Looking up Sheep Pasture Incline from the A6 bridge.
700 yards of 1 in 8 incline
Sheep Pasture, Foot of the Incline, taken from the bridge where
the A6 road crosses the railway.
At the far end of the 9 empty wagons, a water tank (fed from a
spring in the hillside) stands on a base of sleepers.
The left line has two water-carrying wagons, which act as ballast
for hauling empty wagons to the top.
On the left are Cromford workshops and the engineman's bothy.
Beyond is the River Derwent and Lea Bridge on the far side.
CHPR Sheep Pasture Incline
Near Cromford and the River Derwent, one of originally nine inclines on
the 33 mile Cromford and High Peak Railway, Sheep Pasture Incline was 1 in 8.
In 1830 worked by chains, then hempen ropes, by 1862 wire ropes
were used, pulled by stationary engines at the summit. The grassy area
between the curved section of track conceals an underground runaway pit,
into which runaway wagons were diverted by means of catchpoints. The catchpit
was constructed in 1890, the necessity proved by the following accident:
The most spectacular runaway occurred on 1 Mar 1888. At about 1900 hours,
after dark, a wagon full of lime and a brake van loaded with 2cwt of
gunpowder in boxes cased in iron were just beginning the descent when
the connecting chain broke. As the vehicles shot forward the guard and a
labourer jumped off the van and landed in deep snow, which probably saved
their lives. At the bottom of the incline the vehicles had reached a speed
calculated at about 120 mph. They leapt off the rails at the curve, flew
straight over the canal, damaging its banks, and bounced over a stone
wall. One of the canisters of gunpowder exploded and fragments of the vans
were scattered around. In a third leap the remains of the vehicles crossed
the Midland line, damaging the rails.
See more about CHPR.
Sheep Pasture top, with 47007 waiting where the engine shed used to stand.
From here the line turns slightly right then plunges steeply down Sheep
Pasture Incline. The cylindrical water tank and reservoir to the right,
and engine house with lattice window.
Photo taken:5 May 1962
Size:Photo 5 x 3
Click on photo for enlargement (on CD only)
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