heritage railway in the Peak District, Peak Rail Welcome to Peak Rail Royal Pioneer Appeal

Rowsley South Tea Rooms

Thursday 16th May – Closed due to staff shortages!

Due to staff shortages, unfortunately we will be closed today. We apologise for any inconvenience, and hope to see you soon.

We will be open as normal on Friday 17th.


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 or Diesel Driver Experience courses.

We hope to greet you as a visitor during 2024 – you are assured a friendly Derbyshire welcome.

Continuing this Spring at Peak Rail

We are offering our ever popular Afternoon Teas on the Train from March, this service will operate on most Saturdays throughout the year and leaves Rowsley South station at 14.15 for a full round trip in the beautiful Derwent Valley whilst enjoying afternoon tea.

Please visit the Afternoon Tea section of this website, for further details and to book.



Upcoming events at Peak Rail

Evening Events

Locos Running at Peak Rail


the line ashover light railway

Mr Richard Booth of Wingerworth, has passed away at home aged 75.

Born in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire and a resident of the Chesterfield area for 46 years, Richard was Operations Director at Denby Pottery and formerly Works Manager at Pearsons Pottery, Chesterfield, until his retirement over 25 years ago.

His interests included Ashover Light Railway, church whiskey tasting group and Dinosorearse Cycling Club.
Richard leaves his wife Christine, sons Philip and Andrew, and six grandchildren.

The funeral service takes place on Friday, March 8, 2024, All Saints Church, Wingerworth S42 6PU, at 12.00 noon.
Funeral directors: J.E. Nicholson, 329 Langer Lane, Wingerworth, Chesterfield
(01246 207037).

Support Peak Rail

Become a Shareholder

Becoming a shareholder means that you are part owner of the railway and anyone aged 18 and over can apply. Shares can also be bought by adults on behalf of children.

Read more on our Become a Shareholder page

Leave a Legacy

Making sure you have a Will in place that protects your loved ones can help prevent more anguish at an otherwise difficult time. It is also a chance to leave behind a special gift to the causes closest to your heart.

Read more on our Leave a Legacy page


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 www.peakrailwayassociation.co.uk or www.peakrail.co.uk

Any support you can give will be much appreciated.