series of publications from the Signalling Record Society 'British Railways Layout Plans of the 1950's'.

Peak Forest is included in 'Volume 8: Manchester and Chesterfield to Derby and Trent' (ISBN: 1 873228 09 0).

For details of what remains of this route in 2005, refer to 'Railway Track Diagrams' Book 4: Midlands & North West', Second Edition, published by Trackmaps (ISBN: 0-9549866-0-1). The First Edition of this book was published by Quail in 1988.

It's amazing that this important main line was irresponsibly thrown away. A few years ago Railtrack (remember them?) proposed re-instating the complete line as a through route. Having spent unreasonable amounts of money just thinking about it, Railtrack abandoned the idea, before being replaced by Network Rail.