Buxton Railway Station

Once upon a time there was a railway station in Buxton, designed by the man renowned for designing a lot of the architecture in the town, Sir Joseph Paxton, whose influence can be seen throughout the whole area. A lot of the town still looks like it did when it was first built. When the age of railways came to Buxton during 1863, each station had a magnificent window, identically arched in stone, which bore the names of the proud companies across the top.

Two companies, the North Western and the London, whose line arrived from the north by Manchester, and the Midland Railway, which came from the south at Derby, had stations very similar in layout to the one in Buxton. Today only the impressive window of the London and North West Railway company can still be seen and the Midland Railway station but it sadly fell into disuse after age of steam died in 1968. The line to the south-east was eventually closed. The station has long since vanished, but the remains of the site have also disappeared under the construction of the ring road which goes around the town centre. The only parts left to be seen are a few MR posts, and the lower portion of the end wall.

Just over a third of the stations in Buxton’s had just a single platform situated to the north of Lightwood road and just beyond the old railway sidings along the London and North West Railway line, known as Fairfield halt. They were all constructed to serve the golf course on Fairfield common. Long after these companies came to Buxton, the London and North Western Railway changed its own line to go south, and it connected up with the North Staffordshire Railway company at Ashbourne. It travelled on to London after that.

There used to be a magnificent feat of engineering , a viaduct crossing Spring Gardens and another  spanning Dukes Drive, South East of the town. Just before the line which crosses the Dale Road there was also a former station, Buxton South. When it was only just celebrating its 50th birthday, the line to Ashbourne was closed to passenger traffic. It continues to be used today taking diesel hauled trains along the track, carrying huge chunks of stone, climbing up , a few miles to the south of the town towards the quarries at Hindlow.

A long time before the Midland Railway companies brought visitors to the area, a railway existed, the sole purpose bringing in stone from the quarries to sell to customers elsewhere in the north of the country, Cromford and High Peak Railway. This was a very steeply inclined line which ran all the way from the canal wharfe at Cromford and travelled 17 miles to the south-east of Buxton, onto Whaley Bridge in the North West.  For a short time this Railway didn’t carry passenger traffic because the line had steep gradients which the visitor can still see today. There are three inclines, the Sheep Pasture, used the cable and change gravity system, the Middleton incline, which had an impressive steam driven winding engines ringing wagons laden with stone up and down, and towards the North West just above the Goyt Valley, there is another steep incline.

Passenger steam trains, during the 1960s, hauled trips over the course of the old Midland Railway company track bed and it was hoped it would be reinstated to the rail link Buxton to Matlock, Derby and beyond but unfortunately, even though there was a huge amount of human resources and money spent trying to reopen this line, those organising the project felt it would be best to do more the southern end. Their attempts to reopen the line had been hampered by British Railways who owned the track at the time.