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Development Projects

When the Middleton Railway Trust started in 1960 it had very little in the way of resources, and so it had to develop in order to survive.  Those early development projects could only be small-scale ones - a bit of track relaid here, or a bit of maintenance work on a locomotive there - but as the railway has grown so too has the scale of the projects that it could undertake.  Indeed, much of the work that constituted "a project" then would now be regarded simply as routine maintenance.

These pages therefore focus just on major development projects, with a particular emphasis on the ones that are currently taking place, although eventually pages will also be created here to describe projects that have now been completed.

Current Projects

"Brookes No. 1" Overhaul

In 2013 we were awarded a grant of £70,650 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to acquire and conserve the David Monckton collection, which consisted of the two locomotives "Brookes No.1" and "Picton" and an archive of associated documents.  A major part of this work has been the project concerned with overhauling "Brookes No.1", and in particular with training our younger members in the kinds of technologies that are involved in such an overhaul of a steam locomotive. 

This project will therefore not just restore the locomotive to the kind of condition where it will both look as well as it does in the photograph below (where it is seen approaching Park Halt with a freight train) and run as well as it looks.  It will also equip our volunteers with the skills needed to achieve the same effects in the future with other locomotives.

Separate pages give more details of this project.

Conserving "Picton"

The other main part of the work that is being financed by this grant from the heritage Lottery Fund is the conservation of "Picton".  This had been brought back to the UK by David Monckton in 2002, and brought to the Middleton Railway, having previously spent all of its working life on a sugar plantation in Trnidad.  If there are any pictures in existence of it working there, we do not know about them, but we do have the picture below, which shows its sister locomotive "Tarouba" at work on the same sugar plantation.

Restoring "Picton" to working order would not be a feasible proposition, and so the main part of this project is to construct a "Picton shelter" building to protect the locomotive from the elements, once it has been treated with preservative.

Separate pages give more details of this project.

The Running Shed and "Buy a Brick" Appeal

When the railway's business plan was drawn up for the five years from 2011 to 2015, one of the proposals that had been included in it was for a project to construct a running shed, in order to improve the conditions in which operating steam locomotives were kept and prepared for service.  From the outset it was clear that this project would need a significant amount of money, and so some careful financial planning would have to be the first step.

The outcome of this planning was that early in 2013 it was agreed both to set up the "Buy a Brick" scheme to raise money for this project, and to start work on planning the details of the engineering aspects of this project. 


Separate pages therefore give more details of:



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