The Rutland Railway Museum occupies an area of nearly 7 acres on part of the former Midland Railway mineral branch line. The branch line linked to the Melton Mowbray to Oakham main line at Ashwell Station. Exchange sidings were once located at the Museum serving three separate private quarry railway systems associated with the past extraction of iron ore. The Museum site is known locally as Cottesmore Iron Ore Mines Sidings. The Museum was established in 1980 and is run by volunteers in their spare time. The Museum is a registered educational charity and all proceeds from Open Days and donations are used for further development of the Museum. Museum volunteers have brought together a unique collection of locomotives and rolling stock reflecting the important part played by private railways in industry with particular emphasis on the local ironstone quarry railways. The Museum has the only comprehensive collection of standard gauge ironstone quarry rolling stock in the country and rakes of vintage wagons are on display and occasionally used on demonstration runs. Visitors to the Museum can travel the length of the site in a passenger coach and will also be able to see the remains of the old Oakham Canal, abandoned with the coming of the railway age in 1846, which passes under the railway at one point. An attractive lineside walkway is provided together with picnic tables providing views of the Rutland countryside. Whilst the majority of the exhibits stand in the open a typical quarry locomotive shed has been rebuilt on site where progress on locomotive and wagon restoration can be inspected. A visitor amenity building provides a small exhibits area, refreshments and shop. Further exhibition space is provided in a temporary building whilst a former parcels coach is used as a mini cinema showing video films of both historic local quarrying activity and industrial railway interest. Public toilet facilities are available on-site. Catering facilities are provided on Open Days, whilst Museum volunteers are always ready to assist disabled visitors to explore the Museum.
The Museum is open for viewing every Tues, Thurs and Sun, between the hours of 1100 and 1600. Admission is free but we ask for donations to assist our charitable cause. Our museum building, workshop and exhibit tours, together a nature trail and quarry viewing areas are available. Although we attempt to maintain cover our shop, cafe and train rides are dependent on volunteer availability. The Museum also holds Open Days where steam and diesel locomotives and rolling stock can be seen in action. Functions & Driver Experience Days - Booking Essential
Free admission on Tue, Thurs and Sundays for general viewing, with Special Event Days charged at £4 each. Special Events can be viewed on the website or obtained from the museum. Special rates apply to Santa Steam Specials and booking is desirable.
All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Facilities and services
- Parking for coaches
- Parking for disabled available
- Picnic area
- Wheelchair access to some public areas
Public toilet facilities are available on-site. Catering facilities are provided on Special Event Days, whilst Museum volunteers are always ready to assist disabled visitors to explore the Museum.
- Brochure or leaflet available with directions to museum
- Events and resources for children and families
- Guided tours
- Pre-booking service for groups
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