Ravenglass Railway Museum tells the story of the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, affectionately known as the ‘Ratty’. Located at Ravenglass station on the Cumbrian coast, the museum re-opened in 2017 after a comprehensive Heritage Lottery funded re-development and houses a collection of artefacts ranging from steam locomotives and carriages right down to tickets, uniforms and models. Through exciting displays and hands-on interactive features, visitors can experience 150 years of the R&ER as well as the origins of the historic Roman port of Ravenglass and iron-ore mining in Eskdale.
Entry to the museum is FREE. We are open daily from February half-term to October half-term and throughout winter when the Railway is running.
Some of our locomotive collection can be found operating at Ravenglass in the summer months (please call for availability) as well as visiting other narrow-gauge railways and museums.
On Saturday 19th August, we will be in the History Tent at Gosforth Show where visitors can get a first peek at one of our latest acquisitions.
In June, we travelled to Yorkshire to the home of railway model maker, Peter Kazer. Peter is renowned in the field of railway modelling for creating immaculately detailed railway layouts of well-known narrow-gauge railways around the country. The reason for this journey? To collect a model railway that Peter created which reflects a key period in the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway’s history. This model is of the Owd Ratty– the forerunner to what is today known affectionately in Cumbria as La’al Ratty.
Peter has been involved in model making all his life and has exhibited his models at different events over several decades. This model layout of Owd Ratty including Boot Station, is the last that Peter will build. Having recently decided to retire from travelling the country with his models, he is now looking for homes for his model masterpieces. We are thrilled that he has chosen our museum to be the home of this beautiful model!
“This model has been exhibited all over the country including major shows at the NEC and York”, says Peter. “I feel that as I have used the prototype and information from it in building the models it is only right that the railway should have the opportunity to benefit from them in the model’s retirement.”
As space will be limited in the History Tent, we will be taking just one section to the Show. However, it will give visitors the opportunity to appreciate just how this model really brings the Owd Ratty to life. So, if you’re visiting Gosforth Show, please do call in to admire this impressive layout.
In Autumn 2022, the Association of Independent Museums announced the successful projects in their latest round of AIM Pilgrim Trust collections care and conservation grants. We were delighted to be on the list of successful applicants, receiving £3000 to assist us with our collections care and storage.
Update May 2023 – following our successful bid to this fund, we have recently taken delivery of a new plan chest.
This new chest will allow us to store many of the larger documents in our growing collection (including plans, drawings and maps) in a more conservation friendly way. As an accredited museum, we constantly strive to maintain high standards of collections care and this grant has been a significant help.
We recently installed some new blinds in our train shed that not only look fabulous but that will also help us to manage temperature and light in the museum. We were able to do this thanks to funding from the Low Carbon Lake District Fund. Not only will these help us to protect the objects we care for in this area of the museum but they will also reduce the need for us to use fans to cool the area, making it a greener option.
We would like to say a big thank you to the Lake District Foundation and its supporters who deliver this funding programme. Find out more about our project and others supported by the foundation here.
The Low Carbon Lake District Fund is a comprehensive programme to help tackle climate change working in partnership with local businesses and communities.