|Crewe Railway Age|
|Established||24 July 1987|
|Location||Vernon Way, Crewe, England|
|Owner||Crewe Heritage Trust Limited|
Crewe Heritage Centre is a railway museum located in Crewe, England. Managed by the Crewe Heritage Trust, the museum is located between Crewe railway station and Crewe town centre; the site was the location of the 'Old Works' which was demolished in the early 1980s.
The centre was established in the old London, Midland and Scottish Railway yard, which was once part of Crewe Works, between the junction to Chester and the West Coast Main Line, and was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, on 24 July 1987. It was renamed in 1992 as Crewe Railway Age by the owning registered charity, but, after the management of the centre was taken over by a new group of volunteers, the museum returned to its original name of Crewe Heritage Centre in early 2008.
The centre has a series of exhibits, ranging from the only surviving APT-P train, miniature railways, three open signal boxes (Crewe Station A, Crewe North Junction and Exeter West) and a varied collection of standard gauge steam, diesel and electric locomotives, as well as occasional visiting locomotives. The Main Exhibition Hall features many artefacts and exhibits associated with Crewe, from its locomotive and carriage construction to its famous junction railway station. Brake Van rides are available to the public during special events.
Advanced Passenger Train
Built by British Rail (BR) the 1970s and 1980s, this Class 370 Advanced Passenger Train (APT) is the only surviving APT set. Numbered 370 003/006, it is open at all times with an occasional cafe run from the original buffet car (selected days only). The APT-P museum can be found inside one of the carriages, with photographs on display from the APT project. The set was tilted for the first time in preservation in 2013. In early 2018, an additional surviving APT powercar (M49006) arrived at the museum. It is displayed separately alongside the main set.
Constructed in 1992, the Crewe Heritage Centre Miniature Railway is a 600 metre long 184mm (7.25 in) gauge ride, the railway takes visitors on a trip from ‘Crewe Old Works’ station to ‘Spider Bridge’ station and the optional return journey. The railway includes a mixture of Steam, Petrol and Battery Electric locomotives; rides on this attraction are included in the museum admission price.
The Heritage Centre is also home to a 1,000m2 Exhibition Hall, which doubles both as an event space and as the main museum building. It features displays and exhibits about the town of Crewe. During the 2018/19 closed season, the building underwent a light refurbishment; this included replacement of the original 1987 entrance doors and a full internal repaint.
- Crewe Station A: Open for display purposes, this box was moved onto the site after closure in 1985.
- Crewe North Junction: Built in 1939 and designed to withstand the Luftwaffe bombs of World War II, the box is constructed out of concrete and has an 46 cm (18") thick roof and 38 cm (15") thick walls. Located between the West Coast Main Line and Crewe-Chester line, its location is perfect for viewing passing mainline trains. Demonstrations of how the box was used often take place and are linked to a simulator. In 1987, the building was extended to provide more room for the Heritage Centre, including a cafe and small shop, and to include a large U.S. model railway.
- Exeter West: Used to control the split at Exeter between the Great Western Railway and the Southern Railway. With 131 levers, it was a Special Class A signal box, with only the best signalmen authorised to operate it. Since being rebuilt at Crewe, volunteers operate it on every weekend using a demonstration 1960s timetable; this includes the hectic Summer Saturday service, which saw famous expresses such as the Torbay Express, Atlantic Coast Express and the Cornishman.
Light Rail Vehicles
Former Manchester Metrolink T68 tram 1023 on loan from the Heaton Park Tramway from 2020, the vehicle will stay until construction of a new depot at Heaton Park to cater for it.
Both mainline and miniature railways operate on most weekends. The standard gauge railway uses either the Class 03 03073 or Class 47 D1842 (47192). A cylinder and Caprotti valve gear from the locomotive, Duke of Gloucester, forms part of a permanent display. There may also be occasional visiting locomotives. The centre has its own Depot Code, CQ, but only 87035 is officially classed as being a locomotive of this depot.
Acquired in early 2020 by a private owner and moved on site as a permanent exhibit. 86247's number 2 end cab resides in Europhoenix livery and will be restored to early 2000's condition externally with the refitting of marker, tail and head lights. Previously in its life it was a demonstrator loco for the Bulgarian/Hungary exports of the class 86. Eventually it came into the hands of Freightliner for spares recovery after it was not exported. In 2015 it was cut up at Crewe Basford Hall with both cabs at the time going to the South Wales Loco Cab Preservation Group.
Locomotives and rolling stock
|Class||Number||Pictures of the same/similar exhibits.||Previous Number||Built||Owner||Type||Livery||Status|
|AnsaldoBreda T-68||1023||N/A||1991||Heaton Park Tramway||Light Rail Vehicle||Metrolink White & Grey||Static Exhibit|
|British Rail Class 03||03 073||D2073||1959||Crewe Heritage Trust||Diesel shunter||BR Blue||In Use|
|British Rail Class 37||37 108||D6808||1961||Private Owner||Diesel locomotive||BR Blue||Static Exhibit|
|British Rail Class 43 (HST)||43 018||N/A||1976||Crewe Heritage Trust||Diesel locomotive||InterCity Executive||Under Restoration|
|British Rail Class 43 (HST)||43 081||N/A||1978||Crewe Heritage Trust||Diesel locomotive||East Midlands Trains (Logo Removed)||Working Exhibit|
|British Rail Class 47||47 192||D1842||1965||Crewe Heritage Trust||Diesel locomotive||BR Green||Working Exhibit|
|British Rail Class 87||87 035||N/A||1974||Crewe Heritage Trust||Electric (AC) locomotive||BR Blue||Static Exhibit|
|British Rail Class 370||370 003/006||N/A||1980||Crewe Heritage Trust||Electric (AC) multiple unit||Inter-City||Static Exhibit|
|Mark 3B Driving Van Trailer||82118||N/A||1988||Crewe Heritage Trust||Control Car||Ex-Greater Anglia||Under Restoration|
|Mark 3A TSO||12114||N/A||1975-1984||Crewe Heritage Trust||Standard Open Coach||Ex-Greater Anglia||Under Restoration|
- "History". Crewe Town. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
- "CREWE HERITAGE TRUST, registered charity no. 1011961". Charity Commission for England and Wales.
- "Our Storey". Crewe Heritage Centre. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
- Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (2012). Stafford to Chester. West Sussex: Middleton Press. figs. 73-75. ISBN 9781908174345. OCLC 830024480.
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