Ambergate Junction & Station


Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midland Junction Railway

Midland Railway

London Midland & Scottish Railway

British Rail - London Midland Region

Derwent Valley Line


Ambergate Junction


This Junction, and indeed Station has a complicated history with lots of changes in track alignment and platform sitings. The original ornate station been built by the North Midland Railway in 1840, on its line from Derby to Leeds.


Arriving from Belper one at the station after passing through the short Hag Wood Tunnel.





Southbound train pulling into Ambegate platform 1 June 1955

Picture by from an online collection by DJ Norton

Northbound train pulling into Ambegate platform 1 June 1955

Picture by from an online collection by DJ Norton


Approaching Ambergate the spur to the left is theMatlock Branch, the right spur goes back onto the mainline Northbound

Picture by from an online collection by DJ Norton


Ambergate Station'


However, in 1849, the branch from Ambergate to Rowsley was built by the proposed Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway, with a west to north connection between the lines at the original Ambergate Junction. When a south to west connection was made, for trains from Derby to Rowsley, in 1863 the station building was rebuilt adjacent to the new Ambergate South junction. The original bridge was also widened at its northern end to accommodate the new junction.


In 1867 the Rowsley line had reached New Mills, which meant that the Midland Railway could operate from London to Manchester and Liverpool.


In 1875 Ambergate to Pye Bridge Line was opened from Crich Junction near Bullbridge which ran through Butterley to Pye Bridge, near Ironville on the Erewash Valley Line. Much of its business was coal traffic from Nottinghamshire to Manchester and Liverpool, avoiding Derby.


The triangular station[edit]

In 1876 a loop was built passing the west side of Hag Wood Tunnel, as a diversion from the original line to a third platform, which allowed for Derby to Sheffield stopping trains. The station was completely rebuilt, with the old building remaining in use a plans store. This third and final station was the famous triangular one, reputed to be one of only three in the country.


Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Ambergate was an important railway interchange with 28,207 tickets sold in 1872 rising to 90,157 by 1922.


In 1931 the line across Broadholme approaching from the south was upgraded to four tracks. Longlands Tunnel was opened up to form a wide cutting and the junction with the Manchester line was moved south of the river. A new modern steel bridge for the Manchester line was built alongside the original viaduct over the River Derwent and the A6 main road.


The line through Matlock, then the 'main line', carried London to Manchester expresses such as the Palatine and the Peaks. It also carried coal trains from Nottinghamshire, for a while with Garratt locomotives, which would be split at Rowsley for the long climb to Peak Forest.


Having gathered in the Midland Railway, the lines through the station became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway during the Grouping of 1923. The station then passed on to the London Midland Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948.


The stopping service on the former North Midland route to Chesterfield & Sheffield (using the eastern platforms on the slow lines) was withdrawn in January 1967, when the other local stations on this section were closed. Most of the trackwork on the Derwent Valley line was lifted in 1968, soon after the closure of line from Rowsley to Buxton & Manchester whilst the line eastwards from Crich Junction to Butterley & Pye Bridge closed completely in December that year. The station buildings were removed in 1970. Although the triangular station site remained for a number of years, the road bridges were finally removed in the late 1980s. All that is left now is one platform on the surviving single track to Matlock, and the original main Derby to Sheffield line passing to the east through Hag Wood (Toadmoor) Tunnel and onwards to Clay Cross and Chesterfield. The original listing of Ambergate station for closure under the Beeching Axe led to its mention in the song "Slow Train" by Flanders and Swann.


The station is served by East Midlands Trains Local with services formed using diesel multiple units of Classes 153, 156, or 158. The service operates from Newark Castle to Nottingham to Matlock via Derby. For journeys beginning at Ambergate, from 15 January 2015 tickets (for destinations anywhere on the railway network) may be obtained from a machine located in the waiting shelter on platform 1. Journey time to Derby is approximately 16 minutes. Services are hourly each way Monday to Saturday and two-hourly on Sundays.


In 2015 East Midlands Trains announced Ambergate as winner of the 'The most improved station award'. The judges being particularly impressed by the improved access for passengers and by the "very active station adopters" who have created "fantastic floral displays


Further pictures and history can be found by clicking the links below:-

Ambergate Station - A Brief History