Engines of all shape and sizes let off steam to help celebrate one of the world’s oldest railway lines.
engines of all shape and sizes let off steam to help celebrate one of the world’s oldest railway lines.
Giant traction engines, replica locomotives and tiny model steam trains helped Middleton Railway mark its vital role in Yorkshire’s industrial heritage at the weekend.
Hundreds of visitors jumped on board trains and trundled down the tracks driving a replica Steam Elephant – the first commercially successful steam locomotive used 200 years ago on Middleton Railway.
The innovative system predated Stephenson’s Rocket by 17 years and helped transport coal from Middleton colliery.
Among the visitors to the 200 Years of Steam Gala was Alex Paterson, 10, from near Preston.
He said: “I really like railways so I decided to come for a look around and potentially ride a train.
“It’s been really good because I have been interested in trains for like nine-and-a-half years.”
Rail enthusiasts Chris and Andrea Butlin travelled from York and said: “It’s just a brilliant event and a brilliant railway.”
Organisers of the two-day extravaganza were thrilled at the turn-out.
Andrew Gill, chairman of Middleton Railway Trust, said: “This has been in the making for 18 months.
“It has been 200 years since the world’s first steam engine kicked off the industry.”
Andy Hardy, who helped with the railway for six years, added: “This is really important.
“We have got a bright future and I think we will be here for the next 100 years.”
Middleton Railway will hold a model railway exhibition on Saturday and Sunday. (June 30/July 1)