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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 December 2006, 10:24 GMT
Rail firm plans to reach new peak
Peak Rail train
A Peak Rail train about to depart from Rowsley station
A Derbyshire rail firm wants to reopen the historic Matlock-to-Bakewell line within the next decade.

Peak Rail has revealed it plans to build a connection to the rail station at Matlock in 2007 as part of the new Cawdor Quarry development.

The firm also wants to extend the existing track in the other direction as far as Bakewell.

Diggers have moved onto the quarry site in Matlock to start clearing the way for a new supermarket and road.

Once the agreements have been signed with Network Rail, there's nothing to stop us going ahead with the work
Jackie Statham, Peak Rail

The 20-mile stretch (32km) of railway between Matlock and Buxton through the Peak National Park was closed in 1968.

It was formerly part of the Midland Railway line between Manchester Central and London St Pancras.

A group of enthusiasts formed a society with the aim of reopening the line.

Now Peak Rail plc runs passenger services, powered by both steam and diesel trains, on a 3.7-mile (6km) line between Matlock Riverside and Rowsley.

Managing director Jackie Statham said because of the Cawdor development, Peak Rail wanted to extend its line by 440 yards (402 metres) to Matlock station.

"We always say the Peak line at the moment goes from nowhere to nowhere.

"The best thing about this development is if we can get into this station (Matlock) we'll be coming into a major town, into a major tourist area.

"We should be into that station in 12 to 18 months because once the agreements have been signed with Network Rail, there's nothing to stop us going ahead with the work and doing it."

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