Peak Forest Tramway

Construction of the 6 mile (9.5 km) tramway was begun in 1795 and completed in 1796, and laid with cast iron 'L' section flanged rails, each being 3ft (91.5 cm) in length and weighing 56 lbs (25 kg). The rails (also known as plates) were laid to a 4 ft 2 in (127 cm) gauge, originally being secured directly onto stone sleeper blocks by driving an iron spike through the notched butt-ended rails into an oak plug within the centre hole of each block. Later, rails were mounted onto pedestals (also known as saddles) which separated the rail from the sleeper block, thus eliminating wear on the fixing spike. A second track was laid in 1803, enabling a more consistent flow of inward (laden) and outbound (usually empty waggons). Between 1832 and 1837 the main line 3 ft long rails were replaced by 9 ft rolled steel rails to eliminate problems due to broken rails.

The tramway extended throughout the basin complex, servicing the various wharves and lime kilns, and the remains of the trackbed continue to delineate these flow-lines.

From Bugsworth, the tramway rose 206 ft (62.79 m) to Chapel-en-le-Frith; an average gradient of 1:20. It ascended a further 209 ft (63.7 m) along a 520 yard (475.5 m) inclined plane with an average gradient of 1:7, and rose a further 200 ft (61 m) to its summit, from where it descended to the various quarries and kilns.

Peak Forest Tramway Chapel Townend c1890