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 frontage of The Silk Mill at Derby, viewed from Cathedral Green

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

Tales from the Ben Taylor Collection

A recent addition to the Midland Railway Study Centre¬†collection is a batch of 136 staff record sheets relating to Derby's "No.4 Shed" that span much of the mid-20th Century — including many former Midland men. These have now been transcribed and added to our Staff Records Database. While all the records are fascinating, some contain particularly notable details and interesting stories. The "Ben Taylor Tales" provide a tantalising glimpse into the life & times of Derby Four Shed as the Midland Railway gave way to the LMS and early British Railways period.


Staff Records Database - the latest update

Glynn Waite kindly continues his work transcribing Midland Railway staff records. Recent updates include 149 entries from the Coaching Audit Office at Derby — a snapshot in time as it relates to Annual Leave granted during 1918 — and further entries for his ongoing project to list Midland Railway Station Masters. Another, long overdue, addition has been to include the 1,313 staff records in the Midland Railway Society’s collection relating to Bristol’s Barrow Road shed. The total number of staff listed in the Staff Records Database is now 13,648.


Derby Museums & the Heritage Lottery Fund

Our News page has some details about the plans for the Silk Mill which the HLF grant will help finance, including the implications for the Midland Railway Study Centre.

An oval cast brass plaque with maroon background which reads 'Midland Ry Co. -  Makers  -  Derby, 1889.'

Operating Dates

The Study Centre operating dates 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 collection of about two dozen rectangular luggage labels with the names of a wide variety of station names. Many are coloured purple, others are cream.

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.

Three people studying intently at desks in the Reading Room of the Midland Railway Study Centre, the walls dominated by Midland Railway posters and ephemera A collection of railway artefacts including a signal box lever frame, a bench labelled 'Tamworth High Level', signal box name boards on the walls

Site last updated: 19:05 Friday, 25 September 2015