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Barrow Hill Roundhouse Railway Centre, Chesterfield

(110+ reviews on the web)
Historic Site Tourist Spot
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
  • According to website, the site (currently closed for building work) "reopens temporarily for Rail Ale". Although the roundhouse itself was open, with 4 steam locos in place but obscured by Rail Ale ma...  more »
  • We were invited to go to the roundhouse last year. Ten of the camera club members turned up, we all went armed with our gear and were let loose among their extensive stock of old engines an railwayarn...  more »
  • Brilliant to go to if you are a steam railway enthusiast on opening days very boring if your not interested in that sort of thing.  more »
Google
  • The Rail Ale festival here is always worth a visit.
  • Geat place to visit if you are interested in old railway engines
  • Great real ale meetings, good day out if your in to trains and the like
  • If you like trains you'll love it here
  • The annual beer festival is great!