PLEASE NOTE: Unfortunately Donington No.1 will not be running during the Steam Event has it has not quite been finished being repaired.
The weekend of the 12th and 13th October 2013 should see no less than five locomotives in steam at the Midland Railway – Butterley. The largest will be 73129, one of the last steam locomotives to be built at Derby Locomotive works. Built in 1956 as a standard class five, it uses an unusual ‘Caprotti’ rotary valve gear and has just returned from a very popular visit to the Great Central Railway.
The 3f class 0-
An intensive service will be in use with the new footbridge at Swanwick Junction
in use on both days giving an unusual and new photographic opportunity. Then on the
narrow gauge Golden Valley Light Railway, “Joan” a small 0-
Alan Calladine the Midland Railway Trust Development Officer said, “This will be a great weekend with steam locomotives running on both standard and narrow gauge lines. We will be seeing a wide range of ages and size of locomotive in use giving a lot for visitors to see and photograph.” For further information please get in touch with the Midland Railway – Butterley here.
Release Date 18 September 2013 -
The Midland Railway – Butterley station at Swanwick Junction has been gradually turned from an empty site into a replica Midland Railway Junction station. The project has been an ambition of the Midland Railway Trust since it started work here in 1971 and progress has continued as opportunities and finance have allowed ever since.
Firstly the track layout was altered from its use as a goods junction and the Platforms were built., a massive construction task on its own. Once the first platform was in place trains could use the station and the development of the Museum Complex could get underway. The huge island platform was then built and a temporary station building using an old railway carriage was put in place.
The Trust was then able to build a replica of the Broom unction building on the island platform thanks to a European Union grant. This grant also allowed work to start on the rebuilding of the former belle View station footbridge, necessary to link the platforms.
Then the Trust had the opportunity to acquire the former Syston Station that was to be demolished. This was rebuilt at Swanwick and is gradually being brought into use. Unfortunately the footbridge could not be completed as funds ran out but thanks to a grant from the Biffa Award and the Derbyshire Environmental Trust the bridge and the adjacent foot crossing was completed and was available for use in August. This now turns Swanwick Junction Station into a large station with four platforms and allows visitors to access the Museum Complex much more easily as trains can now use both platforms.
Alan Calladine, the Midland Railway Trust Development Officer said, “This makes a huge difference for visitors on days when we are running two trains that pass at Swanwick Junction. Previously these could only be used in one direction but with the footbridge in place all services can stop and passengers can use the footbridge to cross the line. This development has made a huge difference to the Railway and has made a great step forward in the long held aim of creating a real junction station at Swanwick.” For further information please get in touch with the Midland Railway – Butterley here.
Release Date 7 September 2013 -
The Midland Railway – Butterley will be hosting a very special Teddy Bears Picnic on the 14th and 15th September. Throughout the weekend there will be special Teddy Bears Picnic displays and a competition.
As a special offer, any Child brought in by their own Teddy Bear will be able to travel Free of Charge.
The Railway Museum, and Country Park will be open, as will the Demonstration Signal Box, Victorian Railwayman’s Church, model railways and the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust West Shed. The narrow gauge Golden Valley Light Railway will also be running trains through the Country Park.
Alan Calladine the Midland Railway Trust Development Officer said, “This is going to be a great family weekend with the chance for the whole family to enjoy a trip on a train, see plenty of Teddy Bears, take part in a competition and the chance for children to travel free of charge.”
For further information please get in touch with the Midland Railway – Butterley here.
Release Date 27 August 2013 -
Volunteers at the Midland Railway – Butterley are planning to remember an unfortunate accident that involved a signal box now at Butterley Station in a very special way. During the evening of 1st September 1913, two locomotives were in the engine sheds at Carlisle being prepared to pull the night Scotch Expresses over the “Long Drag” of the Midland Railway route to Settle, on the way to St Pancras. The trains were both heavy and close to the maximum allowable for the locomotives, but left Carlisle in the early hours of 2nd September, separated by 11mins.
Around an hour after leaving Carlisle, the first train ran short of steam and had to stop just half a mile short of the line's summit at Ais Gill. The second train's crew, due to problems on the footplate, had not seen the signals at Mallerstang, which had all been at 'danger', and at around 3am ran into the rear of the first train, resulting in major damage and catastrophic fire, with 14 deaths and 38 serious injuries amongst the passengers.
Meanwhile, Signalman Clemnet at Ais Gill signal box had been wondering what had become of the first train, which was taking an unusual time to arrive. Just after three o'clock he saw a red mist rising and falling in the night sky to the North. Following the collision, Fireman Medcalf, of the first train, ran forward to Ais Gill signal box to raise the alarm, his stumbling footsteps being heard on the signal box stairs just after five past three...
In the early 1980's, Ais Gill signal box was closed by British Rail, and volunteers from the Midland Railway Trust disassembled it, carried it across the field to a lorry, transported it to Butterley and reassembled the signal box, where it has stood ever since.
Over this period, several signalmen have spent late night shifts in the signal box and have reported hearing footsteps on the stairs, though there was nobody there...
To commemorate the centenary of the accident, the role of the signal box and Signalman Clemnet, we will be staffing the signal box over the night of 1st – 2nd September, in order that Fireman Medcalf, should his spirit return, will be able to raise the alarm. A small number of hardy souls are welcomed to join the night time vigil.
Alex Gibson, one of the volunteer team looking after the signalling at the Midland Railway – Butterley said “ Whilst we cannot guarantee an appearance by fireman Medcalf we can guarantee plenty of tea and good company through the night.” The accident lead to a number of improvements that help make travelling by train the safe way to travel that it is today.
Also during 2013, we are celebrating the centenary of Kettering Station signal box, originally constructed in 1913, and the silver anniversary of its move to Swanwick Junction in 1988. For further information please get in touch with the Midland Railway – Butterley here.
Release Date 27 August 2013 -
The Midland Railway – Butterley will be holding a new event aimed at its younger
visitors from the 25th to the 28th May (LATEST EVENT 31 August -
The Railway Museum, Country Park, Golden Valley Light Railway, West Shed Experience, Demonstration Signal Box, Victorian Railwayman’s Church, Model Railways, Shops and Buffets will all be open. You can view and read more about all of these attractions on our Swanwick Junction web page here.
Alan Calladine said “This event is aimed at our younger visitor and we hope that they will all leave knowing a bit more about railways and their history as well as being entertained. Jinty is in its special Somerset and Dorset Railway livery of Prussian Blue that was only launched at the beginning of May.” For further information please get in touch with the Midland Railway – Butterley here.
Release Date 23 July 2013 – Trains to the Seaside
The Midland Railway – Butterley is getting its summer daily running season off to a great start by re creating the seaside special trains that were so popular for summer holidays to the coast. From the earliest days of railways excursion trains were very popular and soon holidays by train were firmly established with the railways even creating their own resorts. The Midland Railway – Butterley seaside trains will be taking holiday makers on a short trip to a brand new beach created by volunteers at the Museum Complex at Swanwick Junction. Complete with beach huts, sand, pebbles, and a promenade the beach is next to the station at Swanwick Junction. More information about our Trains to the Seaside feature this year is available here.
Alan Calladine said, “ We are sure that this new attraction is going to be popular during the summer. A specially created beach is something new for us and our volunteers have been working very hard to create our own small part of the seaside about as far from the coast as it is possible to get in this country. We hope that it will revive memories of trips by train to the seaside and help show another aspect of the
importance of railways.” For further information please contact us here.
Release Date 28 June 2013 – Unusual Visitor to Railway Museum
A new visitor to the Midland Railway – Butterley has taken its place in the museum at Swanwick Junction. It is unusual that is a 2 foot 3 inch gauge steam locomotive from the Talyllyn Railway in Mid Wales. Named “Sir Haydn” this locomotive is on tour to publicise the Talyllyn Railway and the appeal to restore it into working order.
“Sir Haydn” was built by Hughes of Loughborough in 1878 for the 2ft 3ins gauge Corris Railway, where it worked until 1948 when that railway closed. In 1951 it was purchased by the embryonic Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society for £25, and it has worked on there ever since. At the Midland Railway – Butterley “Sir Haydn” has been placed on display in front of a much more modern locomotive from the same works, a class 31 diesel built almost 100 years later.
“Sir Haydn” will be on display every day until September. Alan Calladine said, “It is great to have this historic locomotive as a representative of the very first Heritage Railway on display in our museum. We hope that all our visitors will be able to have a look at “Sir Haydn” during its visit.” For further information please contact us here.
The Midland Railway – Butterley will be holding a new event aimed at its younger visitors on the 6th and 7th July. The event will feature “Taffy” the Welsh engine, and the many attractions that form the Midland Railway – Butterley. “Taffy” will be giving rides from Swanwick Junction Station along the track with views of our Country Park. Visitors will be able to give “Taffy” a drink and there will be a number of other activities aimed at the Younger visitor.
The Railway Museum, Country Park, Golden Valley Light Railway, West Shed Experience, Demonstration Signal Box, Victorian Railwayman’s Church, Model Railways, Shops and Buffets will all be open. Alan Calladine said “This event is aimed at our younger visitor and we hope that they will all leave knowing a bit more about railways, their history and something about his fascinating little engine that started its long career in a Welsh colliery.” For further information please contact us here.
Release Date 20 June 2013 – Country Park News
Many people are not aware that amongst the attractions of the Midland Railway – Butterley is a 45 acre Country Park. This secluded valley is only visible to walkers and from the passing trains but it holds a great deal of interest. The variety of wildlife in the small area is surprising with varied habitats attracting birds, mammals and reptiles as well as being home to flowers, shrubs and trees. The industrial heritage of the area can also be seen with the remains of tramways, canals and collieries to be seen as well as both standard and narrow gauge railways.
The Trust has now launched regular working parties in the park on most Wednesdays, helping to keep the paths clear and making sure that the wild flower meadows are maintained. Work has also started on a footbridge over the narrow gauge Golden Valley Light Railway that will enable visitors to walk through an area that was reclaimed from colliery spoil tips in the 1970s and tree planted.
Alan Calladine said “The Country Park is a great area for both visitors and local residents to explore with a great deal to interest anyone walking through. It is open every day and can be accessed from the Midland Railway – Butterley Museum complex or from paths at Golden Valley and Somercotes. We would welcome new volunteers to our Wednesday team, please contact the Trust for further information.”
You can view a whole lot more about the Country Park here at the Midland Railway
Release Date 20 June 2013 – Do You Own A Plastic Seagull?
If so you could be just the person to help out the Midland Railway – Butterley!
Starting on 24th July and running throughout the summer, the Derbyshire based heritage railway is recreating the days of family holidays by train to the British seaside, and creating a “coastal resort” alongside Swanwick Junction station. Along with sunshine, and tonnes of sand, the volunteers are looking for loads of props to help bring the experience to life. Alan Calladine the Midland railway – Butterley Development Officer said “Before cheap air travel and mass car ownership, the annual seaside holiday by train was a national institution, and we want to recreate that experience here at Swanwick Junction, but we need some help to create an authentic seaside scene”.
Eugene and the volunteers organising “Trains to the seaside” already have their buckets and spades, but are looking for:
· Emulsion paint (even small quantities), particularly bright colours.
· Plastic seagulls
· A rowing boat (doesn't need to be seaworthy!)
· Lobster pots
· Fishing nets / buoys
They would also be interested to hear from any company or individual who would be interested in sponsoring the beach sand. Items are required by the middle of July at the latest, but sooner if possible. So if you have a plastic seagull lurking around the house that would fancy a short break at “Swanwick on Sea” or can help out with any of the other items, please contact Alan Calladine at The Midland Railway – Butterley, Butterley Station, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3QZ, telephone 01773 570140 or contact us here.
The Midland Railway – Butterley will be holding a new event aimed at its younger
visitors from the 25 -
The event will even include a full sized Railway Show with the engines helping to deliver supplies to the buffet. Trains will run from 10.30 onwards. The Railway Museum, Country Park, Golden Valley Light Railway, West Shed Experience, Demonstration Signal Box, Victorian Railwayman’s Church, Model Railways, Shops and Buffets will all be open.
Alan Calladine said “This event is aimed at our younger visitor and we hope that they will all leave knowing a bit more about railways and their history as well as being entertained. ‘Jinty’ is in its special Somerset and Dorset Railway livery of Prussian Blue that was only launched at the beginning of May”. For further information please contact us here.
Release date 21 May 2013 -
This special event to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation of H.M. The Queen will take place at Swanwick Junction. The Midland Railway – Butterley is the home of no less than three former Royal Saloons and a number of locomotives with royal connections, which offers the opportunity for a very special event within the heritage railway movement.
The Royal Saloons are:
The event will feature:
Event organiser Anne Deeth said: “We are looking forward to celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation in this unique way. After the success of the previous two years’ events, we are confident that our visitors will have a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable day out over the weekend. We are very grateful for the support of the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust in allowing us to include locomotives and carriages in their ownership in the event.” For further information please contact us here.
Over the bank holiday weekend of the 4th to the 6th May the Midland Railway – Butterley will be running its fleet of vintage coaches which will be hauled by the railways 1926 built London, Midland and Scottish Railway 3F tank locomotive that will be appearing in Somerset and Dorset Railway livery in the guise of a now scrapped sister locomotive.
This has been possible thanks to assistance from Bachmann Europe Plc who are to introduce a 00 scale model of this locomotive to the UK market that will be available from Butterley shop later in the year.
The coaches include a four wheeled coach dating back to 1865, a six wheeled Midland Railway coach from 1884, a six wheeled Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway coach dating from 1896, a British Railways horse box from 1949 with the grooms compartment for passengers and the Midland Railway Royal Saloon. Visitors in Victorian costume will be able to travel at half price and several of the Midland Railway Trust volunteers will be on the trains in costume. The Railway Museum, Country Park, Golden Valley Light Railway, West Shed Experience, Demonstration Signal Box, Victorian Railwayman’s Church, Model Railways, Shops and Buffets will all be open.
Alan Calladine said “ This is a great chance for visitors to travel in our historic coaches. The Vintage Train is a great opportunity to travel in genuine Victorian coaches and the Midland Railway – Butterley one of very few places that can offer this.” For further information please contact us here.
The Midland Railway -
However 47327 is having some boiler work and the Great Central Railway came to the rescue by offering to loan 47406 for a couple of weeks whilst this work is completed. The 3F, known to generations of enthusiasts as the “Jinty” is a popular locomotive with the Midland Railway – Butterley with no less than four members of the class having visited in the past, 47324 paid a visit in 2011 from the East Lancashire Railway, 47383 from the Severn Valley Railway and 47298 when it was based at the Llangollen Railway have also visited in the past.
Alan Calladine the Midland Railway Trust Development Officer said “ We are grateful to the Great Central Railway for the loan of this locomotive that will be in use on the 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st April before it returns to its home line.”
Meanwhile progress continues on the restoration of sister locomotive 46445 with the new side tanks and smokebox expected soon. Further information is available from the above contacts here.
The Midland Railway – Butterley is also home to the narrow gauge Golden Valley Light Railway that runs trains through the country park. Good Friday, the 29 March 2013 saw a new diversion opened to passenger trains.
This line was originally opened from the Museum complex at Butterley Park through the Country Park to Golden Valley in 1998 and has been a very popular part of the Midland Railway – Butterley ever since.
The original earthworks needed at the Golden Valley end of the line left a sharp curve into the station that has been a constraint on operating the railway and there had always been a plan to ease this when finances allowed. The opportunity to carry out the work arose this winter and an excavator was hired to remove some of the banking. The track was then removed and after a substantial ballast bed had been laid the track was put onto its new alignment. The results of this work have already resulted in the promise of a visiting steam locomotive during the summer.
On Good Friday the first train to use the new section broke a tape held by the Golden Valley Light Railway Association Chairman Neil Morton. Alan Calladine the Midland Railway Trust Development Officer said “Great credit is due to the dedicated volunteers who have worked so hard to improve this railway. Their efforts have resulted in a much better railway for our visitors to enjoy.”
Further information is available from the above contacts from here.
The Midland Railway -
The Midland Railway Trust Ltd. is a company registered in England No. 1097382 and as a charitable trust No. 502278.
The Retail, Catering and Engineering operations are operated by the Midland Railway Enterprises plc, a subsidiary company of the Midland Railway Trust Ltd.
Have a Great Day Out with us at the
Midland Railway -