The Middleton Railway has announced that, subject to government guidelines, it will reopen to the public on Sunday 23 May 2021. The Middleton Railway shop and cafe will re-open for indoor trading at the same time.
Steam trains will operate every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday every hour between 10:30am and 3:30pm until the end of June, when it is hoped to re-introduce Saturday services, assuming that the distance and additional cleaning rules could then be suspended.
Additionally, a diesel service will operate on Wednesday 2 June during the school half term, again hourly from 10.30am.
The current distancing rules will remain in place until relaxed by the Government and the Trust will take all practical measures to make the Middleton Railway a Covid secure environment.
A spokesperson for Middleton Railway said:
“We are taking a cautious approach to reopening in order to prevent unnecessary journeys prior to the full ending of the lockdown as highlighted by the government.”
You can find full details of services on the railway’s website at www.middletonrailway.org.uk
During the coming season the Middleton Railway will be welcoming two steam engines back into service after extensive overhauls. “Swanscombe No. 6” has not worked since 1975 but has now been fully rebuilt and will be in regular service alongside the unique “Sentinel” locomotive, ex-BR No 68153.
These reopening plans are subject to government guidance and regulation which may change depending on how the Covid-19 infection rate changes over the next 3 months.
The Middleton Railway was built in 1758 and is the First railway authorised by an Act of Parliament, the first to have commercially successful steam locomotives, in June 1812 and also the first standard gauge preserved railway, opening in June 1960. It has operated trains every year since opening in 1758.
This post is based on a press release issued by Middleton Railway