Events

This Gala weekend was held on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th September 2021, and provided:

  • a first chance to see the newly-overhauled HL 3860 "No. 6", in service for the first time in 45+ years; and
  • a last chance to see NER 1310 before it retires from service.

The event featured a variety of operating patterns, with both passenger trains and goods trains, some of which carried passengers in the brake van. All the locomotives were drawn from our own fleet, and as well as "No. 6" and 1310 they included:

  • HC D1373 "MD&HB No. 45" (which was replacing HC D577 "Mary", since unfortunately this had developed a problem with its brakes); and
  • HC D631 "Carroll".

The event also featured a large O gauge model railway, based on the Slough Estates railway system, which was operating on our mezzanine floor, thanks to Jaye Isherwood and colleagues. This layout featured a model of Slough Estates No. 3, for comparison with the real thing.

NER 1310

 

 

NER 1310, waiting in the Moor Road loop at a previous gala.

Picture © Tony Cowling 2016.

 

Saturday and Sunday Services

On both days a special timetable was operated, providing a fairly intensive service (since this was our first gala for two years we were trying not to make it too hectic!). Trains ran over both our main passenger line and the little-used Balm Road branch. As described above, two train sets were in operation: one a passenger train and the other a goods train, where for some journeys passengers were able to travel in the guard's brake van.

There was a variety of patterns of operation, including some trains that had a locomotive at each end, and some that were double-headed. The first train departed at about 10:30 am and the last one arrived at about 4:30 pm.

The key feature of the timetable was two passenger-carrying goods trains at the beginning and the end of each day (departing from Moor Road at roughly 10:40 and 16:00 respectively).

Special fares applied for each day, namely £10.00p for an adult and £1.00p for a child: there were no family tickets for this event. Also, most of the various travel concessions that are offered for our normal train services did not apply for this event: the only exception was that the normal concessions for registered carers still applied.

Our usual range of refreshments was available on each day, including hot and cold drinks and sweets and a range of sandwiches.

 

No. 6

 

 

HL 3860 No. 6, pictured during a steam test.

Picture © Tony Cowling 2021.

Whilst every effort will be made to provide the advertised services, The Middleton Railway Trust Ltd. reserves the right to amend or cancel any service without prior notice and accepts no liability whatsoever for any inconvenience, loss or disappointment caused, including travel expenses.

 


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During August and September we will have a series of small "pop-up" model railway displays, with just one or two layouts, on each of the following dates. Come and admire the models set amongst the real thing in our Engine House, and you can travel on a full size train as well.

Provisional details of which layouts will be on display on each date are as follows, but these may be subject to change at short notice.

Saturday 14th August and Sunday 15th August: Confirmed as Millfield Yard (N gauge) and Ilkley (T gauge), thanks to members of Bradford Model Railway Club.

Saturday 21st August and Sunday 22nd August: Watson Street (EM), and Dolwyn (OO9).

Saturday 28th August, Sunday 29th August and Monday 30th August: Middleton Estates and Colliery Company (OO), and Swiss Cottage (OO and OO9), thanks to our own modelling group.

Saturday 4th September and Sunday 5th September: Slough Estates (O), thanks to Jaye Isherwood and colleagues. This will feature a model of Slough Estates No. 3, for comparison with the real thing.

Saturday 11th September and Sunday 12th September: various OO9 layouts.

Saturday 18th September and Sunday 19th September: Hokane Tozan (N) from Aire Valley Model Railway Club.

Saturday 25th September and Sunday 26th September: O gauge battery-powered trains of all shapes and sizes!


On each day the site will be open from 10:00 until 16:00, and our usual train services will be operating. Drinks and light refreshments are available as usual in our shop/café (but currently sandwiches willnot be available).

We hope that the layouts will be displayed on our new mezzanine floor, but this is still subject to confirmation.

All areas where the layouts will be displayed, and the train rides, are accessible to visitors with disabilities.


The Middleton Colliery layout

 

 

The Middleton Railway's modeller's group layout, based on Middleton Colliery.

Picture © Tony Cowling, 2019


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Normally we would have planned a programme of special events for 2021, and details of each of these events would have been given below. The impact of the corona virus pandemic means, however, that we currently have no idea of whether or not we will be able to run any special events, and so we can not provide any details at this stage.

If it becomes possible to plan events with some assurance that we will be able to run them, then we will do so and will announce the details here. So watch out for details of any such events, which will be added to this page as they are fixed.

If you are interested in some of the previous events that we have run, then details of selected ones are available, and a separate page describes these.


As an indication, some of the ideas for events that we would like to plan if circumstances permit are as follows:

  • an event to mark the return to service of the Sentinel, and possibly focus on our other ex-main line locomotives;
  • a model railway exhibition, although not as large a one as our usual exhibition;
  • a "Star Rails" event, although again on a smaller scale than in previous years; and
  • an an Autumn Gala event.

One event that will certainly not be running in 2021 is a SteamPunk event, for reasons that are explained on the website of the Leeds SteamPunk Market. They are, however, hoping to be able to make a social visit to the railway on Sunday 4th July, and we hope that by then our trains will be running, so that we will be able to welcome them.

Now that things are starting to return to something like normality after the corona virus pandemic and the associated lockdowns, we are beginning to plan a programme of special events for 2021. Details of each of these events are given below, and we expect to be adding others very soon, so please watch out for these.

If you are interested in some of the previous events that we have run, then details of selected ones are available, and a separate page describes these.


Model Railways On Display

From Saturday 14th August to Sunday 26th September 2021

a model railway layout

"Pop-Up" Model Railway Displays

Displays of one or two model railway layouts each weekend.

See the models alongside the real thing.

We were not able to run our normal model railway exhibition earlier this year, but in place of this we will have "pop-up" displays of one or two layouts, on weekends except the Bank Holiday from 14th August to the end of September.

Normal fares and train times will apply.

A separate page gives more details of the dates and the layouts.


North Eastern Running Weekend

Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th October 2021

Sentinel at Park Halt

Ride behind our main line steam locomotives from the North East

This last event before our Santa Specials will feature our newly overhauled Sentinel, 68153, and NER 1310 in the last few weeks of its boiler ticket.

These two locomotives will be running both on our normal passenger line, and over the little-used Balm Road branch. Catch this opportunity to see them together and ride behind them!

Train services will start at 10:30 am. Click here for more details of the timetable (which will open in a new browser tab or window).

Special fares will apply: £10.00p for an adult and £1.00p for a child. There will be no family tickets for this event, and the only travel concessions that will apply will be the normal ones for registered carers.


Santa Specials

Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th, Saturday 11th, Sunday 12th, Saturday 18th, Sunday 19th, Saturday 22nd, Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th December 2021

Santa Claus at the railway

Meet Santa Claus on our trains!

A separate page gives more details of these trains, and of how to book for them, including the facility to book online.

Bookings are now open.


Mince Pie Specials

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd January 2022

mince pies

Mark New Year's Day

The ideal way to celebrate New Year 2022 (and perhaps even to recuperate from New Year’s Eve).

Trains will depart from our Moor Road Station at: 12:00, 12:45, 13:30, 14:15 and 15:00.

Fares: Adult £7.00; Children £3.00; Family £18.00 (2 adults and up to 3 children). (Note: single tickets are not available for this event.)

New Year tickets include unlimited rides (and a mince pie), and you do not need to return from Park Halt on the same train, so that if you wish to get off the train and go for a walk in the Park you are welcome to do so (but don't miss the last train back!).

 


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After all the disappointments of 2020, we are pleased to announce that we will be running Santa Special trains in December 2021.

Meeting Santa

Christmas magic will start the moment that you enter our festively decorated visitor centre and collect your tickets for the Santa Special train. Wander through the Christmas trees and decorations in the display hall. Board the Santa Special awaiting at the platform. Keen eyed children will soon spot Santa and his elves boarding the train. On the journey to the park and back Santa will have a specially selected present for each member of his young audience.

Then, while eager little fingers open their presents, you can socialise in our café area where drinks and seasonal mince pies and biscuits are being served.

Santa scenes

Our popular Santa Special Trains start running on Saturday 4th December 2021. Each child aged up to 12 years inclusive for whom a fare has been paid will be given a present by Santa whilst travelling on the train.

If babes in arms do not require a present from Santa then they may travel free. For these trains children aged 13 years and above are treated as adults, and are not eligible for a present from Santa.

Once the train has arrived back at Moor Road adults (including children 13 or over) will receive a hot drink and a mince pie. For children there will be juice and biscuits.

Our Santa Trains are very popular and so you are strongly advised to book in advance, and this is also cheaper. For Christmas Eve advance booking is essential, as tickets will NOT be sold on the day. Details of how to book in advance are given below.

Please note that our Santa Special trains are NOT normal service trains, in that each ticket is valid only for one round trip on the specified train. Hence you MUST return from Park Halt on the same train: the option of getting off at Park Halt and returning on a later train is not available, as there may not be any seats on later trains.

Because of limited space, we regret that the only animals we can permit on the Santa Trains are guide dogs and other assistance dogs. During our normal operating season, from Easter to November, dogs on leads are very welcome.

Also, please note that these trains are designed to appeal to children, and so priority will be given to family groups. Because they are so popular, to ensure that family groups have the maximum chance to travel on them we do not normally sell tickets for these trains to adults without accompanying children in their party. These are the only services that we operate where we have to make this restriction: if you are an adult without accompanying children who wants to visit us, you will be very welcome at any other time of the year when we are open.

Trains will normally be hauled by a steam locomotive, but occasionally operating conditions (such as bad weather) may mean that a diesel locomotive has to be added to the rear of the train.

As these trains are operated primarily for children travelling with their families and friends, we ask all visitors to be sensitive with regard to photography, on or near the trains.

Train Times

Timetable

The dates when trains will run, and the times at which they will run, are shown in this table.

Service Code A B C D E F G H
Saturday December 4th 10:00 Quiet 10:45 11:30 12:15 13:30 14:15 15:00 15:45
Sunday December 5th 10:00 Quiet 10:45 11:30 12:15 13:30 14:15 15:00 15:45
Saturday December 11th 10:00 Quiet 10:45 11:30 12:15 13:30 14:15 15:00 15:45
Sunday December 12th 10:00 Quiet 10:45 11:30 12:15 13:30 14:15 15:00 15:45
Saturday December 18th 10:00 10:45 11:30 12:15 13:30 14:15 15:00 15:45
Sunday December 19th 10:00 10:45 11:30 12:15 13:30 14:15 15:00 15:45
Thursday December 23rd 10:00 10:45 11:30 12:15 13:30 14:15 15:00 15:45
Friday December 24th 10:00 10:45 11:30 12:15 13:30 14:15 15:00 15:45
Note: trains shown in this colour are sold out, and no more tickets are available for them. Please do not call to ask if there might be any tickets available, as we can tell you now that there aren't. Sold Out does mean Sold Out!
Note: trains shown in this colour now have very few seats still available.

Quiet Trains

As shown in the table above, the 10.00 train on each of the following days will be a "quiet train":

  • Saturday 4th December;
  • Sunday 5th December;
  • Saturday 11th December; and
  • Sunday 12th December.

This means that the seating will be socially distanced, and so there should be less noise to distract those who would be worried by having to be too close to other people.

CoViD-19 Precautions

If any members of your party think that they may have been infected with the corona virus, then it is essential that you do not come to the railway. We appreciate that staying away would be a huge disappointment, but this is necessary to protect everybody else.

If you have to postpone a booked visit because of CoViD-19, then we will do everything that we can to help you to re-arrange the visit. If you have to cancel a booked visit because of CoViD-19, then we will refund the full cost of the booking.

Ventilation is an important precaution against the possible spread of corona virus, and so we will be keeping windows open whenever practical. Please do wrap up warmly.

Fares

Please note that concessionary fare offers, members’ free tickets, complimentary tickets, HRA passes and other passes are not valid for Santa Train services.

Booked in advance

Pre-booking is mandatory for Christmas Eve Trains (24th December)

Adult (includes child over 12): £10.75 (£11.75 for 24th December)

Child (3 to 12 years): £13.75 (£14.75 for 24th December)

Child (Under 3 years): £9.00 (£10.00 for 24th December)

Babies (0 to roughly 12 months, with no gift and no seat): FREE.

Note that there are no additional booking charges for booking in advance.

Booked on day of travel

Please note that these tickets will not be available on Christmas Eve (24th December)

Adult (includes child over 12): £11.75

Child (3 to 12 years): £14.75

Child (Under 3 years): £10.00

Babies (0 to roughly 12 months, with no gift and no seat): FREE.

How to book

Online

Please note that there are now no tickets left that are available to be booked online.

We can take online bookings through a separate booking site, provided for us by Wilson Digital Media Ltd. There is no additional charge for online bookings.

Tickets cannot be booked online after 02:00 on the Thursday before the train runs.

Note 1: the booking site will open in a new browser tab or window.

Note 2: if the train for which you wish to book is shown on the booking site as either "SOLD OUT" or "Limited Seats - CALL" then you will not be able to book online, and will need to book either by telephone or in person, as described below.

Note 3: for online orders, the number of tickets of the same type is limited to 6, and so if you are wanting to book for a large party it may be better to do this by telephone or in person, as described below.

When you make an online booking you will receive an email message confirming your booking, and giving you a unique booking reference number. Please make a careful record of this, and then bring it with you to the Ticket Office on your day of travel, and it will be used to issue you with your tickets. If you do not receive such a message within a few minutes of booking, please check your email spam folders!

Telephone

Telephone bookings are now open. Please note that when booking in advance by telephone, tickets must be paid for at least three days before you intend to travel.

We accept most major credit and debit cards (except American Express & Diners Card), so please look at the booking form in our Santa leaflet here (which will open in another browser tab or window) and either print a copy if you wish, or make a note of your requirements. Then call our Santa Hotline on 07376 744 799 (Monday to Friday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm only, please) and let us know what you wish to book. Please note that this is a new number, as the mobile phone company had messed up the previous number for us!

Once your booking has been made you will be given a unique booking reference number, and you need to write this down (preferably on your booking form, if you have printed it), bring it to the Ticket Office on your day of travel and it will be exchanged for your tickets. You will be given your payment card transaction receipt on your day of travel.

Please note that, apart from the online booking facility, we do NOT use any ticketing agencies for booking these trains, and because we are all volunteers there may be times when you get an answering service for a call to our Santa Hotline. If this happens then please state your name and number twice, speaking slowly and clearly, and we will get back to you as soon as possible (usually on the same day, but we can not guarantee this).

In Person

You may book your tickets in advance at our Moor Road Ticket Office up to one week before you intend to travel. During the rest of October we are open from 10:00 until 16:00 on Saturdays and Sundays, but then during much of November we will be closed, and so you will have to book either online or by telephone. Most major credit and debit cards are accepted (except American Express & Diners Card), as well as cash.

Terms and Conditions

  • Any booking is made subject to the Conditions of Carriage of the Middleton Railway Trust Ltd. Full details are available on request.
  • Concessionary fares, members’ free tickets, complimentary tickets, HRA and other passes cannot be used on Santa Train services.
  • Those purchasing tickets must check their booking, as it may not be possible to exchange or refund tickets after purchase, and if it is an administration charge may be payable. The Middleton Railway Trust Ltd and Wilson Digital Media Ltd cannot be held responsible for any tickets which are lost or stolen.
  • If this booking is re-sold or transferred for profit or commercial gain by anyone other than the Middleton Railway Trust Ltd or Wilson Digital Media Ltd, it may be voided and the ticket holder may be refused travel. The Middleton Railway Trust Ltd and Wilson Digital Media Ltd reserve the right to cancel bookings for tickets which they reasonably suspect to have been made fraudulently.
  • Whilst every effort will be made to provide the advertised Santa Train services, The Middleton Railway Trust Ltd. reserves the right to amend or cancel any service without prior notice and accepts no liability whatsoever for any inconvenience, loss or disappointment caused, including travel expenses.
  • It is the responsibility of the ticket holders to ascertain whether a service has been cancelled and the date and time of any rearranged service. If a service is cancelled or rescheduled, Wilson Digital Media Ltd will use reasonable endeavours to notify intending passengers who have booked through them of the cancellation, once they have received the relevant authorisation from the Middleton Railway Trust Ltd, but neither Wilson Digital Media Ltd nor the Middleton Railway Trust Ltd can guarantee that ticket holders will be informed of such cancellation before the date of travel.
  • If a train service is rescheduled, ticket holders will be offered tickets to the rescheduled service, equivalent to the face value of the ticket. If a train service is cancelled, ticket holders will be offered travel on an alternative service (subject to availability) up to the value on the ticket. If no alternative service is available the fares will be refunded.
  • Passengers for Santa Trains must arrive at least 20 minutes before the train on which they will be travelling is due to depart.
  • Passengers must comply with all relevant statutes, safety announcements and other instructions from staff of the Middleton Railway Trust Ltd whilst travelling.
  • The Middleton Railway Trust Ltd reserves the right to refuse admission to any persons who may breach any of these conditions, or any of the Conditions of Carriage of the Middleton Railway Trust Ltd. Unacceptable behaviour likely to cause damage, nuisance or injury will entitle the Middleton Railway Trust Ltd to refuse ticket holders admission, or refuse to carry them as a passenger.
  • The Middleton Railway Trust Ltd may on occasions have to conduct security searches to ensure the safety of persons coming onto its site or travelling on its trains.
  • Tickets for Santa Trains are each valid only for one return journey to Park Halt and back on the same train. They are not valid for getting off at Park Halt in order to return on a later train.
  • The only animals permitted on the Santa Trains are assistance dogs.
  • Passengers consent to filming and sound recording by other passengers and visitors, but since the Santa Trains are operated primarily for children travelling with their families and friends, passengers must be sensitive with regard to photography on or near the trains.
  • The Middleton Railway Trust Ltd operates a strict policy of No Smoking and no use of e-Cigarettes on its trains.
  • Hot drinks may not be taken onto the Santa trains.
  • The Middleton Railway Trust Ltd. and Wilson Digital Media Ltd accept no responsibility for any personal property.
  • In accordance with the Privacy Policy of the Middleton Railway Trust Ltd, the customer details of passengers will only be used for the marketing purposes of the Middleton Railway Trust Ltd if the customers have given explicit permission for this. These details will not be passed to any other organisation.
  • All of these terms and conditions are governed by English Law.

 


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