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Barrow Hill Roundhouse Railway Centre, Chesterfield
(4.5/5 based on 100+ reviews on the web)
Barrow Hill Roundhouse is the last surviving railway roundhouse in the United Kingdom with an operational turntable. Built in 1870, it was threatened with demolition in 1991 when the site was closed by British Rail. It was saved by a group of dedicated volunteers who have transformed it into a premier railway venue.

The Roundhouse is open to the general public every weekend except during the Christmas and New Year holiday period. It is also the venue for several major events every year and attracts over 30,000 visitors annually. As well as the turntable and unique sheer legs (lifting gear), it has a changing display of steam and diesel locomotives and other rolling stock, a collection of artefacts and memorabilia, and an operational signal box and short running line. The Roundhouse was awarded Museum Accreditation by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council in 2010. Barrow Hill Roundhouse is also home to the Deltic Preservation Society.

The site is connected to the national railway network and this has encouraged several commercial rail companies to base their activities at Barrow Hill, generating over 40 jobs and making a valuable contribution to the local economy. Clients include Network Rail, DRS, VSOE (operators of the Orient Express), Freightliner, Harry Needle Railroad Company, Colas, NewRail (railway research facility affiliated to Newcastle University) and Intertrain.

With good rail and road connections, a large car park and on-site catering, the Roundhouse is a popular choice for railway industry demonstrations and product launches. It is also an interesting and different venue for corporate away days.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We visit every year without fail and I can honestly say that it gets better every year. The atmosphere is always fun, friendly and sociable. We always have a party of around 8/10. There is so much cho...  more »
  • We went here while staying at Ringwood Hall Hotel, which is about a mile away. Our wives were in the Spa there, so the men headed out to look at old trains. The entrance fee was £1 (November 2016) - r...  more »
  • Visit on a wet Sunday so majority of time spent inside the fascinating roundhouse - which is well worth a visit. Had great difficulties accessing the site through what appears to be a shared lane as t...  more »