Middleton Railway – Our First Day Out

Little M was just under two weeks old before we went on our first family excursion, something local, simple and memorable.

Middleton Railway is just a few miles from Leeds City Centre and is the world’s oldest working railway! I can’t believe I lived in Leeds for over ten years and only recently become aware that there is a steam railway on our doorstep!


(A second-hand gift, we weren’t aware of the guidelines and best practice for baby carriers! Follow TICKS advice)

A return trip to Middleton Park is just 25 minutes and with a look around the shed/museum, the experience was condensed between Little M’s feeds. He may have also had his longest sleep of that week, whilst we were riding the rails.

Moving coal across the city from the mines, Middleton Railway was responsible for turning Leeds into a centre of Industry. This heritage is reflected on the route and within the museum and makes for quite a unique journey and experience.


Middleton Railway may be a small steam line through a relatively built up area of Leeds and doesn’t have the impressive views of North Yorkshire Moors Railways or Keighley Worth Valley Railway, but it is brilliantly accessible.

Running near the M621 and finishing in the woodlands of Middleton Forest, it offers an inner city railway experience that costs about the same as a soft play centre, with the added benefit of a memorable experience.

All the volunteers throughout our journey were absolutely brilliant. Everyone was so welcoming and took time to explain the train times and point us in the right direction.


We will always remember taking Little M on the railway for his first trip out, and we were probably back home within the hour. I think this may be one of its biggest appeals as Little M grows up. It is easy to get to and with a return trip completed in around an hour, with uncoupling, swapping engines around, adding water and topping up coal there is plenty to keep children entertained and engaged.

On longer journeys in a carriage, I have often seen children become quite bored as they can’t see the train and have little interest in the countryside. We also got to stand outside in one of the carriages for a pretty unique view of the locomotive in action.

I was really impressed with Middle Steam Railway and as a family, I am sure we will make many more trips and do our best to support this fabulous attraction and hopefully fully experience Middleton Park and a Picnic.


  • Adventure Rating
  • Value for Money
  • Child Friendly
  • Adult Experience


A really enjoyable and accessible family day out to experience something different just a few miles from Leeds City Centre. Combined with Middleton Park, this is a must do activity for any local family.


  1. Wow – how cool to have the world’s oldest working railway on your doorstep! That’s awesome. Awww, little baby M! I don’t think I saw little A when he was this tiny!

    Have you been to this railway lots of times since?

    Thanks for joining #daysoutwithatoddler 🙂

  2. We used to live less than two miles away and were regulars – but haven’t been this year. The Santa Express is brilliant! Hopefully, Baby A’s first day out will be written and posted soon! 🙂 #daysoutwithatoddler

  3. Glad to hear you had a good time and while a wonderful review I would like to point out the Middleton Railway isn’t a narrow gauge railway it is standard gauge, and was the first standard guage railway to be taken over by volunteers.

  4. What a lovely place! I’d love to visit myself 🙂

  5. We love a steam train, this looks like a great day out! #daysoutwithatoddler

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