The Midland Railway route, linking Derby and Manchester across the Derbyshire Peak District must rate as one of the most spectacular lines ever to have existed in the country. Whatever the merits and claims of other lines, the railway, which carved through Derbyshire’s great limestone hills, has been described as the most scenic line in Britain. Because of the terrain, numerous tunnels and other impressive civil engineering features including the magnificent viaducts at Millers Dale and Monsal Dale had to be constructed.
The railway was not conceived as a single entity by one company, but was in fact the result of the ambitions of several separate companies who for their own individual reasons, built the line at different times over a period of some 20 years. Nevertheless, the eventual result of these ventures was a mainline providing a direct route between Derby and Manchester.
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