►► Great Longstone station, pictured in 1976 Photo by Alan Young. More information: Disused stations ◀◀

Campaigners have launched a new bid to get the 18-mile line from Matlock to Buxton reopened for public transport use.

A petition has been launched at the change.org website to persuade the authorities to commission a feasibility study into the project.

One of the big advantages of reopening the former Midland Railway route would be restore rail services to Bakewell.

Passenger numbers have soared in the past 10 years along the surviving Derwent Valley line from Derby to Matlock.

Passenger numbers have more than doubled at all the stations, with the exception of one.

Throughout Britain, demand for rail travel is also booming and reopening Matlock-Buxton would help to cope with the growing market.

Bakewell would undoubtedly benefit from more rail passengers while tourism and the economy throughout the region would benefit.

Stone is conveyed by rail from the quarries around Buxton but the Buxton-Matlock line would provide a direct route to the south which is currently missing. 

The reopened line which once carried London-Manchester express trains, would also provide a much-needed diversionary route during engineering work on other routes.

A feasibility study was carried out more than 10 years ago but was flawed because it only looked at benefits to Derbyshire, not to "UK Plc" or the National Rail network. The financial and economic climate has also changed completely since then.

Three miles of the Matlock-Buxton route is already used by Peak Rail which runs steam and diesel trains between Matlock and Rowsley South.

Peak Rail hopes to extend its services northward to Bakewell but is dependent on volunteers and donations.

The Bakewell extension project would include restoring Haddon tunnel and Coombs Road viaduct and the reinstatement of several bridges although Bakewell station remains largely intact

Beyond Bakewell the trackbed is used by the Monsal Trail but a restored rail line could operate alongside it.

Sign the petition: Change.org

Peak Rail