Matlock Railway Station is a railway station owned by Network Rail and managed by East Midlands Trains in the town of Matlock, Derbyshire, England. The station is the terminus of both the Derwent Valley Line from Derby and Peak Rail who operate heritage services to Rowsley South. Both lines are formed from portions of the Midland Railway's former main line to Manchester. Through running is technically possible but is not done in normal service.
Leaving Matlock Bath, the line immediately passes into the series of High Tor tunnels, 321 yards (294 m), 58 yd (53 m) and 378 yd (346 m) long on the east side of the river, cut into the cliff side. Crossing the river and the main A6 road, the line passes through Holt Lane Tunnel (126 yd or 115 m) before entering Matlock Station. Being cut through limestone, these tunnels have required a deal of maintenance over the years.
Originally called "Matlock Bridge", it was opened by the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway in 1849, the station buildings (designed by Sir Joseph Paxton) opening in 1850. The station is now grade 2 listed.
A double track railway line used to continue from Matlock via Bakewell and Millers Dale, with a branch to Buxton, and on through Peak Forest to Chinley and ultimately Manchester. This section of the former Midland Railway's main line to Manchester was closed to passengers in 1968 as a consequence of the Beeching cuts and the electrification of the West coast route from London Euston to Manchester.
The last day of operation beyond Matlock was on Saturday 29 June 1968 (two months before regular mainline steam was fully abolished).
Part of the route north of Matlock is now preserved as a heritage railway by the railway preservation group Peak Rail.
At present, the heritage line operates for a distance of a little under 3 1⁄2 miles (5.6 km) from Rowsley South through Darley Dale and nearby Matlock Riverside and terminates at Matlock station in the former Down platform, interchanging there with rail services on the Derwent Valley Line.
Before 2004, former train operating company Midland Mainline ran through services into London St Pancras whilst Central Trains have previously run trains to/from Birmingham New Street. A period of through running to/from Nottingham via Derby began in late 2008 and since May 2015 most weekday trains have run to/from Newark Castle via Derby and Nottingham. Weekend services continued to start/end at Nottingham for another year but from May 2016 most Saturday services were extended to Newark Castle, leaving Sunday the only day with no direct service between Matlock and Newark.
Work within the adjacent Cawdor Quarry resulted in a new superstore for Matlock being opened in 2007, and several hundred new homes are planned to be located nearby. Matlock bus station has also been relocated so as to be adjacent to the railway station, thus giving Matlock a true transport interchange. In the year 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 journeys from the station had increased by 40.70%.
The full range of tickets for travel for any destination in the country are purchased from the guard on the train at no extra cost, however in June 2009, an automatic ticket machine was installed on the platform, enabling passengers to buy or collect tickets bought in advance.
The station has two platforms. The former up platform is used by the Derwent Valley Line while the former down platform is used by Peak Rail. The network rail platform is accessed from the station car park while the Peak rail platform is accessed by a small ramp at the north end connecting to a footpath alongside the station. A footbridge at the south end of the station connects the footpath to the car park. The station building (which is located on the former UP platform) is occupied by Peak Rail's transport book shop.
The track in the network rail platform is connected at both ends while the track in the Peak rail platform is only connected at the north end. To the north of the station is a run-round loop for Network Rail engineering trains. One line of this loop also serves as the access route for peak rail trains to run into the station.
The station is served by East Midlands Trains Local. There is a basically hourly service from Newark Castle to Matlock via Derby and Nottingham on weekdays and Saturdays, although a few early and late trains run only as far as Derby or Nottingham. There is a two hourly service from Nottingham to Matlock via Derby on Sundays.
Services are formed using diesel multiple units of Classes 153, 156 or 158.