The Friends of the
National Railway Museum

South of England Group
Vice Presidents: Richard Hardy; Sir William McAlpine Bt, FRSE, FCIT, FRSA

Last Update

Talk Synopsis

3 January 2006

Return to Index

Diary of Events

Press Cuttings
Visit Reports
Lecture Reports
Product News


Peter Featherstone
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.