What is a Railway Funeral?


What is a Railway Funeral?

If you, or someone you love, enjoy the magic of a preserved steam railway line, a Railway Funeral may feel right for you.

Railway Funerals, which are provided by Peace Funerals, take place at the Midland Railway Centre’s heritage line near Ripley, in Derbyshire. The basic idea behind them is that your coffin, accompanied by the funeral party, is carried on a last journey on a steam-hauled train. This is then followed by natural burial in a trackside cemetery, or cremation at a local crematorium.

It's a very appropriate way of saying goodbye to someone who has loved steam trains in their life. And the privately chartered train makes the ideal setting for people to share memories informally as they travel along.

The railway funeral train begins its journey at Butterley Station, on the outskirts of Ripley town centre. Your coffin is carried on, and the rest of the funeral party take their seats.

From here the train travels straight through to the end of the line at Ironville, before returning to Swanwick Junction where everyone will get off. Usually then there is a ceremony in the preserved railwaymen’s chapel which is sited at the station. This can be religious or non-religious, whatever you wish.

What happens next depends upon whether you wish to be cremated or to have a natural burial.

If you have chosen cremation, at the end of the ceremony everyone will re-board the steam train and return to Butterley Station. Then it is a short road journey to the local Amber Valley Crematorium.

However, if you have chosen to have a natural burial, upon leaving the chapel, the funeral party and coffin board a narrow gauge train that leaves from just outside. This then makes a delightful run through the wooded belt of the Golden Valley County Park before arriving at Newlands Inn station.

From here your coffin is carried a short distance into the Golden Valley Woodland Burial Ground, a special trackside cemetery where trees, shrubs and plants mark the graves rather than headstones.

After the burial, the funeral party re-trace their steps via the narrow gauge and steam trains. And they can even dine on the steam train if they wish, having anything from a buffet to a full dinner.

The cost of your Railway Funeral will depend upon the options that you choose but they are a lot less expensive than many people expect.

The list below gives an idea of the extra costs that you would incur by choosing this type of funeral:

  • Exclusive hire of steam train £1800
  • Hire of Railwaymen's Chapel £150
  • Narrow gauge train hire £200

If this is an idea that appeals to you for yourself, or for someone you love, don't hesitate to get in touch with us, Peace Funerals, on 0800 093 0505 or by email to [email protected]

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