The Midland Railway Centre at Ripley came about as a the result of a
proposal to commemorate the role of the Midland Railway in the
industrial history of Derby. A decision was made in 1969 to create both
a working and static museum dedicated to the history and development of
the railway. After considering a number of options the
Bridge to Ambergate line, which had closed in 1968 was selected.
project was supported by Derby Corporation and Derbyshire County Council
who realised the benefits that reclamation would bring, including
leisure opportunities, in an area of industrial dereliction.
Unfortunately, only part of the original line remained as the track west of the A38
had vanished with the realignment of the A610 leaving only the
three and a half miles from Hammersmith to Pye Bridge. Amongst the many
problems that confronted the developers were, the line had been
lifted, Butterley Station had been removed and there was a 100 feet high
slag heap at Swanwick.
costs saw the withdrawal from the project of both the
County Council and Derby Corporation. However, the Midland Railway
Project Group, a voluntary labour force, which had supported the venture
from its earliest days remained. The volunteers decided to continue
with the project and they formed The Midland Railway Company Limited on
the 20 February 1973, which three years later became the Midland Railway
formidable task for the volunteers lay ahead when work started in 1973,
but slowly and surely the railway took shape. Butterley became the base
and an identical station was moved from Whitwell to replace the original
one that had once stood on the site. The museum project was based at Swanwick.
By 1975 sufficient progress had been made to hold a steam open day when
locomotives were steamed and memorabilia put on display.
years The Midland Railway Centre has been expanded so that it is now much more
than a railway. Although the highlight for most visitors is the seven mile trip
through delightful countryside, the numerous other attractions include.
Railway Museum - containing a unique collection of restored
locomotives and rolling stock.
Princes Royal Class Locomotive Trust Depot.
The Midland Diesel collection of main line diesel locomotives.
The Golden Valley Light Railway.
Thirty five acres of country park to explore.
Brittain Pit Farm Park - wide variety of animals.
Display of bygone days farm and factory machinery.
Award winning Victorian railway man's church.
Demonstration signal box.
Miniature and model railways.
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MIDLAND RAILWAY CENTRE
Midland Railway Centre,
(Tel. 01773 570140) is a fine heritage railway offering a seven-mile trip
through Amber Valley countryside. The Railway Museum containing a unique
collection of restored locomotives and rolling stock: the Golden Valley
Light Railway, miniature and model railways which form only part of the many
Midland Railway Centre
is now open for passenger services most weekends of the year. Weekday
services are run from April to October with trains being operated
everyday during the school holidays. Special interest weekends are run
throughout the year. Refreshments available.
PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE AREA
Heage Windmill (Tel. 01773 853579 - when mill closed telephone
01773 853136) a Grade II listed building, is the only working,
stone-towered, multi-sailed windmill in England. Spectacular
views across the Derwent Valley. Visitor Centre and shop. Light
refreshments. Normally open: Saturday and Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays from
Easter to the end of October. please confirm details.
Tramway Village (Tel. 01773 852565) boasts a large array of vintage
trams from all over the world. Unlimited rides through a period street
to stunning views of the Derwent Valley. For further information see the
Denby Pottery Visitor Centre
(Tel. 01773 740799) offers factory tours - booking
The visitor centre is
open daily from Monday to Saturday from 9.30am - 5pm, Sunday from 10am -
The museum, cookery emporium and factory shops are all open daily.
centre entry and car parking. Groups welcome. See
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
wide range of features with heritage trails and
detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically
attractive countryside in the UK.
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new sub-section has been added to this website, based on the
Discover Derby Supplement, published by the Derby Evening Telegraph
during March 2005. The most recent additions are:
below for details.
Ripley is a friendly place to visit and with a population of close on
20,000 the town offers a wide variety of shops. Most of the the town's
businesses have been established over many years and are still run by
their owners. This helps to provide a much more personal touch than that
encountered in many chain stores in larger towns and cities.
All details on this
page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made