Hidden railway line discovered by YouTube explorer at beauty spot

The Peak District is well-known for having hidden gems spread across the gorgeous countryside of the national park. Among the most popular spots for concealed spots is Ladybower Reservoir[1].

Whenever the weather causes the water levels at the reservoir to drop, several secrets of Derbyshire's past are revealed. The small, but bustling, villages of Derwent and Ashopton[2] both used to exist where Ladybower now sits.

The villages were demolished in the 40s before being submerged as part of the Derwent Valley scheme, with Ladybower Reservoir opening in 1945 to provide clean water across the East Midlands. Ashopton truly is gone forever now as silt has covered the remains of the buildings but low water levels often reveal remnants of the village of Derwent.

Last year, several heatwaves revealed ruins of a former church as well as stone sleepers that formed parts of a railway used to transport material for the villages. The remains of the church are some of the most well-known ruins that can be spotted during extended dry periods, usually in summer.

However, one lesser-known hidden bit of Ladybower history has been shared by explorer, Ant Daykin who runs the Trekking Exploration YouTube channel[4]. Ant, from Trowel near Ilkeston, has been running the channel for four years and uses it to shine spotlights on parts of the country that have undiscovered secrets.

Recently he has been focusing a lot on Derbyshire and the Peak District and has shared the discovery of a small abandoned railway line on the edge of Ladybower Reservoir. A short portion of rusted steel rails can be seen jutting out of part of the southwest bank of the reservoir.

The short railway line is roughly a third of the width of normal railways making it most likely to have been used for industrial purposes such as bringing materials to and from the nearby villages. Using a powerful metal detector that identifies which type of metal is being detected, in this case steel, Ant managed to find that despite having been abandoned for years the line has survived under the dirt.

Following the edge of the reservoir, the railway line stretches another 138 feet west before seemingly disappearing. Before the line was abandoned, it would have led to a nearby water transfer tunnel that goes underneath Win Hill and to Castleton.

Explaining the purpose of the tunnel, Ant said: "They were basically used to take water from other rivers to top up Ladybower by gravity so there would be a slight decline. I believe this one was an absolute failure because there was too much lime in the water apparently and it couldn't be fed into Ladybower so it only ran apparently for six weeks after all that work to make the tunnel."

You can watch Ant's entire video on the railway line on his YouTube channel[5].

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  1. ^ Ladybower Reservoir (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)
  2. ^ villages of Derwent and Ashopton (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)
  3. ^ Peak District National Park Authority could lose power to make planning decisions (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)
  4. ^ the Trekking Exploration YouTube channel (www.youtube.com)
  5. ^ his YouTube channel (www.youtube.com)
  6. ^ Love the Peak District as much as we do? Sign up for our (data.reachplc.com)