Why not bring your class or playgroup to meet Santa at the Middleton Railway on
Tuesday 4th, Wednesday 5th or Thursday 6th December 2018?

Santa travels on our train, along with the children, and they receive their gifts on board.

The cost is only £6.50p per child!

Supervising adults travel free.

Our train can accommodate up to 4 full-sized occupied wheelchairs.

PLEASE NOTE: School Santa Train visits MUST be booked in advance, and are NOT open to the general public.

To book places, please call 0845 680 1758 (09:30 - 19.00)

Engine shed at Xmas



Matthew Murray at the back of the platform

D2999 at Moor Road

Click on these links and discover:

What the Middleton Railway can offer you and your students

When we are open for School Visits

How much your visit will cost

and Where you can contact us to arrange your visit

Matthew Murray departing Moor Road platform

What the Middleton Railway can offer you and your students:

Thrills - a train ride, to make your visit really memorable.

History - in 1812 the world's first commercially successful steam locomotives began work on our railway, attracting worldwide attention (including that of a pit engineer called George Stephenson . . .).

Even More History - this is the world's oldest working railway, with over 250 years' continuous record of service to the city of Leeds! The coal it originally transported there turned Leeds into a huge centre of industry. For around 50 years we've served Leeds's tourist industry; for around 40 years we've served Leeds area schools as an educational visits venue.

You can link your visit to a wide variety of subjects and topics:

  • Victorians
  • Local history
  • Industrial history
  • Transport history
  • Mathematics
  • Technology
  • Geography
  • Science
  • The Railway and its Museum make a stimulating venue for Art Projects or Creative Writing.
  • The Railway's southern end adjoins Middleton Woods, ideal for a Nature Walk or a picnic lunch.

Our Facilities

Education Room at Moor Road

We have a large Education Room equipped with various media aids, where your class can complete their worksheets, or you can conduct your own on-site lesson. Tours of the locomotives and history displays can also be arranged, led by our volunteers.

Our purpose-built working museum facility was opened several years ago, and has been awarded museum accreditation.

Locomotives (many of them built in Leeds), are displayed in a large hall, along with items from the long history of our Railway, and a real locomotive boiler for students to explore.

Museum Models

Boiler on display in Museum

There is a Display/Interactive area, where classes can discover more about the history of the Middleton Railway, the surrounding districts, and the Leeds locomotive industry, by watching our Railway's history audio-visual film, and looking at our information boards.

The same area has a cafe, and a shop with small, inexpensive souvenirs for sale. Outside are a few other displays, and a good-sized car park where classes can safely leave and rejoin their transport.

Our building and train are DDA compliant, and the building has CCTV monitoring and an automatic fire detection system and alarm. Our risk assessment is available on request from ourselves or from Education Leeds. The Railway has a child protection policy, which clearly states that volunteers may not be in a one-to-one situation with a minor.

World War Days

WW2 Documents

Science Activities

Plaster Casts

To help you plan your visit to the Middleton Railway we've listed below the various activities we can offer in addition to a ride on the train.

Title Description Maximum Group Size Expected Time Needed per Group

Train Ride only

A ride up and down the line.

This can be extended in a number of ways (see other options below).

At the top of the line are Middleton Park and Woods, ideal for a nature or history walk.

At either end, a volunteer can explain how the engine runs around the train at each end of the line, as well as other aspects of the engine and train-working etc..

70 - including adults.

Larger groups can be split, with more than one ride taking place.

Minimum 40 minutes

Engine Shed Tour

This can be tailored to your needs and the age of the children.


Minimum 15 minutes

History Talks

Our railway has a long and interesting history - more than 250 years of it! We can provide a range of talks to suit your needs.

We also have an audio-visual presentation, though this is most suitable for older children.

20 for an informal talk.

40 for a formal lecture.

Minimum 15 minutes

First World War Days

These can include such activities as being enlisted in a Pals battalion, making a poppy wreath to take back to school, learning about real people's war experiences, writing home from the Front, and learning about the importance of railways at war.


Minimum 45 minutes each activity

Second World War Days

These can include such activities as becoming evacuees about to leave by train, joining the Home Guard, learning about the effects of war e.g. food rationing, and hearing some personal memories.

Varying numbers for each activity

Minimum 45 minutes each activity

Plaster Casting

We demonstrate how to make a small plaster of Paris casting to the whole group.

We split the group. Half the children make their own casting which they can take away at the end of the day. The other half are given a brief talk on metal casting using examples in our museum.

The 2 groups then change places.


40 minutes total

10 minutes demonstration

15 minutes for each group of 6 children

Also, for use in conjunction with a train ride, and/or other activities


Prepared by education consultants, and available for Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. We recommend that teachers make their own choice to complement the topic being studied.


40 minutes

Train Quiz

A picture quiz which can be adapted to suit children of different age groups. This can be used to enhance the train ride.


Can be completed during the train journey.

Railway Safety Jigsaws

A useful filler for young children.

This is a large floor jigsaw designed to introduce children to potential dangers of railways. Some sample questions will help open discussions of the problems seen.



Story Telling

Useful for younger children.

Our book 'Bert's Tales Of Middleton' can be read to a group of children to introduce the history of the Middleton Railway.


20 minutes, approximately. Can be extended.

How Steam Locomotives Work

A worksheet-based activity which complements the tour of the Engine House and the Train Ride.




Please note:

We have indicated how long we expect each activity to take for the maximum number of children. It may be possible to complete the activity in less time for a smaller group, but it may take longer for younger children. Often we are able to extend the activity.

For all activities there is a maximum number of children who can participate at the same time, due to the availability of equipment and space.

Occasionally, the range of activities which can be done at one visit is dictated by the availability of trained staff, health and safety considerations, and the limitations of the space available, but we will do our utmost to meet your requirements.

In addition, we may be able to accommodate your own activities. Again, safety considerations and space may limit what can be done, but if you have an idea please do ask us about it!

Activities offered in addition to the basic Train Ride may involve an extra charge: e.g. to cover the cost of materials used.

Themed Days, including several activities, usually are charged at the Educational Package rate (see How Much Your Visit Will Cost).

Click here to contact the Education Team, if you wish to know more about these possibilities

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When We Are Open For School Visits

Moor Road Headquarters

Our 2018 School Visits Calendar

Wednesdays only: April to October inclusive.

December - watch this place for the date and details of our 2018 School Santa Trains.

Our railway normally is closed from January until the weekend before Easter.

Please note: places for ALL our School Events MUST be booked in advance, and School Events are NOT open to the general public.

As the Middleton Railway is completely volunteer-operated, all bookings are subject to the availability of volunteers for the required date.

Please click here to contact the Education Team, to discuss your needs.

How Much Your Visit Will Cost

Still at 2012 prices! Once more, we are hoping to help schools by maintaining our 2012 price structure throughout 2018:

Engine Type Visit type Cost per child Minimum charge
Diesel Engine Ride only, together with a Museum visit £2.50 £100
Diesel Engine Educational Package, including Museum visit and materials £4.00 £160
Steam Engine Ride only, together with a Museum visit £2.50 £250
Steam Engine Educational Package, including Museum visit and materials £4.00 £280

Parties of below 10 children or above 100 children - If you wish to bring a very small or very large school party please click here to contact the Education Team to discuss our charges for these groups as we treat these as special circumstances.

Charge for adults - We don't charge for accompanying adults providing the number falls within the recommended authority guidelines. However, there is a small charge of £2.50 for each additional adult outside the recommended range.

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Where You Can Contact Us To Organise Your Visit

Please telephone 0845 680 1758


Send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Write to

The Education Team
The Middleton Railway Trust Ltd,
The Station,
Moor Road,
LS10 2JQ

Whether you telephone, e-mail or write, please include in your message:

  • your name
  • your school's name
  • your telephone contact details

A member of our Education Team will contact you within a few days. (Please be aware that the railway is operated completely by volunteers, so things sometimes take a little bit longer.)

We can discuss, without obligation, your school's educational visit requirements. We strongly recommend that you visit the railway yourself, prior to your event, so that you can familiarise yourself with the facilities and meet some of the volunteers. This can be arranged with our compliments.

Personal approach: at The Middleton Railway we are proud of our friendly and approachable volunteer staff. Our aim is to take the stress out of booking a school visit, and therefore when you approach us you will be given a named contact who will be available to discuss your requirements at every stage of planning your visit.

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We look forward to welcoming you and your students!

Engine Shed

After the Fire

Following the major arson attack on neighbouring premises, we have launched this appeal to help repair the damage to our rolling stock and buildings. Click here for more details. Click below to donate.

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