The 1st Duke of Westminster (1825-1899) commissioned Sir Arthur Percival Heywood to construct the narrow gauge, 15 inch railway at Eaton in 1895. Linking with the main line the new railway provided an efficient haulage service for coal and stores on the estate, as well as an enjoyable passenger service for visitors to the Hall including members of the Royal Family, local dignitaries and schoolchildren.
The first of several engines was named Katie, after the 1st Duke's second wife, Katherine Cavendish, then in 1922 a petrol-mechanical locomotive replaced the steam-powered originals. In 1947, during the period when Eaton Hall was leased to the War Department, the railway was taken up and sold on the instructions of the 2nd Duke. Just short of half a century later, in 1996, the 6th Duke reinstated the railway using a replica of Katie to pull the carriages.