The Churnet Valley Railway (CVR) is in discussion with Moorland & City Railways (MCR) regarding the medium to long term future of the Leekbrook to Ipstones line. MCR’s potential to move freight from Cauldon Lowe is on hold pending the outcome of the government’s Monopolies Commission study of the recent merger of the two quarries (Lafarge and Tarmac).
If and when rail haulage policy is clarified, MCR would plan to replace the existing track (bullhead rail, on wooden sleepers) with flat bottom rail on concrete sleepers, to take modern heavy freight wagon loads.
CVR are proposing to use a portion of funds held in reserve from the recent share issue, to purchase the first section of trackwork on the route, in situ, where MCR metals join CVR metals at Leekbrook Junction. Further sections of track would then be purchased from MCR (probably involving a specific appeal) until CVR secured the remaining line to Ipstones (approx 4.5 miles in total, from Leekbrook to Ipstones).
In the meantime CVR’s timetabled running to Ipstones (approx 2 days/month) will continue.