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The Midland Railway – Butterley lies on the Ambergate to Pye Bridge line of the old Midland Railway, a line once connecting the Derwent Valley branch of Midland Main Line to the Erewash Valley.  A branch leading to the south to Ripley Station was in use from 1889 until 1923.  The sole historical station on the line is Butterley which opened in 1875.  The current line extends westwards from Codnor Park Junction on the Erewash Valley Line, although the present-day heritage line terminates at Hammersmith.  The line currently runs for 3˝ miles (5.6 km) from Hammersmith via Butterley, Swanwick Junction, and Riddings to Ironville.  It is operated and maintained by the Midland Railway Trust.

The Ambergate to Pye Bridge line during its operation was used to serve the collieries of Marehay, Hartshay, Pentrich, Swanwick and Britain Pit, the current Swanwick Junction station lies on the former site of Brand's Colliery.  The line also provided rail access for the site of the Butterley Company.

The line was closed in 1968, and the process of restoring the line started in 1973.  Much of the former track bed was razed in 1976 when the nearby section of the A38 was constructed between Ripley and Alfreton.  The route of the A610 between the Ripley roundabout and Buckland Hollow lies mostly on the track bed of the former line.  The first preservation services started operating in 1981.

These photographs were taken on 4th May 2015.


The station entrance at Butterley.


Station name plate.


The end of the line at Hammersmith Station, which only about 500 metres from Butterley.


The building facing the platform at Butterley.
Butterley is the headquarters of the Midland Railway. The station consists of a double platform and Butterley Station Building.
The original brick-built station buildings were demolished after the line closed.
The new station building (acquired from Whitwell railway station) is made of stone and contains a shop and booking office.
A café and the Alfreton Model Railway Society is also present in adjacent buildings.


The line as seen from the eastern end of Butterley Station.


The depot at Swanwick Junction.


The station at Swanwick Junction.  The station itself has 4 platforms.  The station building was originally located at
Syston railway station and rebuilt on Swanwick platform 2.  The building contains toilets, café, waiting room and booking office.


Swanwick Junction Station looking west towards Butterley.


158A was built by W Kirtley at Derby in 1866 as MR 158 as part of a batch of 29 locomotives built for express passenger workings to London. 
158A has been rebuilt at various dates including being rebuilt with a Johnson boiler and mountings in 1907 and re-numberd 2. 
It finally ended its days at Nottingham in 1947 as station pilot after 81 years of service.  It is part of the National Collection, but was
placed on loan to the Midland Railway in 1976.  
In July 2021 it was moved to Locomotion at Shildon for restoration and to be mechanically assessed.


73129 was built at Derby Works in August 1956.  It was one of 30 British Railway standard Class 5 locomotives. 
Originally allocated at Shrewsbury Shed, it was later transferred to Patricroft Shed (near Manchester) in 1958. 
It spent the rest of its working life there, and was officially withdrawn from traffic on 2 December 1967.
In February 1968, 73129 was sent to Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales.
It was purchased by the Midland Railway Project Group in 1972.


Built in 1908, "Whitehead" was used in the major Welsh industries. On withdrawal, it was purchased by the 
Great Western Society and moved to the West Somerset Railway. 
It arrived at the Midland Railway – Butterley in July 1999. 
It returned to service in March 2011 after an overhaul and remained in service until 2019, needing a further overhaul.


985 was built at Darlington in October 1923 and entered service with the LNER, based at Hull.
It was sold to the National Coal Board in 1952, and worked for them at Nottingham.
It was purchased for preservation in 1964, and steamed again in 1983.
Based at the North Norfolk Railway since 2004, it was on loan when this photo was taken.


At the time of the visit to Butterley, a Victorian weekend was in full swing.




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