MR Crest

The Midland Railway Study Centre
is a collaboration between these three organisations:

Housed within Derby's Silk Mill, itself a World Heritage Site, the Midland Railway Study Centre is the largest publicly accessible collection of primary research material and ephemera relating to the Midland Railway, its constituent companies, and its legacy on today's society.

The aim of this site is to help you find details about the Study Centre's collections and how to access them. With an expanding range of on-line resources, it also provides a pathway for finding information relating to the Midland Railway, its activities and its people.

Please have a look around the site and if you think we can help, please get in touch. We hope to see you at the Study Centre soon.

The Midland Railway Study Centre is very proud to be a Partner in Excellence with the National Railway Museum.

The Silk Mill - home to the Midland Railway Study Centre

Derby's Silk Mill, home to the Midland Railway Study Centre.

The Library

Thanks to the work of two volunteers - Paul Walpole and Bill Goodwin - we are now able to make our library list more widely available. The titles listed are available for our visitors to consult in the course of their research. Most of these titles belong to the Midland Railway Society's collection which is located in the Study Centre reading room. There are some, however, which are part of Derby Museum's collection, stored elsewhere in the building, which can be produced for visitors on request. We regret that we are not able to lend copies of these titles.

Derby Makers - the new Silk Mill mantra!

Staff Record Database

There has been another substantial update to our database of Midland Railway Staff. The latest update contains the names of 1,755 employees at the Midland Railway engine shed at Burton-on-Trent between 1875 and 1911. The original document is in the collection of Burton Railway Society to whom we are very grateful for allowing us to share the data it contains. The pages were photographed by Roger Newman and have been transcribed and analysed by Glynn Waite, Paul Walpole, and Mike Shaw. Thanks to the ongoing work of Glynn Waite, this dataset now contains 10,864 names of staff who worked for the Midland Railway.


Operating Dates

The Study Centre operating dates updated into 2015 can be viewed here. If none of the dates we have planned fit your schedule please let us know as we may be able to arrange some dates around your diary instead of ours!

A recently received collecion of Midland Railway luggage labels

Understanding Staff Records

Glynn Waite has very kindly shared a paper he has written which guides researchers around the many & varied potential pitfalls which exist within the National Archives’ "RAIL491" series of Midland Railway staff records. Drawing on his vast experience, Glynn provides illustrated examples which explain the often mysterious shorthand that the Company’s clerks used, and lead the reader through the records. With particular emphasis on the Coaching Department, he gives a comprehensive overview of the scope of the records, and just as importantly, highlights the gaps which exist. This is sure to be an extremely useful resource for family historians searching for details of their ancestor’s career on the Midland Railway.

A view of the reading room in use

The Study Centre reading room

Large object store

Large object store

Site last updated: 19MAR2015 20:47