This line was built by the Clay Cross Co and operated from Cliff and the smaller Church Quarries at Crich taking limestone to the companies massive kilns at Bullbridge/Ambergate, here it also had a connection also with the North Midland Railway (Later MR, LMS) thus allowing finished product or stone to be taken on the mainline to the Butterley Co other sites or customers. The line was in use from 1841 to 1957 (Church Quarry Branch from 1841 to 1846). The line was metre gauge.
The route of the line commences in Cliff Quarry (Now used by Crich Tramway Museum) and headed South thru the Village of Crich in a shallow cutting before crossing various lanes (one small bridge still in tact at approx Sk347453) and entering Crich Tunnel, the Southern entrance of which is visible at bottom of cutting at SK349549. From here it followed the ridge above the village to Chadwick Nick where it passed the engine shed and crossed the road(crossing and shed site at SK348452). It continued south and passed thru a small tunnel into a deep cutting over which the winding drum for the incline to Ambergate was fixed. The tunnel at approx SK351526 can be traced and the top of the entrance arches are visible. At approx same GR there is no trace of the deep cutting (filled).
The incline here was known as the 'Steep' and was rope worked off a drum assembly, two loaded wagons down and two empties up being the normal load. It was a 1 in 4 gradient at the top (this section still visible thru the trees) and was 550 yards long with a short tunnel/bridge half way down (Nth Entrance obliterated, Southern entrance in wood visible at approx SK351524 bricked up) under a small lane then bridged over the Cromford Canal into the limeworks at SK353520. The whole of the bottom area beyond the Southern portal of the tunnel is obliterated under a gas pipeline works -Transco.
In general the route of the line can be traced but is virtually all on private land but I had no problems when I asked getting access.
The adhesion worked sections were operated by steam locomotives and for the last few years diesel. The GR given for railway is at the top of the Incline.
See also Cliff and Church Quarries.
There was another Mineral Railway in Crich. Built by The Butterley Co Co See 'Crich Mineral Railway - Butterley Co'
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