Peak Rail heritage train operator hopes to have Buxton branch open within the next two months

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Heritage train operator Peak Rail hopes to have its new Buxton branch up and running by next month - paving the way for the reopening of the town's old station for diesel and steam locomotives.

The railway - which currently operates between Rowsley and Matlock - closed its Buxton station in the 1980s.

However Peak Rail would like to re-establish the Buxton branch of its association and see the line reopened between the town and Matlock.

To kickstart the process leading to the formation of a development committee and the 'reoccupation of the land' on Station Road Peak Rail project director Paul Tomlinson held a meeting to recruit members for the Buxton branch.

He said: "It went very well - it was practically a full house and I saw a lot of old faces I know from years gone by when we had an association in Buxton.

"There's clearly going to be a new branch formed and people are chomping at the bit to get the steam centre back up and running and the new branch will be formed within the next month or two.

"Out of that will eventually will be the beginnings of a site development committee to be responsible for reoccupying our land there - however finances will dictate how quickly that happens."

Paul hopes to access funds through the wider Peak Railway Association and fundraise to help pay for work needed once members have a development plan in place.

He said: "I hope we will see a new railway station at the northern end of a completely new railway but I'm looking to the branch management committee for guidance on what they would like to see."

Though the Peak Rail line currently covers a distance of just four miles, during the mid-1850s its Rowsley South, Darley Dale and Matlock stations were part of the Midland Railway route linking Derby and Manchester across the Peak District.

By re-establishing its Buxton branch, Peak Rail hopes to encourage new members and volunteers to get involved with everything from driving trains to helping restore and maintain rolling stock.

However a site-clean-up would be the first order of business.