Each year we run a significant programme of special events. and some of these are sufficiently memorable that we think that some details of them are worth recording.

This page therefore contains the record of the significant special events that we have run during the last couple of years, with the most recent ones at the top of the list.


Heritage Open Days

Saturday 11th, Sunday 12th, Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th September 2021

HOD logo

Come and find out more about our industrial heritage

As our contribution to the nation-wide "Heritage Open Days" event, we were offering illustrated (in-person) talks about this historic site, on the railway where the world’s very first successful, load-hauling steam locomotive ran in the year of 1812.

The talks, which lasted some 30 mins, ran hourly from 10.00 to 3.00 p.m. on each day, and there was no need to book for them. They took visitors through our history from the working of the coal outcrops in Middleton Woods in mediaeval times, via the country’s first wooden (horse-drawn) railway in the eighteenth century and the revolutionary steam loco “Salamanca” - arguably, Leeds’ premier contribution to the Industrial Revolution - to the present situation as the country‘s first standard-gauge preserved railway. After that, visitors were welcome to buy a ticket and ride on our trains!

The Saturday trains were operated by heritage diesel locomotives, and the Sunday trains by steam locomotives.

There was no charge for the talks that formed the main part of this event.


September Gala

Saturday 4th September and Sunday 5th September 2021

No. 6

First and Last Chance Weekend

A first chance to see the newly-overhauled "No. 6".

A last chance to see NER 1310 before it retires from service.

This gala event featured trains operating over the whole line, including the little-used Balm Road branch.

On each day a special intensive service operated, and special fares applied. A separate page gave more details of this event.


Walking Tour

Sunday 15th August 2021

Salamanca

Explore the Route of the Railway

A guided walk from Leeds Bridge to our Moor Road station, exploring the original route of the railway as it carried coals almost into the centre of the city.

The walk also took in the famous half square mile of Hunslet, through which the route of the railway ran, and where locomotives were manufactured for the world.

Walkers could then follow the walk with a ride on the railway.

The walk started from the downstream side of Leeds Bridge, near the Leeds crest, at 10.00, and it took about 2 hours. More details of it were available at the Leeds City Walking Tours site (which will open in a separate browser window or tab).

The charge for the walk was £10.00p per person, and bookings for it were made through Eventbrite.

The charge for the walk did not include the train fare, but there was a special fare for walkers of £5.00 per person, which was payable at the railway.


Santa Specials

Saturday 30th November, and Sunday 1st, Saturday 7th, Sunday 8th, Saturday 14th, Sunday 15th, Saturday 21st, Sunday 22nd and Tuesday 24th December 2019

a letter to Santa

Meet Santa Claus on our trains!

A separate page gives more details of these trains, and of how to book for them, including the facility to book online.

Bookings are now open.


Star Rails

Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October 2019

storm troopers

Our second Comic-Con style event!

Following on from the success of 2018's event, this event featured special exhibits, sci-fi characters in costume (as shown in the picture here, taken in our display hall), and more.

Steam trains ran, and our usual timetable applied, but special fares were charged. A separate page gives more details of this event.


Heritage Diesel Day

Saturday 12th October 2019

heritage diesel locomotives

See a historic diesel locomotive in action

An opportunity to ride behind one of our historic diesel locomotives. Click here for more details of this opportunity.

Our usual timetable and fares applied.


Heritage Diesel Weekend

Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September 2019

heritage diesel locomotives

See historic diesel locomotives in action

Following the movement of our "Works Outing" event to the previous weekend, in response to planned road closures, we ran some of our historic diesel locomotives on both Saturday and Sunday. A special timetable was in operation, and included some trains running over the Balm Road branch. Click here for more details of these services.

Our usual fares applied.


Works Outing

Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th September 2019

Note the change of date from previous publicity

This change was made because of planned road closures in the area of the railway, and so this event was combined with the Heritage Open Days.

locos at Moor Road

Showcasing our own Locomotive Fleet

If it worked, it would get an outing - or at least, that was the aim. The event featured passenger trains and mixed trains operating over the whole line, including the little-used Balm Road branch.

On each day a special intensive service operated, and special fares applied. A separate page gives more details of this event.


Leeds Classic Bus Running Day

Sunday 18th August 2019

a bus in the 2018 day

Rides on vintage Leeds buses

We participated in this event, which was the sixth in the series. It saw vintage Leeds City Transport buses (and others) running on a route through the city that linked up local museums.

Steam trains ran, and our usual timetable and fares applied. A separate page gives more details of this event.


Superheroes and Princesses Day

Saturday 10th August 2019

poster

A Special Event for Children

With trains, characters in costume, and special activities. Click here for more details of this event.

Special fares were charged, but our usual timetable applied.

This event replaced the Heritage Diesel Day which had previously been planned for this date.


Model Railway Exhibition

Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th July 2019

a layout at a previous exhibition

See the models alongside the real thing

Now a well established event, the Model Railway Exhibition featured both models and the real thing in action. There was an opportunity to drive one of our locos, as well as see the museum full of layouts.

Steam trains ran on both days, and special ticket prices applied. A separate page gives more details of this event.


SteamPunk - A Return to Middleton

Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th July 2019

a steam punk

Come and enjoy Steam Punks in action

If you are not sure who or what "Steam Punks" are, then visit the website of the Leeds and Bradford Steampunk Markets, with whom we collaborated to arrange this event. The link to their site will open in a new browser window or tab.

The event featured a variety of market stalls with arts, crafts and costumes, hot and cold food, birds of prey, charity tombola and "Coffee Jousting" displays.

Our usual steam trains were running, and normal fares applied, but with a charge for those who were just coming to visit the market.

Steam trains ran on both days, and our usual timetable applied. A separate page gives more details of this event.


Mixed Traffic Weekend

Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June 2019

a mixed train

Passenger and Goods Trains

This gala event featured passenger trains and mixed trains operating over the whole line, including the little-used Balm Road branch.

On each day a special intensive service operated, and special fares applied. A separate page gives more details of this event.


Fathers' Day Weekend

Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June 2019

father's day

Special Attractions for Fathers (and others!)

A package that gives the opportunity to ride on one of our locomotives and visit our workshops. This package is aimed at fathers, but is definitely not restricted just to them!

Our usual timetable and fares applied, but with special charges for the packages. A separate page gives more details of this event.


Charity Weekend

Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th May and Monday 6th May 2019

marie curie Logo

Support Marie Curie in Leeds

For our charity weekend there were activities to support the work of Marie Curie in Leeds.

Steam trains ran on all three days, and our normal timetable applied. A separate page gives more details of this event.


Teddy Bears Specials, including Bluebell Walks

Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th May and Monday 6th May 2019

a picnic in the bluebells

Come and Admire the Bluebells in Middleton Park

On each day some trains were met at Middleton Park for a family-friendly walk round the Bluebell displays. Each walk gave a chance to explore the woods and see the Bluebells with an experienced local guide.

Bring your teddy bear

There were special fare offers for children, with or without teddy bears, provided that they were accompanied by a fare-paying adult.

Steam trains ran on all three days, and our normal timetable applied. A separate page gives more details of this event.


Art Exhibition

Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th April 2019

Arthington Viaduct

An exhibition of painting and drawings by Jo Dunn

This included some Leeds landmarks, such as Gledhow Wood Road and Arthington Viaduct, as well as scenes from further afield.

Our usual timetable and fares applied.


Easter Bank Holiday

Saturday 20th, Sunday 21st and Monday 22nd April 2019

easter bunnies

Free chocolate for Easter

For children travelling on the train services and accompanied by a fare-paying adult, we gave away free chocolate.

Steam trains ran on all three days, and our usual timetable and fares applied.


Community Day

Saturday 13th April 2019

a community team

Come and find out about local groups. Perhaps get involved?

We hoped that at least the following organisations would be represented, but they weren't all able to be with us for the whole time:

  • Friends of Middleton Park,
  • South Leeds Archaeology Society,
  • Voluntary Action Leeds,
  • Guide Dogs, Leeds Mobility Team,
  • West Yorkshire Police,
  • West Yorkshire Fire Brigade (with a Fire Engine attending 2.00 to 3.00).

Our usual timetable and fares applied, with fares concessions for passengers from our local community.


Last Coals to Leeds

Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th September 2018

last coals to Leeds

A commemoration of our mining heritage

This gala event recreated some of the sights from the days when the Middleton Colliery was still sending coal to Leeds. It featured passenger trains and mixed trains operating over the whole line, including the little-used Balm Road branch.

There was a development project supporting this event, and a separate page gives more details of this project.

On each day a special intensive service of steam trains operated, and special fares applied. Another separate page gives more details of this event.

 


More Information

Other pages of our web site will provide more information about: