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The Roundhouse complex contains buildings, fixtures and fittings which are rare and sometimes unique.  Here we have a virtual tour to guide you on your visit and point out items which might otherwise be overlooked.


Buildings, fixtures and fittings

The Roundhouse building

Staveley Roundhouse was built to a standard Midland Railway square shed design in 1870. After 1948 it became known as Barrow Hill so as not to confuse it with the ex-Great Central shed nearby. It was operational from 1870 until 9th February 1991.  It was the second shed to be built to house engines in the area.  The first was much smaller and was located beside the old Barrow Hill Station.  This was designed for the small half cab engines similar to 41708 in our collection.


The building had a long life which was made more interesting as it needed to be adapted from steam powered locomotives to diesel and then to museum use.  Many features of the coal days have been lost forever but it is still possible to understand how the building functioned by looking carefully at the traces we have left.


The full history is on our main website here, be sure to come back.



A visually stunning shot of the Roundhouse at night taken by Malcolm Adlington.  This photograph also forms the backdrop to our pages and may be seen fully by scrolling down past the text on this page.

Too good to ignore!

LIDAR scanning uses laser light to accurately map the surface of an object in three dimensions, resulting in a high-definition 3D computer image of the object. This image can then be fed into the Hornby CAD (Computer Aided Design) system, enabling us to produce incredibly detailed models directly mapped from a vehicle, rather than recreating the shape from other sources such as blueprints or photographs.


The laser scanner is placed around the asset in as many as 40-50 positions, from both the ground and a raised platform such as a scissor lift, in order to get the best coverage. The scanner rotates, sweeping the area with a laser, which is constantly taking measurements throughout the scan. As many as 5 million points are mapped in each sweep, producing a 3D image with detail as small as a fraction of a millimetre.


The next step is to align all of the separate scans, then clean out all unwanted material, such as the surrounding area, people and any errors caused by reflective and refractive surfaces such as glass and mirrors. Finally, this point cloud is then converted into a solid polygonal mesh object, ready for us to use as a template for the Hornby CAD system.

The Hornby Class 71 development project began back in August 2014 when their team were given access to the only preserved engine, number E5001 from the National Railway Museum, which was on loan to Barrow Hill.  They used a revolutionary method to scan the engine which also resulted in a unique animation of part of our yard.

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