Driving up towards Brownhills West Station on the edge of Chasewater Country Park we were surprised to find a hidden oasis of calm – dog walkers, runners and families enjoying the serene surrounding around the 90-hectare reservoir, which boasts water sports, walking trails and a playground. As much as we would have loved to have stopped to enjoy the park, we had a train to catch! And not just any old train – but a heritage steam train.
A Family Day Out at Chasewater Railway
Chasewater Railway runs a daily schedule of trains throughout the year from Brownhills West on a horseshoe loop via Norton Lakeside. It’s only around a 30-minute journey but the fun is being able to explore the historic carriages and trains, plus admire the passing countryside.
Monkey loved looking out of the window and insisted we get off to watch the drivers as they prepared to turn the train around. I loved the clickety-clack of the wheels over the tracks – and there’s something nostalgic about the slamming of doors and the hiss of the steam.
Chasewater Railway History
The Chasewater Railway is a former colliery railway established in 1959 and is home to a collection of steam and diesel locomotives of mostly industrial origin, many with local connections and, this year, the Railway was awarded The Queens Award for Voluntary Services – and you can understand why. All the staff are volunteers from the station guards, train crews and maintenance staff, and they were all so enthusiastic, friendly and helpful.
After our pleasant journey on the train, we headed to the museum where we spent some time perusing the railway items some from as far back as the 1800s, including models, toys and old station signs – it was interesting to learn about steam railways in the UK. Monkey also enjoyed getting close to the historic wagons and passenger coaches in the Heritage Centre. We found it hilarious when he played the station master!
Our final stop was a visit to the model railway located in a carriage on Platform One. It was hard explaining to Monkey why he couldn’t play with them like his train sets at home. With some distraction, we managed to steer him away from the souvenir shop and grab one last photo opportunity in front of the train.
We spent a delightful few hours at Chasewater Railway not only learning about the local area and its industrial history but of course riding the Rosyth No. 1 steam locomotive in first-class – most definitely the highlight!
Things To Know Before Visiting Chasewater Railway
• Chasewater Railway can be found by driving through Chasewater Country Park at Brownhills West Station, Pool Lane (Off the A5), Burntwood, Staffs, WS8 7NL. It is well sign-posted.
• There is parking at Chasewater Railway which is free to passengers
• The Chasewater Railway operates trains during the weekends from April to September, and Sundays in October and November. Check their website for additional trains.
• Fares for Adults: £6.50; Kids 3-15 £4.50; Family Ticket £19.50
• Food and drink are available at the Sidings Traditional Tea Room
• Chasewater Railway offers special events throughout the year including at Halloween and Christmas.
* We were invited to Chasewater Railway by Enjoy Staffordshire, who have plenty of short break deals on offer. As always my opinions are my own.