MIDLAND RAILWAY TRUST
18 March 1996
The Group had a most interesting presentation on the
aims, and considerable achievements, of the Midland Railway Trust.
Using his extensive collection of pictures the speaker first gave us a
brief history of the Midland Railway Trust. The aim was to record the
heritage of the local area and provide leisure facilities for all,
rather than to pander merely to the enthusiast. Further slides showed
the rolling stock, both motive power and freight and passenger vehicles.
The standard of restoration shown was impressive. The speaker noted
that two of the passenger vehicles had been purchased as working
vehicles, until it was discovered that they had interesting histories.
Both are now in service. Still awaiting attention is a wooden Pullman
car. Careful paint removal has shown this to be the original car built
in Detroit, and then dismantled for transport to UK. Ever mindful of
costs, the Midland Railway had used part of the packing cases in the
erection of the car at Derby.
Of course the exhibits had a Derby bias. Notable
locomotives were the Kirtley 2-4-0, Fowler 4F 0-6-0 (both from the
National Collection) and the S&DJR 2-8-0. These were balanced by a
collection of Stanier super-power: Duchess of Sutherland, Princess
Margaret Rose and Princess Elizabeth. Butterley has become the home for
a large number of diesel locomotives, with a Sulzer collection of
classes 44, 45, 46 and 47.
We were taken for a tour around the centre. This
started with a trip by train, noting the variety of station designs
used, and finished with a walk through the Country Park. In between we
were shown examples of railways of all gauges from "OO" to 4ft
8½in. There was, notably, no mention of 7ft 0¼in! As we
travelled around we noted a collection of road vehicles, with a big
collection of railway drays, and the pit buildings of a disused coal
mine on the site.
Mr Featherstone enthralled his audience with his
description of the Midland Railway Centre, and many of them must have
made a note to visit, or re-visit, the centre soon.