The Rudyard Lake Steam railway took over operations on 13th October 2000. At that time there were the steam engine No. 6 River Churnet, Diesel No. 5 Rudyard Lady and petrol loco No.2 with 7 carriages in varying states of disrepair.
Trains were run on Sundays in October & November 2000 with the steam loco River Churnet and the best 3 carriages to gain experience.
For the first time volunteers were sought and encouraged. The first working parties started in January 2001 and have continued ever since. They started by clearing the old Platform at Rudyard Station which was totally overgrown.
Work started to repair three articulated coaches off site over the winter and work on the track commenced to change sleepers and add better fixings.
A new engine No. 7 Merlin and a brake van were bought from the Exmoor Steam Railway and arrived in April 2001.
Merlin became No. 7 and was brought straight into use at Easter with the 3 repaired carriages and for the first time two trains were run on a regular basis.
Work carried on on the track through 2001 and for several years to replace and add many sleepers and add extra track fixings.
The yellow carriages( known as the yellow perils) were repainted and then sold on. Three new 8 seat coaches and a brake van were bought from the Exmoor Steam Railway in 2001 and moved to Rudyard and brought into service that year.