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Many years ago, Leicestershire was home to many railways. One of the reasons for this was the coalfields in the North West of the county. Another reason was its central location in the country.

Today, the county's best-known railway is the Great Central railway. This is the only preserved steam branch-line in England. It was this railway that Thomas Cook's first excursion travelled on from Leicester to Loughborough. Today, only 10 miles of the track remain, but a large length is in use as a cycle route. This will be the main focus of our research.

The county's only passenger main-line service is the Midland Mainline railway line. This was built later than the Great Central, and is much less important in the county's history. However, we will still try to find out some information about it.

The smaller lines included the Burton to Ashby railway, The Leicester to Swannington railway (famed for the swannington incline and the Glenfield Tunnel) and the Ivanhoe railway line.