This line operated by the Butterley Co from 1793 to 1933 and was originally built as an Outram type plate way but later converted to a railway in 1856/7. The wagons originally ran down hill by gravity and were hauled back empty, by horses. In 1813, Brunton’s ‘steamhorse’ was introduced, a walking locomotive with stilt like legs. It travelled at about two and a half miles per hour, it operated quite successfully. Unfortunately, a similar machine blew up, killing 11 men at a colliery in the north of England and Brunton’s steam engine was withdrawn from service.
The line was adhesion worked once converted to a railway from a plateway by conventional steam locomotives.
The lines route commences at a wharf with the Cromford Canal and limestone kilns at SK359523 and climbs up the Fritchley incline atop of an attractive stone incline (best seen looking North at SK358531, note stone sleeper blocks used as capping stones on emban wall) to the junction in the line at SK357356 where the line split North West to Hilts Quarry and North East Warner Quarry. This was also the location of the engine shed which stands in the fork of the line. It has been beautifully restored in 2008, private access by arrangement contact ICLOK.
the line to Warner Quarry can be traced so far before it becomes impassible (stone sleeper block abound here). The route North West passes the Hat factory (nr the engine shed) in a filled cutting eventually going into open country to Hilts Quarry.
The whole line is on private property.
See Warner and Hilts Quarries in data base.
There was another Mineral Railway in Crich. Built by Stephenson and the Clay Cross Co See 'Crich Mineral Railway - Clay Cross Co