Middleton Railway, Leeds

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The Middleton Railway is the world's oldest continuously working public railway. It was founded in 1758 and is now a heritage railway, run by volunteers from The Middleton Railway Trust Ltd. since 1960.The railway operates passenger services at weekends and on public holidays over approximately 1mi of track between its headquarters at Moor Road, Hunslet, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England and Park Halt on the outskirts of Middleton Park.OriginsCoal has been worked in Middleton since the 13th century, from bell pits, gin pits and later "day level" or adits. Anne Leigh, heiress to the Middleton Estates, married Ralph Brandling from Felling near Gateshead on the River Tyne. They lived in Gosforth and left running of the Middleton pits to agents. Charles Brandling was their successor. In 1754, Richard Humble, from Tyneside, was his agent. Brandling was in competition with the Fentons in Rothwell who were able to transport coal into Leeds by river, putting the Middleton pits at considerable disadvantage. Humble's solution was to build waggonways which were common in his native north east. The first waggonway in 1755 crossed Brandling land and that of friendly neighbours to riverside staithes.
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Middleton Railway Reviews
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138 reviews
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  • August 20, 2017
    Coming from the North East, I should start by saying that Tanfield had been running for at least 25 years by the time the Middleton opened :-). However, this is still a place of great historical inter...  more »
  • July 28, 2017
    It was my first time to Middleton Railway and I was in for a shock when I arrived as I did not expect it to be this good. My partner took me here as a surprise and boy it was exactly that. Arriving at...  more »
  • July 26, 2017
    We held our son's 3rd Birthday here last Saturday and it was amazing He and his friends loved every minute of it and they were all so excited!! It was non stop fun and the train carriage was perfect -...  more »

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