Going Loco!     The Cromford and High Peak Railway
by John Neave

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6  

Part 4 - Scenery around the Cromford and High Peak Railway

Harboro Rocks  

After several ascents of the Hopton incline the train was remarshalled at the top, and the train would progress towards Longcliffe, passing the stark limestone outcrops of Harboro Rocks (7). These vertical rock slabs still provide a climbing challenge today, but in the 60's no hard hats were worn!

At this high point there is an uninterrupted view to the south, where, it is claimed by the locomotive crews, that during World War II on a clear day the barrage balloons protecting the cities could be seen as specks on the horizon!

After Hopton and Longcliffe the line is reasonably flat, and even slightly downhill to Minninglow (8), which is approached by a sweeping curve over an impressively high limestone embankment. On a hill at Minninglow marked by a lone clump of trees is a Megalithic burial chamber.

En Route   Approaching Gotham

Gotham Curve  

A half a mile from Minninglow the notorious Gotham Curve (9) is reached. The line was not elevated (in the 1960's) at one side of the track, but a guard rail was an indication of the severity of the curve; coupled with the squeaking and grinding of the wheel flanges as this curve was traversed. Today when exploring the C&HPR, the Gotham curve is marked by a track, which leads to a farmhouse, where I can recommend the excellent teas and cakes that can be enjoyed whilst looking over the trail.

A short distance beyond Gotham the A5012 Road (10) was crossed. The train guard would pull gates to cover half the road on either side of the railway. To the Newhaven side the road rises to a crest, which kept the railway line hidden to road traffic until quite close. Railway staff had to keep a weary eye open for speeding motorists!

Part 5 - Today at the C&HPR

  Crossing Road

© John Neave. All rights reserved.