About this image
The Ashover Light Railway was opened in 1925. The area around Clay Cross in Derbyshire has been exploited for its mineral wealth for centuries with records of coal working here dating back as far as 1665. With the advent of the railways a major industrial complex, supplying coal and coke to power trains, was created around Clay Cross. Robert Stephenson, the son of George Stavenson, created the Clay Cross Company Ltd, which passed into the hands of William Jackson in 1913. It was this company that set up the Ashover Light Railway, originally in order to transport their goods. However, a directive from the Ministry of Transport ruled that the railway should also provide a full public passenger service to and from the isolated district of Ashover. Public services commenced on the 26th of April 1925 and during the second week, which was Easter, over 5,000 bookings were made. As a result of the enormous demand for public transport, witnessed by the railway, a number of buses were run from the remote villages, proving much more popular, as the visited the heart of the villages. The last regular passenger service on the Ashover Light Railway was on the 3rd of October 1931, but passenger trains were provided at holiday times until the 13th of September 1936 when the last scheduled train ran. In 1957-8, the Ogston Reservoir was constructed, with partially submerged the railway. Ogston Hall is visible on the far left.