Forging Ahead

The future of the heritage railway in Elsecar 

 Over recent months, thanks to the extensive and positive response to consultation earlier in the year, an inspiring new vision has been coming together for the future of a heritage railway in Elsecar. 

That vision to create a sustainable future for a heritage railway in the village will need significant investment, which is currently being explored. We look forward to revealing more details of that vision over the coming weeks and months. 

Thanks to the Elsecar Heritage Action Zone's work, the railway station area and yard site, originally the Elsecar Ironworks, are now a Scheduled Ancient Monument. This means that we need a very close understanding of archaeology and ground conditions to plan for future structures that may be required for that new vision for the heritage railway. 

Sections of the modern track in the replica station area, laid since the 1990s, were lifted in early 2023 so archaeological digs and ground investigations could take place. Small temporary structures and cabins, which belonged to third parties, have also been removed from the site. We’re also doing seasonal maintenance work to the rest of the track route.

These sections of the track from the replica station area were in poor condition and too worn to be of any future use. Most of it was taken off-site to be recycled. This was done by the engineering company that undertook the engineering work. 

Following guidance from a specialist railway consultant employed by the council, the best way forward was to ask the engineering company to remove the track as a salvage task, meaning that the work would be of no cost to the council and the company could recoup their costs from the recycling. These sections of the track were not from the line track that was funded by charitable donations to The Railway Trust. That track remains in place.  

The Railway Trust handed its lease to the land back to the Council in 2020. This did not include any rolling stock. 

A great deal of work has been carried out to establish how a successful and sustainable heritage railway offer can be re-established at Elsecar, reflecting the pride in our railway heritage and what it can mean for our region’s visitor economy. We look forward to sharing more about that work and the resulting vision soon.