What is Millerbeck Light Railway?
The privately owned Millerbeck Light Railway is situated in the grounds of Millerbeck House, in the Lakeland village of Staveley-in-Cartmel, a few minutes from Newbey Bridge, and a quarter of a mile south of Lake Windermere and the National Trust property of Fell Foot Park in Cumbria. Although normally only the private home of the owners, they and their friends, do open the railway to the general public on an occasional basis throughout the year. Often called 'Lakeland's Best Kept Secret ', this stunning and well respected railway is well worth a visit!
Another busy day for Captain Hook, here seen crossing the bridge with his passengers
When are we open?
The Millerbeck Light Railway is privately owned and opens to the public on several dates throughout the year to give our visitors the chance to ride this famous railway and enjoy its stunning surroundings. Only a nominal charge is made for rides which goes to help with for its' maintenance costs - please consult our current list of published dates for further details.
If you would like our latest leaflet and opening times please send a cheque or postal order for the sum of £1.00 (one pound) to Millerbeck Light Railway, Millerbeck House, Staveley in Cartmel, Cumbria LA12 8NH
Background and basic technical information
The Millerbeck Light Railway runs through meadows and woodlands, crossing the Miller Beck several times as it twists and turns on varying 'gradients' of up to 1 in 50 during its journey of around a mile. Construction was started in 1985 by the then owner Arthur Bailey and a group of three local friends, as a private railway to a track gauge measurement between the rails of 7.25 inch. This is one of several gauges for miniature railways, ranging from 3.5 inch to 18 inch gauge, but 7.25 inch gauge is regarded as the most practical of the smaller gauges, where a person can actually sit 'in' as opposed to 'on' both the carriages and locomotives.
This railway is modelled as a 'narrow gauge' railway, with differing sizes of steam, diesel or electric locomotives, similar to the 'small railways of Wales' that ran in the quarries and mines. However the gauge does not prevent miniature models of 'standard gauge' (4ft 8.5 inch) main line locos running also. Their scale of build just makes them look smaller!
In 1990 the Railway hosted the 7.25 inch gauge Society's A.G.M. with over 50 locomotives visiting from all over Europe, but not all on the track at the same time! This was repeated in 2005 under the present ownership with around 70 engines arriving. Usually the railway likes to run 4 or 5 passenger trains at a time, giving visitors a long ride of about 12 to 15 minutes around the track, but you will sometimes see goods trains running too.
The herd of Alpacas are an added attraction, often with babies (crias) to be seen as you travel.
On Open Days: - Departures start at 11:00 am with last train at 5:00 pm
See a video of the Millerbeck Light Railway (9.5 MB)