The current 10.25 inch gauge railway at Rudyard dates from 1985. It was built by Peter Hanton of Congleton over the period from 1985 to 1993. He did this working largely on his own. His account of its development is elsewhere. He sadly started to suffer from poor health and sold the railway in October 2000 to the Rudyard Lake Steam Railway Ltd. This is a company formed by Mike & Eileen Hanson to own and develop the railway. Along with a talented group of volunteers work has proceeded steadily to achieve this over the last 15 years. In 2014 the railway was put up for slae because of declining health and was purchased in December 2016 by the privately owned Leek & Rudyard Railway who are combining the assets ( track, carriages, locomotives) of the former Mull Railway. Planning permission has been obtained for a new shed and extensions to the track are planned.
The Nicholson Miniature Railway 1976-78
This was a 10.25 inch gauge railway running from the car park to the Dam head and constructed by Brian Nicholson headmaster of Waterhouses School . It used a model of Leek & Manifold Valley Light Railway No.1 E.R. Calthrope. It was moved to Suffolk and then Trago Mills In Devon where it still runs managed by Brian's son David. It has returned to Rudyard in 2004, 2007 and 2012
North Staffordshire Railway ( Churnet Valley Line) 1850-1964
This standard gauge railway connected Macclefield to Uttoxeter. Used for local passenger trains and goods. The North Staffordshire Railway owned the lake due to ownership of the Trent & Mersey canal and spent a lot of time and effort to develop Rudyard to boost tourism. They bought the Rudyard Hotel and expanded it. Promoted special events and fought a court case to have the right to develop tourism. In time the traffic fell away after local management went first into the London Midland and Scottish Railway and then British Railways. The line close to passengers in 1960 and goods in 1964. It was lifted soon afterwards North of Leek station.