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Midland Railway - Butterley


RCD’s Overview

Midland Railway - Butterley is both a heritage railway and a railway museum complex, in each case dedicated to the former pre-nationalisation ‘Midland Railway’. The museum aspects are mostly located at the Swanwick Junction Museum Complex (close to that station), comprising the West Shed Experience and Demonstration Signal Box. Butterley Station is the heart of the heritage railway services, its station, infrastructure, locomotives and coaches all heavily Midland Railway themed. Trains run from Butterley Station westwards to Hammersmith and eastwards to Swanwick Junction. With much to see and do, this is an attractive visit for families and also for enthusiasts, especially those with an interest in the former Midland Railway.

Note that Butterley Station and the Swanwick Junction Museum Complex are only open to the public on days when trains are running.

The support group is the 'Midland Railway Trust' (see 'Information on the Suport Group' below).


Happening This Month on the Railway

  • Go to 'Homepage' and click into 'Railway Club Calendar'

Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Hammersmith to Swanwick Junction and Riddings Loop via Butterley

Principal Visitor Centre:

Butterley Station (DE5 3QZ)

Period of Operation*

- Late Feb to July (Weekends)

- August (Thursdays to Sundays)

- September: (Weekends)

- November and December (Special event trains)

 [* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days] 


Key Facts (what you’ll see)

Services usually steam or diesel?

Mix of steam, diesel and DMU

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Steam locomotive (usually tank engines), diesel locomotives, Heritage DMUs and pacer units.

Length of Line:

3 miles

Time taken for a round trip:

About one hour

Number of trains per day:

Up to 6 in each direction

Number of Stations:

3 stations


Fares vary depending on day and event (fares may be found under ‘Calendar’ in Railway's website)

Time to allow for Visit:

Half day


Swanwick Junction Museum Complex at Swanwick Jct station (West Shed Experience) and Matthew Kirtley Museum



Picnic/Play areas:


Preservation Established:


Car Park Facilities:

Free parking at Butterley station


Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- None currently advertised                                                                               

Event Trains:

- Wizards and Spooks: October

- Santa Specials: Late November and December 

Principal Galas:

- Victoria Train Weekend: May

- Victoria Train Weekend: August 


- Footplate Experience

- Tours and VIP Tours




Telephone:                                                           01773 570140


Social media:                                             

                                                                             Also on Twitter/ Instagram/ YouTube/ Flickr


Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

The heritage line lies on the former Ambergate to Pye Bridge line of the Midland Railway, which connected two of its main lines, as well as serving collieries of Marehay, Hartshay, Pentrich, Swanwick and Britain Pit. The line was closed in 1968. In 1969 Derby Corporation determined to create a working and static museum dedicated to the history and development of the Midland Railway. A site for the museum was identified at Butterley along the Pye Bridge - Ambergate line which had just closed. The section of line west of Hammersmith had been lost to road development, however the section east right up to the national rail network near the Erewash Valley Line remained available. Derby County Council and Derby Corporation subsequently withdraw its financial support, but the impetus led to the Midland Railway Trust being established in 1973, and the effort became led by that Trust. By 1975 sufficient progress had been made to run a steam open day, and in 1981 the first preservation services started operating along one mile of track from Butterley. Today trains run right up to the Erewash Valley Line terminating at Riddings where a loop allows engines to run around its train to head back to Butterley.


Steam Operational Locomotives:

(1) LMS Class 8P (Princess Coronation) (Stanier) - 46233 ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ (out on mainline duties)

(2) S&DJR Class 7F - 53809 (out on hire)

(3) BR Standard Class 2 - 80080 (out on hire)


Operational DMUs:

(1) Heritage DMU Class 108

(2) Pacer DMU Class 141

(3) Pacer DMU Class 142


Steam Locomotives Under Overhaul:

(1) LMS Class 3F Jinty (Fowler) - 47357 (16440)           

(2) LMS Class 3F Jinty (Fowler) - 47564 (16647)           

(3) BR Standard Class 4MT - 80098


DMU On Show or Under Overhaul:

(1) Heritage DMU Class 100

(2) Heritage DMU Class 114

(3) Heritage DMU Class 127

(4) Pacer DMU Class 142- 142013


In the Museum

(1) LMS Class 3F Jinty (built by North British Locomotive Co) - 47327 (16410)     

(2) Stanton Crane Tank 0-4-0 - No. 24


Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:  

- LMS Class 8P (Princess Royal) (Stanier) - 46233 ‘Princess Margaret Rose’

- BR Standard Class 5 - 73129


Name of Support Group:

Midland Railway Trust

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £20. Unwaged: £18 Junior £10 Family: £40 Life: £400


Benefits of membership:                                  

-          Travel on trains at reduced fare

-          Entitled to become actively involved as a volunteer.

-          Regularly issued Magazine, `The Wyvern’.


How to Join:                                     Go to


What They Say About Volunteering:

Whatever your interest there will always be an opportunity for you to volunteer to help with the hundreds of tasks that help run the railway and Museum Complex. All skill levels are welcome and we are continually looking for versatile people of all ages and skills. Most of our volunteers fulfil a variety of roles and welcome the opportunity to learn new things. Full training is provided, followed by an assessment programme. To become a volunteer or for more information on any of the positions below, please contact the Volunteer Liaison Officer via our website.


How to Volunteer:                                   Go to


How to Donate:                                       Go to


WHY JOIN: With its large collection of locomotives and rolling stock, help is always needed to maintain this prestigious railway  


Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this



Traditional Railway Societies:

- Midland Railway Society

- LMS Society


Locomotive Societies (steam):

- Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust

Model Railway Clubs:

- Alfreton Model Railway Society

- Belper Model Railway Group

- Ilkeston (Woodside) Model Railway Club

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