Rocks By Rail is a blast at Rutland Railway Museum

From left, Rocks By Rail secretary Simon Layfield, and operations manager Gary Brown with Ed Milner who cut the ribbon to officially relaunch the museum
From left, Rocks By Rail secretary Simon Layfield, and operations manager Gary Brown with Ed Milner who cut the ribbon to officially relaunch the museum

THE relaunch of Rutland Railway Museum as Rocks By Rail on Sunday smashed its previous record attendance.

The free Blast Off event attracted 1,500 people to the former ironstone quarry at Cottesmore.

Volunteers were kept busy, the large car park was full and, although the event was free, a substantial amount of money was collected in donations.

Simon Layfield, general manager and museum charity secretary, said the fine weather was a fantastic bonus.

“We’re absolutely over the moon, it was much better than we could have expected - we really did break records. We had no negative comments, people couldn’t believe how much the place had changed and improved,” he said.

Visitors were able to take a train ride, see working machinery in the quarry, have a picnic, see an exhibition, the loco yard and engine shed and enjoy a trackside nature walk. Ed Milner, his wife Val and train-mad three-year-old son cut the ribbon to officially open the new platform.

Simon estimates that 75 per cent of people were local and the rest were tourists and rail enthusiasts.

The museum’s next operating day is on October 21 but it will also 
open every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.