Jack drifts down towards Leadhills station © Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 This was a trip to a couple of lesser lines, different in their own way, but with something in common. The common elements are gauge - both railways are constructed to relatively slim proportions - and trackbed. The Steeple Grange Light Railway is, unusually, 1'6" gauge, and uses ex-industrial rolling stock. It is constructed on the bed of the strangely-named "Killer Branch" off the Cromford and High Peak line near Wirksworth, and offers rides to the general public. Several locomotives are based there - best known is the former Horwich works shunter, ZM32, but this loco and another were away from the site, and our motive power was "Lizzie". This loco was built at Clay Cross, from parts supplied by Lister, and is powered by a Ford Escort engine. Due to Lizzie's being somewhat underpowered, passenger accommodation was limited to a four- seater wagon - and rides were free! Needless to say, we "had a go". A rather attractive locomotive shed was under construction - the design and materials being subject to national park scrutiny and approval. "There are one or two interesting 1'6" steam locomotives around" I suggested to our driver. "Look at those doorways into the shed", he replied, "why do you think they are so much taller than our locomotives?". Clearly the Steeple Grange Light Railway will go a long way, so to speak... Link: Steeple Grange Light Railway Just over 30 years ago, I had visited, with friends, the remains of the Cromford and High Peak Railway. This remarkable line had closed in 1967, and the scene at Middleton top was one of disuse and dereliction. Today the C&HPR is a walking and cycling route, and there is a National Trust visitor centre at Middleton top. The ancient winding engine, built in 1825, is still in existence, and is operated from time to time using compressed air, the boilers being beyond repair. A solitary wagon, on a short length of track, serves as a reminder of the route's original purpose.