Features

Ribble Steam Railway has recently purchased a Travelling Post Office coach. It will become a great addition to our museum and enable us to add to our educational curriculum for visiting schools, telling the Mail by Rail story and reflecting on Preston's own role as a main hub for the Post Office in the North West of England.

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“The best thing we ever did!” 

The Ribble Steam Railway is home to arguably the finest collection of industrial locomotives in the UK, as well as being the only preserved railway still seeing regular ‘real’ freight services. It is hard to believe, therefore, that this North West success story has only been operating for just over ten years.   

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In 1897 Dick, Kerr & Company bought a disused factory in Preston and commenced the manufacture of trams and electric locomotives and in June 1905 this works became known as the United Electric Car Company Ltd.

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During the development of Preston into a major manufacturing Lancashire town a small dock was built on the east bank of the River Ribble together with a warehouse for the import and export of goods. In 1845 with the coming of the North Union Railway a branch line was built from the west side of Preston station down a steep curving gradient with a short tunnel to cross what is now Strand Road to serve the dock warehouse and its associated, and later other, businesses.

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The small band of people who got together in 1971 to establish a transport museum in the former Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway locomotive shed at Derby Road, Southport must surely be looking back with some satisfaction at the fruits of their early labours. Many years have passed since that historic occasion when members of the Southport Locomotive and Transport Museum Society obtained permission to begin tidying the semi derelict site. This followed an appeal for support launched through the local press by the small group of local railway and bus enthusiasts and which led to the formation of the Society.

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The prototype Deltic arrived at RSR on 9th August 2012 and was on public view in the museum until October 2015. She was kindly loaned by the NRM. The loco was built in 1955 in Preston. She has now returned to the NRM Shildon.

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Ever since mankind settled in one place there has been a need to move large objects such as stone or wood for building, or later to move commodities, for example coal, or ironstone, in bulk, sometimes over long distances. Naturally the wheel, the horse drawn cart, and the boat, played an important part in transportation across land, and via rivers and waterways.

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