Steam engine River Mite at Fisherground


The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway Preservation Society supports the operation of the narrow-gauge steam railway in the English Lake District, Cumbria. It provides financial support and practical help through running the Society's own locomotives, River Mite and Douglas Ferreira. Volunteer members of the Society help operate the railway as guards, drivers, maintaining the track and many more activities.

Get involved

Volunteer guard

We need your help to assist the full-time staff of the Railway. The work is varied and interesting and you would join our existing volunteers who get a great deal of enjoyment from helping to run the railway.

Find out about Volunteering

Latest News

8 December 2013
M Stacy

Lady Wakefield returns

Lady Wakefield

Lady Wakefield has emerged from overhaul at TMA Engineering in Birmingham. A new larger engine unit has been fitted and the bonnet has been remodelled. The locomotive is shown here on a test run to Dalegarth on 6 December.

10 November 2013
M Stacy

November Track Week

Sat 16th November - Sun 24th November.

Track week

A reminder for people that the first of this winter's track weeks will take place between Saturday 16th and Sunday 24th November.

If you can come down for the whole week or just a day you would be most welcome.

We have occupation of the line from Monday 11th November when the earthworks, tree clearance and preparation will take place.

Food is provided at lunchtimes during the period 16th to 24th November but you will need to bring hot drinks and any other food you may need (and we do love cake if you're offering) during this time.

You will also need strong steel toe capped boots, overalls and waterproofs. We do have some gloves but if you have your own so much the better.

There will be evening talks on Saturday 16th November Wednesday 20th November and Saturday 23rd November.

  • Peter van Zeller will do a talk in the Ravenglass cafe on Saturday 16th November on 'Ratty - a miscellany'.
  • Graham Worsnop will do a talk also in Ravenglass on Wednesday 20th November on 'West Cumbria Railways in transition - from Millom to Silloth to Keswick'
  • On Saturday 23rd Peter Mills and friends will do a talk on 'Indian Hill Railways' this talk will be at Dalegarth.
  • On both Saturdays (but Not Wednesday) there will be a meal available at a subsidised rate of £5.00 per person - grateful thanks to the RERPS for their financial support for these meals.

The Rat Track boys look forward to seeing old and new friends for this week - please do let us know if you are coming.

31 July 2013
M Stacy

River Mite in service

River Mite

River Mite has returned to traffic, and hauled its first passenger train yesterday. The loco is seen here at Long Yocking on its first trip, photo courtesy Christopher Glover.

9 July 2013
M Stacy

Locomotives update

River Mite has returned to the railway yesterday and had a trial steam today. Hercules has also arrived at the railway. Wroxham Broad continues to perform well on the daily service.

27 June 2013
M Stacy

Visiting engines update

Samson at Ravenglass

Samson from the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway has been visiting the railway. It is returning to Romney on Wednesday this week as its boiler ticket expires. Hercules will make the return trip on the lorry and will arrive at the railway on Friday.

River Mite continues to make progress at Numech in Workington. The steam test is anticipated to be carried out in the middle of next week with a return to Ravenglass by 5 July.

27 June 2013
M Stacy

AGM Notice

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT The 52nd Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held following refreshments in Ravenglass Tea-Bar on Saturday 20th July 2013 at 7-30pm.

Notices have been sent out to members. These include the Report of the Council and the Accounts for the year ending 28 February 2013.

The secretary will be pleased to receive confirmation of attendance and apologies.

27 June 2013
M Stacy

Workshop fire

Workshop fire

On Thursday 28th March, the day before Good Friday, the railway endured a most devastating fire in the engineering workshop; first noticed in the roof towards the Whitehaven (north) end, it spread very rapidly through the building. Fire and Rescue attended very quickly, resulting in twelve emergency service vehicles here, including Police and Network Rail. Train services on the main line had to be halted, our car park closed down and, ultimately, water pumped from the estuary to put the fire out. A possible cause being investigated is an electrical fault.

After six hours, Fire and Rescue were satisfied that is was safe enough to leave site and all that was left to do that evening was to barricade the whole site off. By then services had been resumed on the main line and thoughts were turning towards running the railway for the next day and foreseeable future.

Apart from the sadness of losing so much of our engineering heritage (patterns, plans, current paperwork etc.) and although the engineering staff did a sterling job rescuing the River Mite, River Esk’s chassis and the new engine for Lady Wakefield, we did have parts of River Mite, River Esk and River Irt in the workshop at the time. Many of these parts have now been recovered; motion parts, boiler fittings (which will be professionally examined) and boiler cladding (though most of this is unusable).

The long process of recovery has now begun, with the first task to clear the whole building, assess the machinery and plan for the future. Thankfully, no-one was injured and the railway will be strong enough to survive this.

Elsewhere, the railway is operating a normal advertised timetable and will continue to do so wherever possible, with Northern Rock, Douglas, Perkins and the extended loan of the Bure Valley Railway’s tank engine, Wroxham Broad, keeping the show running.

The railway extends grateful thanks to the Bure Valley Railway and Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway for the loan of their engines in our hour of need, without which we would really be struggling.

15 March 2013
M Stacy

Wroxham Broad

Wroxham Broad

Wroxham Broad from the Bure Valley Railway will be visiting the railway over Easter. The locomotive is expected to arrive next week, and may stay until late spring.