The Middleton Railway

Founded in 1758, this heritage railway uses restored historic rolling stock to transport passengers. The world’s oldest continually operating Railway. Opened with an Act of Parliament in 1758 and the station saw the world’s first commercially successful use of steam locomotives in 1812. In June 1960, the railway became the first standard gauge railway to be preserved and operated by volunteers. Middleton Railway is still 100% volunteer run.

We have a fascinating collection of objects which between them illustrate the history of the Middleton Railway, the history of industrial railways like it, and the history of the industry that grew up in the Leeds area for building railway locomotives, cranes and other associated machinery.  These pages will tell you more about these objects.

Rolling Stock Collection

Our collection of railway rolling stock (ie locomotives, coaches, wagons, etc) is the heart of our museum collection.  Separate pages give more details of different groups of rolling stock, as follows.

Some of these items of rolling stock are operational, meaning that you may be able to see them running in trains (or even ride in them or behind them), while others are in the course of being restored to operational condition in our workshops, so that normally you would not be able to see them.  Many of the rest are on display while they are waiting for work that will restore them to operational condition;  and there are just a few that are simply waiting for this sort of work, but are not yet in a condition to be displayed properly.


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