Events

Our initial programme of special events is shown on the calendar of train services for 2020, and details of each of these events are given below.

In addition, other events may well be organised during the year in conjunction with our ordinary train operations. Watch out for details of these extra events, which will be added to this page as the dates for them are fixed.

If you are interested in some of the previous events that we have run, then details of selected ones are available, and a separate page describes these.


Diamond Jubilee and Gala

Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st June 2020

Event postponed until October as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic

diamond jubilee logo

60 Years of Preservation

Join us in this gala event, which will celebrate 60 years of volunteer-run trains on the Middleton Railway.

The event will feature a visiting locomotive, and both passenger trains and mixed trains operating over the whole line, including the little-used Balm Road branch.

On each day a special intensive service will operate, and special fares will apply. Nearer the time a separate page will give more details of this event.


Concert

Saturday 27th June 2020

Event cancelled as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic: we hope to be able to re-arrange this event

diamond jubilee logo

Early Evening Concert

As part of our Diamond Jubilee celebrations, this concert will follow the day's train services, and will start at 5.00pm. It will take place in the display hall, and will feature music by soprano soloist Jenny Leadbeater, with accompaniment on chamber organ and harpsichord by Dr Simon Lindley, former Leeds City Organist.

Our normal timetable and fares will apply for the train services, with a special charge for the concert.


Heritage Diesel Day

Saturday 5th September 2020

Event cancelled as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic

heritage diesel locomotives

See a historic diesel locomotive in action

An opportunity to ride behind one of our historic diesel locomotives. Click here for more details of this opportunity.

Our usual timetable and fares will apply.


Heritage Open Days

Sunday 13th and Sunday 20th September 2020

Dates reduced as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic

 

 

HOD logo

Come and find out more about our industrial heritage

As our contribution to the nation-wide "Heritage Open Days" event, we will be offering tours of this historic site, on the railway where the world’s very first successful, load-hauling steam locomotive ran in the year of 1812.

The tours will run hourly from 10.00 to 3.00 p.m. on each day, and there will be no need to book for them. They will take visitors through our history from the working of the coal outcrops in Middleton Woods in mediaeval times, via the country’s first wooden (horse-drawn) railway in the eighteenth century and the revolutionary steam loco “Salamanca” - arguably, Leeds’ premier contribution to the Industrial Revolution - to the present situation as the country‘s first standard-gauge preserved railway. After that, you will be welcome to buy a ticket and ride on our trains!

The trains will be operated by heritage diesel locomotives on both days.

There will be no charge for the tours that will form the main part of this event.


Star Rails

Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September 2020

Event cancelled as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic

storm troopers

Our third Comic-Con style event!

Following on from the success of previous events, this one will feature special exhibits, sci-fi characters in costume (as shown in the picture here, taken in our display hall), and more.

Our normal train services will run, and our usual timetable will apply, but special fares will be charged. Nearer the time a separate page will give more details of this event.


Heritage Diesel Day

Saturday 3rd October 2020

Event cancelled as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic

heritage diesel locomotives

See a historic diesel locomotive in action

An opportunity to ride behind one of our historic diesel locomotives. Click here for more details of this opportunity.

Our usual timetable and fares will apply.


Autumn Gala

Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October 2020

Event cancelled as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic

locos at Moor Road

Showcasing our own Locomotive Fleet

We had hoped that this would be the last major event for our Diamond Jubilee year, and would feature passenger trains and mixed trains operating over the whole line, including the little-used Balm Road branch. But the coronavirus pandemic does not allow us to go ahead with such an event.

On each day we intended that a special intensive service would be operated, and special fares would apply.


Santa Specials

Saturday 5th, Sunday 6th, Saturday 12th, Sunday 13th, Saturday 19th, Sunday 20th, Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th December 2020

Event cancelled as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic

a letter to Santa

Meet Santa Claus on our trains!

Sadly, we have had to decide that we will not be able to run these trains. We have explored all the various possible options, and have concluded that we could not run them while maintaining a safe level of social distancing.

Santa has sent us this message. “I am sorry I cannot come to Middleton Railway this year, but I am looking forward to visiting once again in 2021. Don’t worry about Christmas – I can still visit everyone’s houses as usual!”.

 


Mince Pie Specials

Friday 1st January 2021

mince pies

Mark New Year's Day

The ideal way to celebrate New Year’s Day 2021 (and perhaps even to recuperate from New Year’s Eve).

Trains will depart from our Moor Road Station at: 12:00, 12:45, 13:30, 14:15 and 15:00.

Fares: Adult £7.00; Children £3.00; Family £18.00 (2 adults and up to 3 children). (Note: single tickets are not available for this event.)

New Year’s Day tickets include unlimited rides (and a mince pie), and you do not need to return from Park Halt on the same train, so that if you wish to get off the train and go for a walk in the Park you are welcome to do so (but don't miss the last train back!).

 


More Information

Other pages of our web site will provide more information about:

 

Following the success of last year's event, our second "Star Rails" event was held on Saturday 19th October and Sunday 20th October 2019. The train operations for this were as follows.

  • Our usual train services operated to the normal timetable;
  • Steam trains were operating on each day; and
  • Footplate rides on the locomotive were available: more details of this are given below.

As well as our train services, the event featured at least the following activities in the Engine House:

  • a replica landspeeder;
  • ewoks, stormtroopers and other characters, thanks to the contribution of the Sentinel Squad UK; and
  • a model starship display.

Special fares applied for each day, namely £8 for an adult, £3.50p for a child and £20 for a family ticket (covering up to 2 adults and 3 children). The various travel concessions that apply to our normal train services did not apply for this event.

As well as our normal range of refreshments, including hot and cold drinks and sweets, we had a range of sandwiches available on each day.

Whilst every effort will be made to provide the advertised services, The Middleton Railway Trust Ltd. reserves the right to amend or cancel any service without prior notice and accepts no liability whatsoever for any inconvenience, loss or disappointment caused, including travel expenses.

landspeeder

 

 

The replica landspeeder

Footplate Rides

A footplate ride gives you the opportunity to ride in the cab of a steam locomotive, for one return journey from Moor Road to Park Halt and back again. See for yourself just what has to be done to make these historic machines work!

There are a number of special conditions that do have to apply to this, however, and these are as follows.

  • For a footplate ride you must be at least 18 years old, and not older than 76 years.
  • You also need to be in reasonable health - at least up to the level that is required to drive a motor car - and at the time of the experience you must not be under the influence of either drink or drugs.
  • No prior booking is needed: rides will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • A special charge will apply of £20.00p, in addition to the usual fare, and this special charge will go towards the efforts of the Sentinel Squad to raise funds for the charity "little hiccups", which they are supporting. If you are willing to make a donation on top of this minimum charge, this will be much appreciated.
  • You will need to wear suitable clothes. Elaborate costumes are not recommended - they are really not compatible with steam locomotive footplates!
  • In particular, you will need to wear reasonably stout shoes. Trainers are not sufficient - they would not protect your toes if a lump of coal dropped on them!


More Information

Other pages of our web site will provide more information about:

Our "Works Outing" event was held on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th September 2019, based (as far as was practical, given the limits on the availability of crews) on the slogan "if it works it gets an outing". It featured a variety of operating patterns, including what were effectively mixed traffic workings (ie with passenger and goods vehicles in the one train). All the locomotives were drawn from our own fleet, and since this was also the heritage open weekend there was a particular emphasis on our heritage locomotives. Those that ran in the course of the two days were:

  • HC 1544 "Slough Estates No. 3";
  • MW 1601 "Matthew Murray";
  • HC D631 "Carroll";
  • HE 1697 "John Alcock";
  • HE 1786 "Courage"; and
  • HC D1373 "Mersey Docks & Harbour Board No. 45".

HC1544

 

 

"Slough Estates No. 3", departing from the Moor Road platform at a previous gala.

Picture © Tony Cowling 2017.

Saturday and Sunday Services

On both days a special timetable was operated, providing an intensive service over both our main passenger line and the little-used Balm Road branch. Two train sets were in operation, with one running as a goods train where passengers could travel in the guard's brake van.

There was a variety of patterns of operation, including some trains that had a locomotive at each end, and some that were double-headed. The first train departed at 10.30 am and the last one arrived at 4.30 pm.

Full details of the timetable are available, including the scheduled locomotives for each train, as a pdf file, which will open in a new browser tab or window (ready to be downloaded): click here to access this.

Special fares applied for each day, namely £7.50p for an adult, £3.50p for a child and £20 for a family ticket (covering up to 2 adults and 3 children). The various travel concessions that apply to our normal train services did not, however, apply for this event.

Our normal range of refreshments was available on each day, including hot and cold drinks and sweets and a range of sandwiches.

HC D1373

 

 

HC D1373 Mersey Docks & Harbour Board No. 45, pictured soon after arrival on the Middleton Railway.

Picture © Tony Cowling 2017.

Whilst every effort will be made to provide the advertised services, The Middleton Railway Trust Ltd. reserves the right to amend or cancel any service without prior notice and accepts no liability whatsoever for any inconvenience, loss or disappointment caused, including travel expenses.


More Information

Other pages of our web site will provide more information about:

 

To make up for having had to bring forward by a week the dates for our "Works Outing" gala, we ran a special Heritage Diesel weekend on 21st and 22nd September 2019. This featured two of our heritage diesel locomotives running on each day, including running down the little-used Balm Road branch.

On each day normal fares applied, but a special timetable was in operation, as follows.

Moor Road Depart Balm Road Arrive Balm Road Depart Moor Road Arrive Moor Road Depart Park Halt Arrive Park Halt Depart Moor Road Arrive
11:00 11:05 11:07 11:12 11:20 11:28 11:35 11:45
11:50 11:55 11:57 12:02 12:10 12:18 12:25 12:35
12:40 12:45 12:47 12:52 13:00 13:08 13:15 13:25
14:00 14:05 14:07 14:12 14:20 14:28 14:35 14:45
14:50 14:55 14:57 15:02 15:10 15:18 15:25 15:35
15:40 15:45 15:47 15:52 16:00 16:08 16:15 16:25

 

Which locomotives operated on each day was fixed nearer the date, once we were sure that qualified crews were available.

LMS 7051

 

 

HE 1697 John Alcock (LMS 7051) on a special train at the Gala event for the 50th anniversary of the preservation of the Middleton Railway, in 2010.

Picture © Tony Cowling 2010.

Please note that, while every effort will be made to run the scheduled locomotive(s) on each day, we can not guarantee to be able to do so, and the Railway reserves the right to alter, cancel or suspend any train without notice. No liability is accepted for any loss, inconvenience or delay caused, either by having to operate with an alternative locomotive or by any alteration cancellation or suspension of the Railway's train services.


More information

More information can be found:

poster

 

 

This is a special event for children, which was held on Saturday 10th August. It featured the following activities:

  • characters in costume;
  • face painting; and
  • painting of plaques.

As well as these, trains ran to the normal timetable, and provided an opportunity to visit Middleton Park. Also our usual range of light refreshments was available.

Special fares were charged for this event, as follows.

  • One adult, with up to two accompanying children: £9.00p;
  • Additional children: £4.00p each.

Note that all children must be accompanied by some adult.

 

Our train services have now restarted. For more details, please

see this page

Online booking is available:

Also, why not look at the archive images that we are posting?

For our precautions against CoViD-19, we have have been awarded

We're Good To Go

Click here to see the certificate.

Twitter Facebook

YouTube

Instagram flickr