Saturday, 11 August 2018

ERTA secures Matlock Forum and consolidates support for reopening the railway.

Matlock Forum -Three ERTA members (Tony Bush, David Ferguson and I) had travelled up to Matlock on Friday 29 June and had spent two nights at a B & B in the town where we all attended the ERTA Matlock Forum which was held in the afternoon of Saturday 30 June at the Crown Pub (a Wetherspoons) in Matlock. Eleven people altogether came to the meeting, including the three ERTA members.

Practically all the attendees who were not ERTA members lived in or around Matlock and had seen our Press Release which had appeared in the Matlock Mercury. We chiefly discussed the Peak Rail, and it emerged that there are about six disused tunnels along that route, of which one contained a disused private halt for Haddon Hall (the Duke of Rutland's seat near Bakewell); also at least one of these tunnels is now used for a cycle-path. The chief problem with the tunnels is the vibration which had been an ingredient for track subsidence suffered by that line during its last few years prior to closure. Another ingredient for that line's track subsidence was that the ballast consisted of millstone grit, which was (and still is) an important locally-produced material. Other issues include replacing a bridge over the A6.

One of our Matlock-based attendees planned to organise another Matlock meeting later in the year, and also another attendee will be a useful contact since he works for the railways specialising in tunnels. We had all agreed that collaboration between people such as businesses (particularly quarry companies), landowners, local authorities, and transport pressure groups  is essential.

Over the whole week-end both David Ferguson and I had distributed a stock of ERTA flyers relating to the re-opening of the Matlock – Buxton railway, and among the places we had both distributed included the Peak Rail bookshop at Matlock Station, our very good B & B and several shops/restaurants etc. in the town and, of course, all our meeting attendees. On Sunday both David and I travelled on the Ecclesbourne Railway where we had also distributed some of these flyers. However, Tony had to go home on Saturday after our meeting.

Anyone interested please contact Simon Barber: T 020 8940 4399 


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