Railworld is both a Railway museum and an environment centre in Peterborough. Apart from the eclectic collection of locomotives and wagons there are model railways, a Garden Railway and a Nature Habitat. They have a massive 140 Ton Pacific Steam Locomotive from the Danish State Railways, built by Frichs in the 1950s, DSB 996 under restoration by the NVR Young Members Group. The British Railways 21 ton Fly Ash Wagon is the only survivor of 250 wagons specially built to transport Pulverised Fuel Ash from the coal fired Midland Power Stations to fill the Hampton Brick Pits. This enabled the Hampton District of Peterboroughto be built.
The two stars of the collection are unique.Tracked Hovercraft was an experimental high speed train developed in the United Kingdom during the 1960s. It combined two British inventions, the hovercraft and linear induction motor, in an effort to produce a train system that would provide 250 mph (400 km/h) inter-city service with lowered capital costs compared to other high-speed solutions. Starting in the 1970s, construction of test track started in the fens at Earith in Cambridgeshire. The track was about 6 feet off the ground, running along the earthworks between the Old Bedford River and the Counter Drain just to its north, between Earith and the Denver Sluice. The first 4-mile long section of the planned 20-mile long track was laid to Sutton-in-the-Isle. Along the full 20-mile length it was expected the train would reach 300 mph (480 km/h). On 7 February 1973 the first test train, Research Test Vehicle 31, or RTV 31, reached 104 mph (167 km/h) on a 1-mile section, in spite of the short track and a 20 mph headwind. Budget cuts forced the closure of the project but the RTV 31 is on display at Railworld.
The Birmingham Maglev was opened in 1984 and was the first commercial Maglev transport system in the world. As built, the length of the track was 600 metres (2,000 ft), and trains "flew" at an altitude of 15 millimetres (0.59 in). The line operated successfully for nearly eleven years, but obsolescence problems with the electronic systems, and a lack of spare parts, made it unreliable in its later years. The system closed in July 1995. Carriage One resides at Railworld. Railworld also has an American Alco S1 switcher diesel locomotive number 804. It is one of the five locomotives built by the American Locomotive Company for the Steel Company of Wales works at Margam.
Since 1995, Volunteers, companies. groups and individuals have been clearing and contouring a site primarily to create a habitat for our native species. The site is now home to over 200 species of flora and fauna. This area was once a coal storage yard for the Peterborough Power Station, built in the late '40s where ASDA Supermarket is now. It was a derelict area when acquired for Railworld by the Rev. Richard Paten. The idea to create habitat came from the wildlife havens that Perkins Engines Company Limited had created on their Eastfield site. British Railways had donated 3 sections of Victorian Great Northern Railway aqueduct built in the 1840s at Abbots Ripton, Cambridgeshire. These were installed in the wildlife haven to create an intriguing exciting place for the visitors to explore and learn about the wonders of nature.
The impressive 'walk around' Garden Railway is controlled by the visitor with a simple push button. The automated railway, can handle Five Trains running at one time. Over 1600 square feet in size, this was built by volunteers utilizing redundant paving slabs from Peterborough City Centre. The fences surrounding the garden railway were made using donated pallets, one of the bridges is a volunteers bedstead! There is also a very extensive '00' gauge model railway (indoors). Railworld is suitable for wheelchair users and suitable for people with limited mobility. Assistance dogs are welcome.
Location : Railworld, Oundle Rd, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE2 9NR
Transport: Peterborough (National Rail) then bus or 15 Minutes. Bus Routes : 24, 206 and Citi1 stop near by.
Opening Times : See Calendar 11:00 to 16:00
Tickets : Adults £4.00; Concessions £3.00; Children £2.00
Tel: 01733 344240