The following extracts and summaries from source materials such as Inspector’s Reports and Midland Railway Weekly Notices give an insight into the development of this branch.
Opening of and Single Line method of working - Wirksworth Branch. First letter from M.R. dated Aug 21st, 1867 giving one calendar month notice of intention to open the line for the public conveyance of passengers. Second letter dated September 13th, 1867 giving ten days notice of same.
Minute dated 26th Sept. 1867, Station Hotel, Derby: "I have this day inspected a section of the Midland Railway from Duffield (where the new portion joins the main line) to Wirksworth. _The new line is 8m 29ch long - it is a single line with sidings. Land has been enclosed for a double line and a great part of the works have been completed for a second line of rails. The gauge is at 8~. The permanent way consists of double headed rail, which is laid in 20ft lengths. It is ???ed and fixed with wooden keys in cast iron chairs that weigh 34lbs each - the keys are driven inside. The chairs are spiked to the sleepers laid transversely. The sleepers are about 3ft apart, except those next to the joints of the rails, which are only 2ft apart. The sleepers are 9ft long, 10in x 5ins. The line is ballasted with gravel and slag. _The greatest gradient is 1 in 100, the sharpest curve is a radius of 16 chains._The works consist of two under bridges that have stone abutments and cast iron girders and one brick arch. _The first bridge has 20ft iron girders, carried on the stone abutments and the others are constructed of stone and brick. The greatest span is 40ft on the skew. There are 4 viaducts which are constructed of brick and stone. _The points and signals at the junction are arranged on the locking principle. _There is a turntable at Wirksworth, the terminal station of the line and all passenger trains are to proceed toward Derby where the engines can be turned. The gradient at Wirksworth is 1 in 220. It should be changed to 1 in 300 if the line is to be carried further. _Stations are Hazelwood, Shottle & Idridgehay. _Two public roads cross the line on the level. The gates close across the road but they only close the Railway at one side. _Two more gates are required for each of these roads. Cross bar signals & lamps are wanted on the gates and stops to prevent the gates being opened outwards, as well as stops for the gates on the Railway. The signal handles at Gorsey Bank require moving, so that the signals may be seen by the man in charge of the gates. _The wicket gates at these level crossings require V fences, to prevent the passages being left open. Catch points are required where the sidings fall toward the passenger lines and chock blocks at the other end of the sidings - these have been f???y done. _All the points on the passenger lines have not been supplied with indicators, the pair of points should be taken out at Shottle Station and another pair should be taken out at Idridgehay. _The clocks have not yet been placed at the stations, they should be placed so as to be seen from the platforms. The gradient boards also require completing and several openings in the fencing require closing. _The branches of a tree, east of Idridgehay Station require cutting down, so as to clear the distant signal and the longitudinal beam on the under bridge at 5m 49ch requires to be properly laid on the girders. _The piers of the overbridge at 2m 73ch are slightly out of perpendicular & the centre arch shows several settlements. These appear to have been caused by striking the centre of the middle space before those of the side spaces were struck. I see no reason to think that any further movement will take place, but it should be watched. A little ballasting is required near Duffield. _The Engineer and the Manager of the Midland Railway have undertaken that all these small issues shall be completed this week. I beg therefore to submit that the Wirksworth Branch of the Midland Railway may be opened for passenger traffic so soon as a satisfactory undertaking as the proposed mode of working is submitted. _I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant, J.A.Rich, Colonel, Royal Engineers."
Letter dated Sept. 28th, 1867 from the General Manager's Office, M.R. Co. (Rec'd Oct 1 1867 No. 2019 Board of Trade): "On behalf of the Midland Railway Company, I hereby undertake that the Duffield and Wirksworth line, which is a single line, shall be worked on the Staff System, as described in section 3 of the suggestions marked C in the memorandum of recommendations of the Board of Trade with regard to the working of single lines and in accordance with the printed regulations enclosed herewith. _I am, Sir, your obedient servant, James Allport."
Minute dated Oct 1/67 from D.MacGregor, Board of Trade: "The undertaking is given by Mr Allport, the General Manager of the Midland Rly on behalf of the company. Colonel Rich considers the mode of proposed working to be satisfactory but thinks the undertaking should be made under the Seal of the Company and signed by the Chairman & Secretary as requested in our printed circular resp. to first notices of opening. _We have not always adhered rigidly to the requirement as to the Seal of the coy. and the Chairman & Secry., but have frequently accepted an Undertaking signed by the Secretary alone by direction of and on behalf of the Company owning the line. _How shall we deal with this case?"
Reply (initials illegible) dated Oct. 2/67: "I do not think the Co. would repudiate the undertaking of their General Manager. If they would do thus they cd. not be trusted to adhere to an undertaking made under their seal. Until we have some power of enforcing compliance with such undertakings, their only practical effect is to relieve the BofT from responsibility. I think Mr. Allport's will suffice for this".
26th Sept. 1867 Gorsey Bank
…. Two more gates are required for each of these roads. Cross bar
& lamps are wanted on the gates and stops to prevent the gates
opened outwards, as well as stops for the gates on the Railway. The
handles at Gorsey Bank require moving, so that the signals may be seen
by the man in charge of the gates. _The wicket gates at these level
require V fences, to prevent the passages being left open. Catch points
are required where the sidings fall toward the passenger lines and
blocks at the other end of the sidings - these have been f???y
- MT6/48/5 (Part extract)
Wirksworth:- A new Signal Box will be opened. The signals will be:- A distant signal in the post of the Gorsey Bank down home signal, and a home signal, to regulate the running of down trains and engines; A starting signal and an advanced starting signal, to regulate the running of up trains and engines; Ground disc siding signals. This Signal box will be closed each night, and between the running of booked trains on Sundays. The points giving communication between the sidings and the main line will not be connected to the Signal Box on the day named.
Gorsey Bank Crossing:- A new Signal Box will be opened. The signals will be:- A distant signal in the post of the Wirksworth down home signal, a home signal, and a starting signal, to regulate the running of up trains and engines; A distant signal and a home signal, to regulate the running of down trains and engines; This Signal box will be closed each night, and between the running of booked trains on Sundays.
Idridgehay:- A new Signal Box will
be opened. The signals will be:- A distant signal, a home signal, and a
starting signal to regulate the running of up trains and engines; A
signal, a home signal, and a starting signal to regulate the running of
down trains and engines; A ground disc siding signal. This Signal box
be closed each night, and between the running of booked trains on
The points giving communication between the sidings and the main line
not be connected to the Signal Box on the day named.
Duffield Junction:-_The points
communication between the siding alongside the Wirksworth Branch and
main line of that Branch, now controlled by Single Line Train Staff
will be controlled by the Tablets for the Section of Line between
Junction and Idridgehay, in accordance with Clause 34 of the Train
Diagrams of Duffield
Junction and Duffield
from 1897 are avaialble.
Key Token Working - Wirksworth Branch:-
Apparatus is installed to enable Idridgehay token station to be closed at certain and during the times this token station is closed the line between Duffield Junction box and Wirksworth is worked in accordance with Section VI, of the Rule Book, by long section token. The long section token is lettered "Duffield Junction and Wirksworth” Duffield Junction signal box is the token station, and the signalman there its the person appointed to receive the token from and deliver it to the driver. In addition, the signalman at Idridgehay Station is authorised to deliver the long section token to and receive it from the driver for the purpose of closing or opening. When Idridgehay token station is the long section token will be handed to the driver, and when Idridgehay token section opens the long section will be collected from the driver at Idridgehay and a short section token for the Idridgehay-Wirksworth or Idridgehay-Duffield section, as may be required, will be handed to the driver after permission has been obtained in the latter case for the train to enter the advance section.
Drivers of trains from Duffield or Wirksworth proceeding towards Idridgehay with a long section token, may be required to exchange the long section token at Idridgehay, and must be prepared accordingly.
When Idridgehay token station is open and it is necessary to clear the single line to enable a short section token to he obtained at that place for a second train to proceed to Wirksworth, or to enable a short section token to be obtained at Wirksworth for another train to proceed to Idridgehay, the first train must he drawn clear of the single line at Wirksworth and the token passed through the instrument in accordance with the instructions exhibited there.
When long section token working is in operation and a train, which has arrived at Wirksworth from Idridgehay, requires to proceed on to the Wirksworth Incline Branch, the whole of the train must be drawn clear of the single line at Wirksworth Station, and when this has been done the long section token must be handed to the Station Master at Wirksworth, who will take charge of the token until the train requires to return to Idridgehay.
When long section token working is in operation the departure of all trains which leave Wirksworth without the token being passed through the instrument at that place must be telephoned to Idridgehay, and the Station master at the latter place must advise Duffield Junction when the trains in question leave Idridgehay.
When short section token working is in operation no train must proceed on to the single line between Idridgehay and Wirksworth Station, unless the driver is in possession of a token, or he has seen one in the possession of the driver of an engine to which his engine is attached, except as provided in Electric Token Regulations 14B, 14C and 25.
Pouches are provided in which the token is placed before being handed to the driver.
Section obstructed by Accident or
Engine entering section for examination of Line.
Train or portion of train left on single line.
Working of trains to and from point of obstruction.
Failure of Token Instrument or Token damaged.
During the time short section working is in operation, Electric Token Regulations 14, 14B, 14C, 23 and 25 will apply. The person working the instrument at Wirksworth Station must be regarded as the signalman.
When it is necessary to ascertain if the line is clear an engine must not be allowed to enter the section unless a token has been obtained from the token instrument and is in possession of the driver. The circumstances must be explained to the driver and he must be instructed to proceed cautiously through the section, prepared to stop short of any obstruction. Where practicable, the engine must be accompanied by a Station Master or other competent person. After sunset or during fog or falling snow, the engine must always he so accompanied.
(b) The person in charge of token
at which the engine enters the section can in these circumstances
obtain a token, and the token so obtained must not he placed in the
at either end of the section until the person in charge or driver, as
[case] may be, has reported that the line is safe for the passage of
of the box diagram of Duffield Junction, (305kb) as removed from
box on closure as part of the Derby power box Phase III is avaialble.
This page last updated 17NOV2003