Museum prepares to celebrate proud railway heritage of Leeds

The Aldwyth loco at Leeds Industrial Museum.
The Aldwyth loco at Leeds Industrial Museum.
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Transport enthusiasts will be making tracks to Leeds Industrial Museum this weekend when it holds an event celebrating the city's proud railway heritage.

Trains, Trains, Trains will give visitors the chance to take a look behind the scenes in the Armley Mills-based museum's locomotive shed, which is home to the 19th-century Leeds-built loco Aldwyth.

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Other attractions will include large-scale model railway demonstrations and an opportunity to find out more about wagons that carried bombs underground during World War Two.

Saturday's event will also feature a pop-up display arranged by experts from Sierra Leone, one of the many African countries that imported rolling stock built during the golden years of the Leeds locomotive industry.

John McGoldrick, Leeds Museums and Galleries’ curator of industrial history, said: “Leeds has a long, proud history as a standard-bearer in the railway industry, with the city once producing locomotives in vast numbers which were exported across the globe.

“The reputation and reliability of those impressive Leeds-made machines was such that it forged bonds which we still celebrate today alongside our friends from Sierra Leone.

Pictured in 1971, the last steam locomotive to be built by the Hunslet Engine Company.

Pictured in 1971, the last steam locomotive to be built by the Hunslet Engine Company.

“We hope train enthusiasts and history-lovers of all ages will come along to the museum this weekend and learn more about the fascinating role our city has played in the story of the world’s railways.”

Leeds holds the notable claim to fame of having built more railway locos than any other place in England, with local companies such as the Hunslet Engine Company, Hudswell Clarke and Manning Wardle among the industry's heavyweight names of the Victorian era.

The city is also home to Middleton Railway, the world's oldest commercial railway. Built in 1758, it initially used horse-drawn carriages to haul the coal that powered the industrial revolution in Leeds.

Trains, Trains, Trains runs from 10am to 5pm and normal museum admission charges apply.