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The Monsal Trail (Bakewell to Blackwell Mill)

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Woodster21, May 7, 2011.

  1. Woodster21

    Woodster21 Member

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    A date has been set for the openning of the cycle track through the tunnels between Blackwell Mill and Bakewell - 25th May 2011 by Norman Baker - Transport Minister

    http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/index/visiting/cycle/monsaltrail.htm

    There is a section making reference to the re-openning of the line. Incidentially the photo on the link is nowhere near the trail - it is near Youlgrave. It's odd that the PDNPA couldn't have used a more relevant photo.

    This link also gives some interesting views of the work being undertaken on the project

    http://www.forgottenrelics.co.uk/tunnels/monsal.html

    I have the somewhat dubious honour of managing to get a lorry stuck, when on Peak Rail salvage job, between Chee Tor and Blackwell Mill. We had to drive from Millers Dale Station through the tunnels to dismantle the Blackwell Mill Station (now Matlock Riverside) at the time you could "borrow" the keys from the PDNPA which allowed us to drive up the trackbed. I seem to remember it was a tight squeeze getting a Ford Cargo through the steel doors on each of the tunnels.
     
  2. Christoph

    Christoph New Member

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    Hello,

    thank you for that information. I think I'll have to do the Trail next time I'm in the region.

    Now here is a thought. Elsewhere a number of closed railways were reopened for cycle draisines, notably in Sweden and Germany. This is a nice combination of cycling and rail. What if PDNPA decided that it would be a good idea to honour the railway legacy of the trail and installed one railway track, for those cycle draisines, parallel to the Monsal Trail itself. Then, by sheer coincidence, the track could be built with sufficient clearance to the parallel walking and cycling track and sufficiently heavy in construction to take, say, 6233 Duchess of Sutherland ...

    Okay, just dreaming.

    Kind regards

    Christoph
     
  3. Pesmo

    Pesmo Member

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    Christoph, that remains very much an an official option if I remember correctly. I cannot remember where but I think it has been done at some heritage railways.
     
  4. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

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    Certain heritage railways do indeed share an old trackbed with a cycle route - the Northampton and Lamport for one, and I think the Avon Valley does for part/all of its length.

    This looks like a very interesting project, and I shall certainly be making the effort to visit and walk the route at some point. The cutting by Headstone tunnel looks like something out of Tolkien's Moria!
     
  5. alig8048

    alig8048 New Member

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  6. dace83

    dace83 Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to walking the MT again, some good geology along the way
     
  7. steamdream

    steamdream Member

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    In the 80's first years, Peak Rail prophetized that the restauration of Buxton-Matlock will be achevied at the end of this decade!(eg the 80'S)
    how a magnificent dream can die slowly and for ever!
    regards
    Noel
     
  8. Woodster21

    Woodster21 Member

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    I cycled the "new" trail between Blackwell Mill and Great Longstone - very impressive going through the tunnels, with the exception all lit. Theoretically it would be possible to have a "Trails and Rails" route: Leave car at Rowsely South catch Peak Rail train to Matlock, Network Rail - Matlock to Duffield, EVR - Duffield to Wirksworth. That is the easy bit! Cycle to High Peak Trail via Longcliffe, Parsley Hay to just north of Hurdlow then Pennine Bridleway to Blackwell Mill and the Monsal Trail to Coombs Road Viaduct then Bridleways / A6 to Rowsley South
     
  9. 46118

    46118 Part of the furniture

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    The trail was featured on BBC Midlands Today a couple of weeks ago. ( could have been "Countryfile", but I'll stick with Midlands Today...) Was in the context of being able to hire a new type of battery-powered cycle from a cycle hire place at the old Hassop station. From memory it was £25 per day for the battery jobbie, and £17 for a purely pedal-powered cycle. They are hoping to roll out ( no pun intended) the electric bikes on the other cycle trails in Derbyshire, presumably places like the High Peak and Tissington trails.

    As an aside, the Hassop station site had been closed for a year at least, but has reopened with a smaller bookstore and what looks like a larger cafe, and appeared to be doing considerable business. Looked very nice.

    I guess at 8 miles single/16 miles return this trail is one of the shorter ones, but handy for the less experienced cyclist to cut their teeth on before attempting the longer ones.

    Will certainly be taking the bike up there this summer.



    46118
     
  10. Ianb47306

    Ianb47306 New Member

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    There was I short piece on the trail on the BBC national news one morning - I think that is what you are thinking of 46118.

    As an aside, does anybody know how long it would take to walk Blackwell Mill to Bakewell station (going at a steady walking pace)? I'm looking at doing the route in a few weeks and it'd be handy for planning how early I need to go out.

    Ian
     
  11. steamdream

    steamdream Member

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    :rip:
    .....and no hope for the whole restoration of the Matlock-Buxton route!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:rip:
    regards
    noel
     
  12. Woodster21

    Woodster21 Member

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    Ian

    I reckon about 2 1/2 to 3 hours (its downhill from Blackwell Mill)

    Noel

    Who know's the trackbed has been "safeguarded", i think that money will be the major issue
     
  13. Ianb47306

    Ianb47306 New Member

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    Thanks Woodster. On my current plan I'm playing it very safe and I have roughly 4 hours to get to Bakewell before the bus home. There again I'm sure I may get very easily distracted on the way if I dig my camera out! If I do make it to Bakewell earlier than planned then I'll squeave in some fish and chips hopefully.

    On another matter... when the railway does reach the section occupied by The Monsal Trail, will it be possible to share the tunnels between the two? I am expecting not as walkers/cyclists may be somewhat choked by the smoke of a hardworking loco in the longer tunnels. Does anyone know if there is a precedent for shared tunnels?

    Ian
     
  14. 46118

    46118 Part of the furniture

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  15. Sheff

    Sheff Resident of Nat Pres

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    Interesting - didn't know the bookstore had closed. We've sponsored a bench about 1/2 mile north of Hassop in memory of my Mum and Dad, so please say 'hi' to them as you pass. It's at the cross-roads of a path and the trail, dedicated to Tony and Dorothy Jack :) Haven't been for too long, must get up and check its condition, coat of varnish etc. Oddly back in 1976 I had visions of steaming through there on a Black 5 or 8F when I joined Peak Rail. Less said the better, but I haven't renewed this year as yet! Grrrrr :frusty:
     

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