Narrow Gauge Pleasure

The Golden Valley Light Railway

The Railway Today

The Golden Valley Light Railway is not a preserved railway, in the sense that the route is essentially new, however like other volunteer run railways it is active in preserving our railway heritage. The 2' gauge railway has its headquarters at the Midland Railway - Butterley which is a preserved standard gauge railway (and as such not within the scope of this site).

From Butterley passengers can make a 1 mile journey aboard ex coal industry 'man riders', although in the medium-long term it is hoped to replace these with more orthodox carriages. The journey takes visitors via two intermediate halts to Newlands Inn where there is a country park and of course a pub so a break of journey here may be enjoyable.

Butterley Park Station The Orenstein and Koppel
Awaits restoration

Regular locomotive power is provided by two diesels; a Motor Rail locomotive which saw only short service in it's original role at Campbell's brickworks near Chesterfield before going into store and newly approved Simplex T Class Ellison. From time to time visiting steam locos also grace the track and are as ever favourites with the passengers. Amongst the members is a husband and wife team who not only own an Orenstein and Koppel steam locomotive (located at the railway) but were married in the loco shed, the bride arriving by steam loco and the couple departing in the same way after the ceremony! The Orenstein and Koppel is destined to haul passenger trains at some future date, however much work needs to be done before this loco is restored to health, as you can see from the picture.

Newlands Inn is close to the Historic Cromford Canal and it's two mile long tunnel and in fact the railway traverses the bed of the disused reserviour which used to feed this system.

History and Origins

The GVLR was formed on 28th May 1986 as a group of enthusiasts with the aim of building a narrow gauge railway on the site of the Midland Railway Centre. They are certainly to be congratulated on producing a working railway in five years, opening on 30th June 1991! No one should underestimate the magnitude of such a task.

The original four hundred yards of track was extended to the current length by volunteer labour and in May 1998 the Government Inspector called and gave a satisfactory report allowing the lengthened line to open to passengers. I am sure we all wish the GVLR well in it's aim to run trains of fully enclosed bogie coaches behind steam haulage at some time in the future.

Comments on this Railway

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Sam Moss (GVLR)   05 Jul 2014
Ashover Light Railway Coach No.4 will be launched into traffic on the 16th and 17th of August 2014 and will carry passengers for the first time since the late 1930's. For the special occasion a Class D bogie wagon and Baldwin 4-6-0T will be visiting from the Leighton Buzzard Railway to complete the weekend.
Alan Brittan   02 Oct 2013
I believe the Newlands pub is closed . It may reopen one day. Good to see the industrial side being restored. Good luck .
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