Middleton Railway is the oldest working railway in the world – which means there’s much more to be found here than simple exhibitions. You can take a ride on the former colliery line, following the mile-long track from Moor Road and Park Halt station.
It is, however, also one of the most unique museums in Leeds. As you come into the building, you’ll have the chance to buy your tickets before exploring the exhibitions. Here you can learn about the history of the railway, its importance and its links to the wider city, as well as seeing their impressive collection of locomotives and historical items.
You’ll find most of the museum collection in the Display Hall, which is free to visit and you don’t have to buy a ticket. There are two locomotives, with walkways that allow you to get a closer look. These sit alongside a replica of the rack wheels of a 1812 locomotive, as well as original parts that have had to be replaced, including an old train boiler that’s been split in half to show you the workings inside.
Outside, there’s even more to discover, with a huge number of steam, diesel and electric locomotives on site, along with coaches, wagons and cranes. From the Cockerel 0-4-0VBT built in 1890 to the Ex-lner Sentinel built in 1933 and the Grace Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0DM built in 1971, you can see how trains have changed through the ages.
Middleton Railway Museum is open from March to September and is free to visit, although you will have to buy tickets if you want to take a ride on the train – it’s £5 for an adult return, £2.50 for a child return and £13 for a family return, which includes two adults and up to three children.