Electric Railway Museum, Warwickshire

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The Electric Railway Museum April 2012

The Electric Railway Museum (formerly the Coventry Railway Centre) is located in Warwickshire, south-east of Coventry, near the village of Baginton. The heritage railway centre is immediately adjacent to Coventry Airport and so it is also known as "The Airfield Line". The site is managed by the Electric Railway Museum Limited, and is home to a sizeable collection of preserved electric multiple units (EMUs), which is the most diverse and historically significant collection of EMUs in the UK, containing unique items that are the last survivors of once typical and numerous classes. In addition, there are three small industrial electric locomotives, two small industrial diesel locomotives, and one small industrial petrol locomotive, along with some other railway vehicles, which are owned by third parties. The land is leased from Coventry City Council, though it is located just outside the city boundary and is in the county of Warwickshire.

On 9 July 2017, it was announced that, owing to the site being sold for development, the museum would close on 8 October 2017 (the last open day of the year).

History[edit]

Coventry Steam Railway Centre[edit]

The site was originally established as the Coventry Steam Railway Centre in 1986 by a group who set out to preserve Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 tank locomotive number 1857. The group established the site and located the locomotive and other collected items of motive power, rolling stock and infrastructure, including Little Bowden Junction Midland Railway Signal Box there. The land was previously used as part of the municipal water treatment works and there had never been any railway infrastructure there until the creation of the Centre.

Suburban Electric Railway Association[edit]

With a small membership, progress was slow and by the mid-1990s had slowed nearly to a halt. The late nineties saw one of the original founders retire due to ill health and he sold his interest in the site to a consortium of Suburban Electric Railway Association (SERA) members, except the tank engine which was sold to another railway. By 2004, the other founders had left and SERA took over sole running of the site.

Electric Railway Museum[edit]

In 2009, the responsibility of managing the site passed to Electric Railway Museum Limited, a charitable company which had been established in 2008 to create a permanent home for preserving and representing Britain's electric railway heritage. With this development, the original Coventry Railway Centre Limited company was wound up and its assets passed to Electric Railway Museum Limited. The site is open to the public, and group and individual visits can be admitted by prior booking.

Track layout[edit]

The track layout comprises two three road fans of sidings. Those at the end of the site adjacent to the Midlands Air Museum are complete with a headshunt that runs through a 40-metre cutting that was excavated by the members of the original steam centre in the early nineties. The sidings nearest Rowley Road are unconnected. The sidings are protected by an inner fence to create a secure compound.

Facilities[edit]

Other improvements made to the site by Electric Railway Museum in late 2009 include the provision of mains electricity on site and state-of-the-art CCTV equipment.

Stock[edit]

The vast majority of items not being actively restored are sheeted over to protect them from rusting, vandalism, and other damage.

Electric Multiple Units[edit]

Overhead EMUs
Third rail Southern Region
Third rail Midland Region.
Others

Locomotives[edit]

Diesel Locomotives
  • Ruston & Hornsby 0-4-0 Diesel Electric 165DE b. 1950 Wks. No. 268881 "Mazda" (Operational)
  • Ruston & Hornsby 4wd Diesel Mechanical 88DS b. 1953 Wks. No. 338416 "Crabtree" (Undergoing restoration)
Electric Locomotives

Carriages[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Closure[edit]

On 9 July 2017, it was announced that, owing to the site being sold for development, the museum would close on 8 October 2017 (the last open day of the year).[7] The future of the museum and its collection of unique electric multiple units and other items is uncertain at this time, with efforts to raise £10,000 underway to cover the costs of moving the stock to an as yet unknown location.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°22′25″N 1°28′54″W / 52.373593°N 1.4816°W / 52.373593; -1.4816