About The Society
About The Ashover Light Railway Society
In 1996 a small group of like-minded individuals with an interest in the old Ashover Light Railway got together and established the Ashover Light Railway Society (ALRS). The principal aim of the group was to record the surviving features of the old railway, both geographically and historically.
Early projects included the production of a photographic record of the surviving track-bed between Ashover and Clay Cross, the creation of a database of known ALR artefacts (locomotive nameplates, signs, tickets etc) and an architectural survey of the ˜Where the Rainbow Ends” cafe, (which has since been saved from demolition by the society) and former ALR carriage in Clay Cross.
The results of the track-bed survey revealed a surprisingly intact formation, although the majority of the bridges have been removed. This led to thoughts of reopening part of the railway as a tourist attraction, but at the present time, the Society has no plans to reopen the whole 7¼ miles of the original line as this would be both impractical and very costly. Not only would Ogston Reservoir need deviating around (although something similar has been done on the Ffestiniog Railway), but it would also not be practicable to re-instate the Pirelli bridge and run into the former Clay Cross works site which has been re-developed since the closure of the ALR.
Two of the original Ashover carriages survive in Lincolnshire and another has been restored at the Golden Valley Light Railway. Additionally two War Department Baldwin 4-6-0 locomotives (identical to the original Ashover engines) are in the UK; 778 at the Leighton Buzzard Railway and no. 794, currently being rebuilt as no. 590, at the Welsh Highland Railway. The diesel engine that once worked the line is still extant on the Ffestiniog Railway, and other appropriate stock is in plentiful supply if you know where to look.
The ALRS moved from being an informal, non-profit making organisation to an official subscription-based society in 2006. We now hope to make our plans a reality, and would welcome your support. See the Membership page for more details.
As a society the ALRS has achieved a lot in a very short amount of time and should we continue to do so it should not be that long before the dream of seeing a representation of the old ALR becomes a reality.
The Ashover Light Railway Society is a registered charity no. 1129958.
Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England no. 06877968.
Registered address :165 Longedge Lane, Wingerworth, CHESTERFIELD, Derbyshire, S42 6PR