The Electric Railway Museum will open to the public for the final time on 8 October with a free vintage bus service bringing in visitors from Coventry.
The museum, which promotes the heritage of electric trains and holds an archive on the topic, will close this weekend after failing to find a new home when the lease expired on its current site.
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Alongside rides on the Museum’s 7 ¼ inch gauge miniature railway, shunting demonstrations and the opportunity to explore its unique collection of electric railway vehicles for the last time, the site’s final Open Day will also include a beer and cider festival.
Situated on Rowley Road on land close to Coventry Airport and the Warwickshire village of Baginton, Electric Railway Museum occupies a site earmarked for commercial development.
Landowners Coventry City Council have not renewed the Museum’s lease and, despite concerted efforts by the trustees, volunteers and wider heritage sector behind the scenes, an alternative location for the attraction has not been found.
The final day
Electric Railway Museum Chairman, Ian Brown CBE, FCILT, said of the closure: “Despite us failing to secure a single site to house the collection, a long term home has been sourced for almost every item we are currently displaying. Once our doors close to the public on Sunday, the work of dismantling the site begins.
“Myself and the trustees have been humbled from the support of our volunteers, the general public and railways enthusiasts alike, as well as organisations such as the National Railway Museum and the Heritage Railway Association. In fact, the latter’s President, Lord Faulkner of Worcester will be attending our final Open Day to further discuss the issue of electric railway heritage and how this will be preserved following the closure and dispersal of the only such collection in the UK.”
Preserving the collection
Railway historian and Electric Railway Museum Trustee, Graeme Gleaves, added: “It is with a heavy heart that Electric Railway Museum will have to close this weekend. Rest assured that we will continue to work hard behind the scenes to ensure that locomotives and rolling stock currently on our Coventry site are not endangered.
“However, we want to thank the public for all their support over the past 10 years and will be departing Coventry with our biggest Open Day ever, including a Beer & Cider Festival, free vintage buses between the Museum and city centre, and extended opening hours from 10.30am until 6.30pm.”
Electric Railway Museum, Rowley Road, near Baginton, Coventry CV3 4LE; website.
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