peak rail heritage railway derbyshire Welcome to Peak Rail Royal Pioneer Appeal

Our Thanks!

A huge thank you to everyone who’s visited us during 2023!

The elves have now taken over Peak Rail and they are busy getting our station and carriages ready for our Santa Specials., Therefor we will not be running in November to give the elves the privacy they require but they also require feeding so our Cafe will remain open Wednesday-Sundays!

Tickets are still available for Santa Specials but are selling fast so book now to secure your seats:


Whether it’s simply a nostalgic journey back to a bygone age or a discovery of the sights and sounds for very first time of a steam or diesel locomotive Peak Rail welcomes you to experience the thrill of our preserved railway whilst travelling through the delightful Derbyshire countryside.

The line forms part of the old Midland Railway line between Manchester Central and London St Pancras which was closed in 1968. We currently operate on approximately 4 miles between Rowsley South Station and Matlock Platform 2.

As well as our normal train journeys, there is something for everyone to enjoy, luxury dining is available on our Palatine Restaurant Car which offers Afternoon Teas and operates on various days during the year.

A whole host of various special events take place throughout the year perfect for all the family or enthusiast.

Why not treat yourself or a family member to one of our very popular Steam Experience driving courses.

We hope to greet you as a visitor during 2023 – you are assured a friendly Derbyshire welcome.

Arriving this Spring at Peak Rail Heritage Railway

We are now offering our ever popular Afternoon Teas on the Train from March 11th , this service will operate on a Saturday throughout the year and leaves Rowsley at 14.00 for a full round trip in the beautiful Derwent valley whilst being served afternoon tea sourced and prepared locally.

Full details email and see our website for full detail.



Upcoming events at Peak Rail

Locos Running at Peak Rail



Most of you will know Royal Pioneer was taken out of service nearly 10 years ago. This was to enable a complete overhaul. Progress has been slow despite volunteers giving a lot of their time to the work. To date the motion and brake equipment has been refurbished together with most of the body and tanks.

The next big item is a full overhaul of the boiler to obtain a 10-year ticket. It is estimated that this will cost £75,000. The earliest a specialist boiler company can start work is 18 months and we now need to commit to that timing. This gives us a window in which to find the monies.

This year Peak Rail plc and Peak Railway Association (PRA) are jointly running a new appeal. All money raised will be ring fenced for this specific project by the PRA and will not be spent on anything other than Royal Pioneer. Our first target is the purchase of 180 boiler tubes required. Presently these cost approximately £45 each, making £8,100 in total. If you would like to purchase one or more please send your donation to Peak Railway Association.

Peak Railway Association already has £2,500 in a ring-fenced account and approval has been given to release this for specialist welding on the boiler. This year Peak Rail plc will be allocating the £7,500 donated to them by the shareholders appeal in 2021. This makes a good start to the appeal.

You can donate in two ways; either send your single donation via bank transfer using the reference Royal Pioneer: –

Account Name: Peak Railway Association Ltd

Sort Code: 16-25-21

Account No: 10052935

Or by post with a cheque made out to Peak Railway Association and short letter stating “Royal Pioneer donation” to the Peak Railway Association Treasurer at: –

H. Waller, Fern Cottage, Main Road, Eyam, Hope Valley, S32 5QW.

Progress can be seen at or

Any support you can give will be much appreciated.

Peak Rail plc to receive £114,000 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

  • Peak Rail plc is among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund 
  • This award covering the period from April to June 2021 will help enable Peak Rail plc with the costs it faces as its starts to welcome back visitors and volunteers and makes the transition towards a full re-opening.
  • This project is funded by the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. The Culture Recovery Fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England, using funds provided by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Peak Rail plc in Derbyshire has received a grant of £114,000 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.

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