THE LAST TRAIN TO DEAKIN VALLEY
Peter Larkin is a young photographer working for the railway press, on commission. He discovers a disused line, but struggles to find any reference to it. His search connects him with Maggie Townsend, a “white witch” in the village of Hathersage, who has all the answers – she was born in the village at the end of that line, a village which no longer exists, and whose history is a dark one.
In 1924, a disaster occurred in the Deakin Tunnel, a collapse which doomed the train passing through, and a large part of the village’s population died terribly in an inferno. The line was closed, the tunnel boarded up, and Deakin Valley began to die. Ever since, a “ghost train” has run on the lost line, and like a macabre Pied Piper, the sound of the train in the night has lured people to follow – and none ever return.
Maggie tells Peter of supernatural forces, a great hunger in the land which stands just outside of time, so all the terror and horror which has ever plagued humankind is magnified, an eternal “now” of fear and pain. Peter convinces himself it is just another story for his career, and gives in to the compulsion dragging his every thought back to the lost line. He penetrates Deakin Tunnel and photographs the charred wreckage, but in doing so confronts the terrible forces at play.