Ashover Light Railway comes back to life!
(Release Date 8 July 2014)

The Midland Railway – Butterley is to recreate a long lost railway scene over the 16th and 17th August. Back in 2008 the golden Valley Light Railway recovered the last remaining carriage  body from the Ashover Light Railway and have been busy restoring this historic vehicle ever since.

It had been used as a club room for the local bowls club who had  done a great job in looking after the coach but after 50 years out of use it had  deteriorated and a great deal of the coach has had to be replaced. In addition replica bogies have had to be made and some of the changes that had been made to the body have been put back to its original condition.

The coach came out of the shed for the first time on 3
rd July for tests to check clearances as the coach is much larger than the Golden Valley Light Railway vehicles. The coach looked magnificent despite the fact that there is still a lot of work to be done.

Over the weekend of the 16th and 17th August a Baldwin 4-6-0 steam locomotive and  a wagon will be visiting from the Greensand Railway Museum Trust, normally based  at the Leighton Buzzard Railway, these are identical to the locomotives and wagons used by the Ashover Light Railway. The locomotive and coach will be running trains on the Golden Valley Light Railway allowing visitors to travel in this coach that was last used in 1937. On Sunday 17th August members of the Ashover Band will be performing. This band accompanied the opening of the Ashover Light railway on 7th April 1925.

Alan Calladine, the Midland Railway Trust’s Development Officer said “This will be a remarkable occasion to not only see a scene from railway history that has been lost since 1937 but also to be able to travel in this carriage, hauled by a locomotive identical to those that it was hauled by on the Ashover Light Railway. It will be a great day for those involved in the restoration of the coach and for anyone interested in the history of this remarkable railway.” For further information please get in touch with the Midland Railway – Butterley here.

Ashover Light Railway Comes Back to Life

Something is Happening?


A railway carriage believed to have been used by Winston Churchill to plan the D-Day landings that helped to end the Second World War is to be displayed during a special 1940’s weekend at the Midland Railway-Butterley on June 7th & 8th.

The 94 year old ‘Saloon 45000’ is believed to be one of several carriages that formed a special train carrying Churchill and other political and military leaders in the days leading up to D-Day when key figures were planning this important military campaign. Trust volunteer David Hipkiss said “although the research is ongoing, there is a strong probability that this coach was used on the special train that carried Churchill and others to Droxford, Hampshire, in June 1944. Our 1940s weekend will give visitors the chance to walk through the carriage and learn more about this extremely important episode in history. There will be special museum displays and the coach itself will be dressed to reflect this history-changing event.”

Other attractions during the weekend will include 1940s re-enactors, music, vintage vehicles, and a NAAFI style canteen for refreshments. Steam locomotive ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ will be operating passenger trains on the Midland Railway- Butterley line, the Golden Valley Light Railway will be running, and there is also a planned flypast by an RAF ‘Hurricane’ on Saturday 7th June.

Saloon 45000 is owned by The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust whose ‘West Shed Museum’ is located at the Midland Railway-Butterley site near Ripley. Since the coach was acquired by the Trust in 2003 it has been gradually restored by a team of volunteers, and in 2012 attended the prestigious ‘Festival of Speed’ at Goodwood.

Entrance to the 1940s weekend event is via train ride from the Midland Railway-Butterley Station. Tickets can be purchased on the day - the cost of train tickets, which last all day, is £15.50 per adult (discounts are available for the over 60s) and £7.75 per child (age 5 to 16). Family tickets (2 adults and 3 children under 16 years old) are available from £38.75. 

Re-enactors and visitors in 1940s dress are welcome, but no AXIS Power military uniforms or regalia will be admitted. Visitors in 1940s dress will receive a 50% discount on train fares.

For further information about the event please contact the organiser - The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust:


Tel: 01773 743986 (Mon-Fri)

Editor’s Notes & Contact details:

The event is being organised by The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust in conjunction with the Midland Railway-Butterley. For further information please contact Kate Watts at the PRCLT:


Tel: 01773 743986 (Mon-Fri)


Release Date 9 May 2014 - Mansfield’s Berry Hill Park Railway memories sought

The Midland Railway – Butterley is home to the Golden Valley Light Railway and this narrow gauge railway has recently built a footbridge over its line to connect two parts of the Midland Railway – Butterley Country Park. The bridge was originally used at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield to cross the narrow gauge railway that was used there during the miner’s galas that were held in Berry Hill Park every year.

The Golden Valley Light railway volunteers are now looking for anyone with memories of this unusual railway. If anyone has memories or photographs of the Berry Hill Railway the Golden Valley Light railway would be delighted to hear from you and they can be contacted through the Midland Railway Trust.

Alan Calladine, the Midland Railway Trust’s Development Officer said, “We are pleased to have been able to rebuild this footbridge and open a new access through our Country Park, giving visitors another route to explore. But the bridge is also a piece of local history. The miners rallies at Berry Hill Park were an important annual event in Mansfield and a trip on the railway was part of the enjoyment of the day. The miners rally and the railway are now long gone but we hope that a small part of this history can live on at the Midland Railway – Butterley.”  

Release Date 29 April 2014 - Vintage Train weekend at Midland Railway - Butterley

Over the bank holiday weekend of the 3rd to the 5th 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.

The remarkable collection of coaches include a Midland Railway 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 dating from 1912.

The last was built for King George V, perhaps someday a future King George may travel in this vehicle? 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 to explain the history of these vehicles and the plans to add more coaches to the train in future years.

The Railway Museum, Country Park, Golden Valley Light Railway, West Shed Experience, Demonstration Signal Box, Victorian Railwayman’s Church, Model and Miniature Railways, Shops and Buffets will all be open. On the Sunday and Monday visitors will also be able to see two trains using Swanwick Junction Station and even use the station to travel back in time from a 1960s diesel hauled train to a 1880s steam train by crossing over the new footbridge.

Alan Calladine the Midland Railway Trust Development Officer said, “This is a great chance for visitors to travel in our historic Coaches and experience train travel as it was in the 19th century.  The Midland Railway – Butterley one of very few places that can offer this real piece of living history.” For further information please get in touch with the Midland Railway – Butterley here.

Release Date 12 March 2014 - Teddy Bears’ Picnic at the Midland Railway- Butterley

The Midland Railway – Butterley will be hosting a very special Teddy Bears Picnic on the 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd March 2014. Throughout the weekend there will be special Teddy Bears Picnic displays and a competition.

Teddy bears will be having picnics in the vintage train that can be found in the Museum at Swanwick Junction as well as in their own cabin on Butterley Station. There will also be Teddy Bears throughout the railway.

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. Visit our Teddy Bears; Picnic web page here.

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.

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Trains to the Seaside
(Release Date 30 July 2014)

The Midland Railway – Butterley is running trains every day until 7th September and is 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 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.

Alan Calladine said, “The beach proved very popular last year and we decided that we would recreate it again this summer. We hope that it will bring back memories of those trains that took so many holiday makers to the seaside.”  Read more here

Made in Derby Release Date 10 September 2014

The Midland Railway – Butterley is celebrating the 175th anniversary of train building in derby with a very special weekend that will feature many of the items in the railways collection that were built in Derby. Over the weekend of the 11th and 12th October 2014 railway equipment built in Derby will be in use or on display throughout the Midland Railway – Butterley. These will include steam locomotive number 73129 returning to its home at the Midland Railway – Butterley after a very successful summer at the Severn Valley Railway.

This locomotive is one of the last batch of steam locomotives to be built in Derby and it will be running trains alongside one of the last diesel locomotives to be built at Derby, class 25 number D7671. This locomotive has just returned to service this year following extensive work and has been restored to early British Railway’s green livery. In addition there will be Diesel Multiple Units from the 1950s and 1980s in use. On display will be locomotives, carriages and wagons built in Derby including 158A a locomotive dating from 1866, a carriage from 1865, D4 a massive diesel locomotive from the 1950s and much more.

Alan Calladine said, “This is a great chance to see the heritage of Derby’s railway building past in use and on display. The Midland Railway – Butterley was set up to commemorate the history of the Midland Railway and its influence on Derby, so what better way than to see it in use. Even the signalling equipment in use would have been originally built in Derby”. For further information please get in touch with the Midland Railway – Butterley here. Download timetable here.

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