1500 Volts Project Launch

The 8th December saw the official launch of my newest body of work, 1500 Volts.

In 1845 a railway line between Manchester and Sheffield was opened via the Woodhead pass traversing the northern tip of the Peak District in Northern England. In 1955 the 41.5 mile line became one of the first in the UK to receive overhead electrification to aid heavy coal trains ascending the steep gradients. However by 1970 all passenger operations along the line had ceased and July 1981 saw the final freight train run. The line was official closed. Today the line east of Hadfield has ceased to exist. The majority of the tracks were lifted in the mid-1980's and much of the line has became a cycle path.

The memory of the line has seen it pass into legend; the unusual 1.5kV electrification, the 'Tommie' locomotives that operated along it, the spectacular vistas it travelled through and for many the loss of a direct link between some of the North's most prominent cities. In 2017 Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling announced that the British Government would look into reopening old railway lines and hope for a Woodhead revival could be sparked again.

'1500 Volts DC' is a collaborative, image based, research project exploring the history of this line, its present and future. This work is ongoing and continuing to evolve. Using new and found, photographs and videos this project will be a collaboration between artists, historians, rail enthusiasts and locals to bring together a detailed visual look at the line.

Do you have an interest in the Woodhead route?

I'm looking for anyone willing to work with me on this project whether you're an artist, historian or just an interested party I want to hear from you and perhaps we can work together?

See the General Enquiries page for how you can get in touch.


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Results from the NRM

What I found; the Good and the Bad The archive at the National Railway Museum (NRM) contained a huge number of documents relating to the lines closure including countless letter exchanges from a polit