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Nottingham Heritage Railway


RCD’s Overview

The Nottingham Heritage Railway comprises a transport centre and a heritage railway based at Ruddington, five miles south of Nottingham.  The transport centre remains open during its season, but the extent of services on the railway for the immediately future is somewhat unclear. In the recent past the railway has operated for about 3 miles from its base at Ruddington to Rushcliffe Halt, and previously it ran further to the limit of its operations. As to its collection, it is mostly heritage diesel locomotives, although it also has a number of industrial steam locomotives. There are realistic plans to link with the heritage line with its larger neighbour at Loughborough to create an 18-mile railway. The Ruddington site is also home to a miniature railway, a model railway, and a regular display of a collection of historic buses.


Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

In the recent past, trains have run from Ruddington Fields station to Rushcliffe Halt

Principal Visitor Centre:

Ruddington Fields Station (NG11 6JS)

Period of Operation*

- From Easter to September (Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays)

- School holidays (selected Saturdays also)

 [* 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?

Predominantly diesel locomotives

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Ex- British Rail diesel locomotives/Occasional visiting steam

Length of Line:

3 miles in recent operation (10 miles in total ownership)

Number of Stations:

2 stations


Not currently advertised                                                                    

Time to allow for Visit:

1 to 2 hours


Yes, the Transport Museum at Ruddington Fields station site



Picnic/Play areas:


Preservation Established:


Car Park Facilities:

At Ruddington Fields station


Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- None currently advertised                                                                               

Event Trains:

- None currently advertised                                                           

Principal Galas:

- Bank Holiday Specials

- Autumn Diesel Event: September

- Anything Goes Event: October




Telephone:                                                           0115 9405705


Social Media:                                              

                                                                                Also on Twitter


Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

When the section of the Great Central Railway between Nottingham, Leicester and Rugby closed in 1969, a section between Loughborough and Ruddington (5 miles south of Nottingham) remained open to serve Ruddington Ministry of Defence depot and also gypsum traffic to East Leake. When the MoD depot at Ruddington was closed, just over 2.5 miles of track from Ruddington to East Leake became available, and it was thought the whole section to Loughborough may become available if British Gypsum ceased to use its facility at East Leake. The GCR Northern Development Association was formed with the aim of reconnecting the then two GCR sections of railway once again. Nottinghamshire County Council then stepped in and bought the entire MoD site with the intent of creating a Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre to encompass all forms of local transport including railways. The Council then agreed to lease 12 acres of the site to the GCR Northern Development Association for re-creation of a railway site. The freight operation to East Leake in fact continued, however post privatisation Network Rail became willing to sell the line to Nottingham Heritage Railway provided that its freight use to East Leake would be facilitated by it. There are however infrastructure concerns on the railway including bridges near to Loughborough, so for the present Nottingham Heritage Railway run its trains over 3 miles of track from Ruddington Fields Station to Rushcliffe Halt.


Principal Aspiration

To extend regular operations to East Leake and ultimately to ‘bridge the gap’ and link with the Great Central Railway PLC at Loughborough.


Steam Operational Locomotives:

None at present


Diesel Operational Locomotives:

(1) BR Class 20 - D 8154

(2) BR Class 47 - 47292

(3) BR Class 47 – 47828 (on hire)

(4) BR Class 08 - 13180

(5) BR Class 08 - 08110

(6) Pacer DMU Class 144 - 144003


Steam Locomotives Under Overhaul:

(1) Manning Wardle - No 1762 0-6-0ST ‘Dolobran’

(2) USATC Class S160 - No 70284

(3) Manning Wardle - No 2009 ‘Rhyl’

(4) Hudswell Clarke - No 1682 ’Julia’


Diesel Locomotives/DMU Under Overhaul:

BR Class 31 - D5830


Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:

- Stanier 8F - 8274

- Manning Wardle - 2015 0-6-0 ‘Arthur’

- BR Class 37 - 37009

- BR Class 46 - 46010

- BR Class 03 - D2118

- Heritage DMU Class 108

- Heritage DMU Class 116



Name of Support Group:

LNER (GC) Heritage Trust

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £20. Senior: £18 Junior £10. Family: £35


Benefits of membership:                                  

-          Privilege travel fares on heritage steam and diesel trains (exceptions apply)

-          Special preferential travel fares at Gala Events

-          Entitlement to join as a working volunteer

-          Magazine, 'Driving Wheels', including news, photos and updates


How to Join:                                                      Go to


What They Say About Volunteering:

The scope of our railway operations is significant. As might be imagined, running real trains requires a dedicated team of individuals. Our volunteer activities range from teams who maintain our track and structures, through to those that signal our trains as well as those that restore, maintain and operate our locomotives and rolling stock. Whatever your skill level, there is something for you here! We undertake training and mentoring for volunteers to ensure safety for both our teams and the visiting public. Many of the drivers, guards, signallers and track maintainers have day-jobs and have learnt their skills with us.


How to Volunteer:                                               Go to


How to Donate:                                                    Go to and scroll down to the ‘Donate’ button.


WHY JOIN:  Help the railway extend to East Leake, and also ‘bridge the gap’ to Loughborough.


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



Traditional Railway Societies:

- Great Central Railway Society

- Leicester Railway Society


Model Railway Clubs:

- Nottingham Model Railway Society

- Bingham Model Railway Club 


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