Category Archives: Miniature Railways

Narrow Gauge/Miniature Railways The Kirklees Light Railway Huddersfield HD8 9XJ

Narrow Gauge/Miniature Railways

The Kirklees Light Railway



Clayton WestClayton West, Kirklees Light Railway

© Copyright Gordon Kneale Brooke and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 A Memorable Family Day Out

NEW for 2013 – Ride all day with one fare on all green and blue timetable dates!

Travel along behind Hawk, Owl, Fox, Badger or Jay, our five friendly little engines here at the Kirklees Light Railway the home of Yorkshire’s Great Little Steam Trains.

Climb aboard our little trains for a scenic journey along our 15” narrow-gauge rail through the beautiful South Pennine foothills to our Shelley terminus where you can enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Visit the Shelley station Tea Room for selections of seasonal refreshments. Children can play in the outdoor play area and on a summers day enjoy our large picnic area.

Upon returning to Clayton West passengers can take pleasure in the many facilities available to them. The outdoor play area is ideal for children to ‘let off some steam’ whilst the adults browse our extensive shop. The Café serves hot and cold seasonal food and drink whenever the Railway is open.

We hold many special events throughout the year; take a look through our website and see what’s happening soon at the KLR!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKirklees Light Railway, Clayton West, Yorkshire

This narrow-gauge steam-hauled railway runs for about four miles from Clayton West to Shelley, where, unfortunately, there is no connection to the National Rail tracks adjacent, which could give a link into Huddersfield.  © Copyright Dr Neil Clifton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 The Kirklees Light Railway is a 3.5-mile (5.6 km) long 15 in (381 mm) gauge minimum gauge railway in Kirklees metropolitan borough, West Yorkshire first opened in October 1991. It runs along the trackbed of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway’s branch line from the village of Clayton West to Clayton West Junction near Shepley on the Penistone Line from Huddersfield to Penistone.


The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway opened their branch line from Clayton West Junction to Clayton West on 1 September 1879. The branch was built with bridges, tunnels and earthworks suitable for a double line, but only one line was laid. The line survived the Beeching cuts (in large part thanks to the mineral traffic generated by the collieries at the terminus and Skelmanthorpe) but was not adopted by the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive unlike nearly all other passenger lines in West Yorkshire and so closed on 24 January 1983.

Construction of the narrow gauge railway started in midsummer 1990, following a joint application for a Light Railway Order between Kirklees Council and the Kirklees Light Railway Company on 22 February 1989. Construction was aided significantly by the amount of redundant materials available from a number of collieries in the area which were slowly beginning to end their mining operations. The Light Railway Order was finally granted on 27 September 1991. The line was originally 1 mile (1.6 km) in length running from Clayton West station to a specially constructed halt called Cuckoos Nest. This name is historic to 15 inch gauge railways as a station on the Eaton Hall Railway, near Chester, built by Sir Arthur Heywood bore the name. Trains to Cuckoo’s Nest commenced running on Saturday 19 October 1991. It was extended to Skelmanthorpe in 1992 and again to a station at Shelley in 1997 with a grant from ERDF for the regeneration of coal mining areas.

The journey gives fine views of the Grade II listed Emley Moor Radio Mast, passes through the ancient woodland of Blacker Wood which is mentioned in the Domesday Book and includes a trip through the 511 yards (467 m) Shelley Woodhouse Tunnel, the longest tunnel on any 15 in (381 mm) gauge line in Britain.

SkelmanthorpeSkelmanthorpe Station – Seen from a train on the Kirklees Light Railway.

© Copyright Christine Johnstone and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Miniature Railways – Lappa Valley Steam Railway

Miniature Railways

Lappa Valley Steam Railway


Lappa Valley Steam Railway – Track & Stations

Our steam railway is built to 15 inch gauge (350mm gauge) which is approximately one-quarter of the size of standard gauge railways. This gauge was selected in 1973 by the founder of the railway, Eric Booth, as being the most efficient gauge for a line of our length.

The track runs on a section of the trackbed originally built in 1849 for a minerals railway to serve the mine at East Wheal Rose.

We have one mile of track running through the Lappa Valley between our stations at Benny Halt and East Wheal Rose. Car parking and our ticket office can be found at Benny Halt while the rest of our activities are located at East Wheal Rose at the end of your journey by steam train. We run regular scheduled services in season and some special events. Click here for our timetable.

Lappa Valley Steam Railway – Rolling Stock


We have ten 15 inch gauge carriages which were built for us in ‘toast-rack’ style by Jays Gates of St Newlyn East (now Mid-Cornwall Metal Fabrications of Newquay). Over the years we have made alterations to the carriages to suit different weather conditions – some are more open than others for sunny days and one, the ‘First Class’ coach, has been panelled in wood with upholstered seats – if available, you may travel in it at no extra cost!

 Lappa Valley Steam Railway – Locomotives

zebedee6Zebedee – 15 inch gauge railway

0-6-4 Pannier tank locomotive, coal fired. Designed by David Curwen, built 1974 by Severn Lamb of Stratford-upon-Avon.

muffin6-2Muffin – 15 inch gauge railway

0-6-0 Tender locomotive, coal fired. Designed by David Curwen, built 1967 by Berwyn Engineering of Chippenham.

EricEric – 10¼ inch gauge railway

0-6-0 diesel hydraulic Perkins 22 bhp. Designed and built by Alan Keef Ltd of Ross-on-Wye.

woodlandrailway-montage1 APTAPT – 7¼ inch gauge railway

4w + 4w, petrol, single cylinder 8 hp. Built by Mardyke Miniature Railways of Rainham.


 Minerals Railway – Lappa Valley

The Lappa Valley Railway runs on one of the oldest railway track beds in Cornwall. In 1843 J. T. Treffry, a pioneer of Cornish railways, suggested building a tramway between Par and the growing port of Newquay, with a branch to East Wheal Rose mine which was then entering its most prosperous period.

It took Treffry six years to overcome local opposition to his scheme and modifications to the route were needed. The tramway was eventually built from Newquay to St. Dennis, with a branch to East Wheal Rose. The first cargo of ore from East Wheal Rose, weighing thirty tons, was carried in horse-drawn tubs to Newquay harbour on 26th February 1849.

In 1874, following an Act of Parliament, Treffry’s network of tramways, including the East Wheal Rose branch, was taken over by the Cornwall Minerals Railway and horses were replaced by steam locomotives.


Old railway Lines – Miniature Railways – North Bay Railway, Scarborough

Old railway Lines

Miniature Railways

North Bay Railway, Scarborough

 Scarborough_North_Bay_Railway_-_2006-08-03Loco 1931 Neptune passes 1932 Triton at Beach Station, 3 August 2006.      North Bay Railway (NBR) is a miniature railway in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England. It was built in 1931, to the gauge of 20 in (508 mm), and runs for approximately 7⁄8 miles (1.4 km) between Peasholm Park and Scalby Mills in the North Bay area of the town.  

Author This photograph taken by  Optimist on the run.  Permission  (Reusing this file)  This file is released under the following licences:  Creative Commons CC-BY-SA   GFDL Version 1.2 only

  North Bay Railway (NBR) is a miniature railway in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England. It was built in 1931, to the gauge of 20 in (508 mm), and runs for approximately 7⁄8 miles (1.4 km) between Peasholm Park and Scalby Mills in the North Bay area of the town.

The grand opening

The opening ceremony took place at 2 p.m. on Saturday 23 May 1931. The locomotive, Neptune, was officially handed over by the Chairman of the North Side Development Committee, Alderman Whitehead, to the Mayor of Scarborough, Alderman J.W. Butler, for the Entertainments Department. Alderman Whitehead made a short presentation speech:

“On behalf of the National Union of Drivers, Engineers and others, I have to present you, the first driver of the North Bay Railway Engine, with your insignia of office, your oil can and your ‘sweat rag’.”

The mayor was presented with a peaked cap, an oil can (adorned with a blue ribbon), and a rag, before driving the train from Peasholm Station non-stop to Scalby Mills, at which point the engine was transferred to the other end of the train for the return journey.

800px-NBR-scarborough-scalby1Copyright (c) Timothy L’Estrange, 2006

Timetable & Fares


23rd February – 22nd March 2013

Saturday & Sunday

Open 11am -3pm

Monday – Friday  Closed


First train: 11 am from Peasholm Park

Then: On the hour and xx.30 from Peasholm Park and xx.15 and xx.45 from Scalby Mills.  Until: 3pm

Glass House Cafe is open everyday over half term 16th – 24th February from 10am until 4pm


Child Single £2.10

Adults Single £2.60

Child Return £2.70

Adult Return £3.30

Children under the age of 3 travel free – Season ticket and group travel tickets are available

N Bay Rly GeoNorth Bay Railway

Scarborough North Bay Railway is a miniature railway. It was built in 1931, to the gauge of 1 ft 8 in, and runs for approximately 3/4 miles between Peasholm Park and Scalby Mills, offering beautiful views of Scarborough’s North Bay.

The line is now operated by the North Bay Railway Company Ltd.                            © Copyright Nigel Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

While in Scarborough, you could also ride the Central Tramway:

Central Tramway Scarbro KACentral Tramway – Scarborough

The top station and, one of the two cars of Scarborough’s Central Tramway. It is a funicular railway which was opened in August 1881 when it was steam powered. Conversion to electrical power was undertaken in 1910, with the current cars date from 1932. The incline is as steep as 1 in 2. Behind the station is one of the corner turrets of the Grand Hotel. © Copyright K A and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Central Nearly Half Way CJNearly half-way

Central Tramway, Scarborough. Despite its official name, it is probably better described as a funicular or cliff railway, as the cabins are not lifted vertically but are cable-hauled up a steep slope. Both cabins are in motion.  © Copyright Christine Johnstone and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Paignton Zoo – Including the ‘Jungle Express’ miniature railway.

Paignton Zoo – Including the ‘Jungle Express’ miniature railway.

© Copyright Lewis Clarke and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Welcome to Paignton Zoo…

Paignton : Paignton Zoo, Elephant House

The elephant house at the top end of the zoo, is home to the elephants and giraffes. Nearby are the camels, peccaries, red river hogs, and the Barbary sheep.  © Copyright Lewis Clarke and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

With more animals than anyone else in the South West you’re in for a really wild time. See them all – giraffes, lions, gorillas, cheetahs and thrilling crocodiles, plus our cheeky meerkats, colourful snakes and amazing monkeys. There are also indoor play areas, the Jungle Express train and uniquely, six habitats that mimic the animals’ natural environment. Come in and get close to over two thousand creatures. But you’d better leave a whole day – you’ll need it.

Come in and explore the big wild world !!

Paignton : Paignton Zoo, Sumatran Tiger

The Sumatran tiger is a carnivore clinging to life. It is being hunted towards extinction by the demands of Oriental medicine. It’s protected under law but the black market in tiger parts thrives. A few hundred Sumatran tigers remain in the wild in Indonesia – about the same number are safe in zoos around the world.  © Copyright Lewis Clarke and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 If you’re going to the south coast, you could always try a miniature railway of my childhood (it has been going that long!!):

Paignton Zoo Jungle Express

Pic – agcthoms

Jump aboard the Jungle Express miniature railway and take a journey around our stunning lake to see areas not seen on foot!

Get exclusive peeps into the tiger and lion enclosures and ride past our gorilla island; see the gibbons swinging in the trees, the flamingos bathing in the pond and the beautiful birds of Brook Side Aviary.

The railway has been at the Zoo since 1940 when Reginald Goddard from Chessington Zoo joined us for a brief period during the war.

Trains run daily from Easter to October and there is a small charge.

© Copyright Lewis Clarke and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Miniature Railways – The Swanley New Barn Railway

The Swanley New Barn Railway

Established in 1986 this wonderful 7 1/4″ railway runs over 950 metres of track through cuttings and over embankments to pick up passengers from the car par in New Barn Road. You will disembark at Lakeside station on one of three platforms and view the signal box, turn table and station building. The railway is operated by a group of dedicated volunteers that not only drive the trains but also build them and with 16 locomotives (steam, diesel, petrol and electric), 30 carriages and over a mile of track its a big job. See it all in action! For more information visit their link below.

The Swanley New Barn Railway is a 7 1⁄4 in (184 mm) gauge railway located in Swanley Park, Swanley, Kent, United Kingdom. It has eight steam locomotives, with five more currently being built on site. In addition to this it also has ten diesel locomotives. It is signalled throughout with the signals being controlled from Lakeside station which also serves as a terminus.

Swanley Park Miniature Railway

Featured engine is locomotive Sir Goss, a firm favourite with all visitors to this lovely park.  © Copyright Keith Cook and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 The stations

Lakeside Station

This station is the largest on the line. It has three platforms, a turntable, a ticket office and a signal box. All trains stop at this station, so they can be turned around and be prepared to travel back along the line.this process will often be performed by the juniors giving the drivers a quick break. Passengers are required to go through the ticket office and obtain tickets before they board the train (in the case of those starting their journey at Lakeside) or get their tickets as they disembark (if they have travelled from New Barn Halt). The platforms have recently been upgraded to the same standard as New Barn Halt. Though this station has capacity for three trains at one time, this rarely happens except on gala days. There are three platforms and a loco line where trains can run around and hook back up to the train. the turntable is man powered and a signal point the operator to a centain line

New Barn Halt

Swanley: New Barn Railway halt

Swanley New Barn Railway goes round Swanley Park, and here we see the halt at the western side of the circuit.  © Copyright Chris Downer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 This station is a single platform station located near the car park. Passengers board the train here and then proceed to Lakeside station to disembark. The journey from this station to lakeside should take around 3 minutes. This station was made higher when the platform was redeveloped in 2006, making it easier for passengers to board and leave the train.

The signal box

Swanley: Lakeside Station, Swanley New Barn Railway

This 7¼-inch narrow gauge railway takes passengers on a fairly generous circuit of Swanley Park, from and back to here. The station buildings are to the right, with the signalbox the more prominent building to the left.  © Copyright Chris Downer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The signal box is located at Lakeside Station, which is the larger of the two stations on the line. During the first year of the railway, a signal box was created to help control the points and signals around the station area. The signalman can see where the trains are by using the track circuits which are installed throughout the line. The track layout has been changed several times, all of the major changes are recorded to the left of the track diagram.

The signal box has two automatic modes of operation which means that if there is a lack of staff the railway can still function. The signal box frame has 35 levers, all of which are fully interlocked. The interlocking works with the track circuits and point detection. Which levers are locked is decided by the signal box computer which receives points positions, Track circuit data and lever information to decide if it is possible to set a route that will not cause a train to be sent in the wrong direction or be sent on a route where another train is set to cross the track in front of it. The points are worked by 12 V Windscreen wiper motors which have been adjusted so that they stop in one of two positions. They are controlled by the signal box computer which is in turn controlled by the levers. The direction that the points are set to is detected by two microswitches located under the points.

The majority of signals are powered by a 12-volt AC supply. The main signal that everyone sees is the one that passengers pass on their way into the station. It has three 20 W bulbs which allow the signal to be seen clearly no matter what the conditions are. The signal located at the platform on New Barn Halt is powered by a 110 V transformer located in the signal box.

Swanley New Barn Railway Station

This miniature railway runs on a circular track in the park. This station is close to the main buildings of the park on New Barn Road.  © Copyright David Anstiss and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Some Early Lines Miniature Railways – Trentham Gardens

Some Early Lines

Miniature Railways – Trentham Gardens

 Italian Garden

© Copyright Kevin Rushton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

2012 Miniature Train Rides

Meet The Trentham Fern our resident diesel engine which runs along the lakeside on a light gauge railway. Look out for special appearances from Trentham Fern’s friend the steam train. Both engines are sit-astride miniature passenger trains.

It’s £2 (in addition to garden admission) for a round-trip setting off from the Lakeside Activity Area, where the Miss Elizabeth sets sail from too.

History: Miniature Railway, Trentham Gardens.

Date: 1975 – 1980 (c.)

Description: The miniature railway carried passengers to the outdoor swimming pool.

Trentham Hall was built in the 1630s for the Dukes of Sutherland. The Caroline house was replaced in the early eighteenth century by one in a Classical style. Capability Brown and Henry Holland worked on the landscape and hall between 1768 and 1778.

The house was redesigned in an Italianate style in the nineteenth century by Sir Charles Barry, who also laid out Italian gardens to the front of the hall.

Trentham Hall was abandoned by the family as a permanent residence in 1905. In 1910 the Duke of Sutherland offered the hall to the County of Staffordshire and the Borough of Stoke-on-Trent. The offer was refused and the building was demolished, apart from the west front and stable block. The tower was re-erected on the Sandon Hall Estate.

The grounds were opened to the public, and today have been developed as an exhibition, conference and leisure centre.

Trentham Gardens, Staffordshire, formerly the estate of the Dukes of Sutherland, has been a favourite with visitors since the Victorian era. A 2ft. gauge miniature railway opened in 1935, with petrol-powered steam outline locomotives. Its popularity in the 1950s can be seen in this photograph.

 Trentham Gardens Loco

Technical Details:

Builder: E.E. Baguley, Burton No.: 2085

Weight: 4 tons Year: 1935   Livery: Red Tractive effort: 60 hp

Golspie is a steam-outlined, but originally petrol-engined 0-4-0 built by E.E. Baguley in 1935. Delivered new to the Duke of Sutherland’s Trentham Gardens, it became one of three similar locos on the mile-long line.

In 1938, Golspie received a new 3-speed gearbox and the original Baguley petrol engine was replaced by a Perkins 4.270 diesel engine of around 60 hp. The railway regrettably closed at the end of the summer season in 1988 and was largely moved to Alton Towers, although the first loco Brora travelled north to Dunrobin Castle in the Highlands. Golspie, by now named The Trentham Express, was never used at Alton and was stored in the open, being stripped of a few spares, but otherwise it remained a very original machine. The loco arrived at Amerton on 9th May 2000. Here it is pictured in the shed awaiting attention and being examined by Barry Bull of Chasewater Railway Museum. The staff at Amerton Railway are more than capable of restoring the loco to its former glory as can be seen in the picture of another elderly steam outline loco ‘Dreadnought’.

Technical Details:

Builder: E.E. Baguley Ltd, Burton No.: 3024  Weight: 3 1/2 tons Year: 1939

Livery: Blue Tractive effort: 18 hp

This steam outline locomotive was ordered by Mr. R.J. Lakin and delivered new to Wilson’s Pleasure Railway, Allhallows-on-Sea, Kent in 1939. Originally fitted with a Ford petrol engine of 24 hp, it was named No. 1 Dreadnought. The loco is an 0-4-0 with a 2-speed gearbox driving the front axle via chains and with traditional coupling rods to the rear axle. Just after the war the loco moved to the pier at Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, where in 1952 it was re-engined with a Lister FR2, and later still with a Lister SR3.

The loco was purchased and moved to Amerton on 13th September 1991, and since this time has been rebuilt to something approaching original condition, but still retaining its modern Lister SR3 engine. The loco is fully air-braked, and as such is suitable for passenger train operation.

Early in 2000 the original gearbox was overhauled, it being in remarkable condition other than general wear. She re-entered traffic in April 2000.

Trentham Gardens

Enjoy Trentham Gardens all year round

Whether you’re looking for a garden with peace and quiet, or fun and action you will find it here at Trentham.

The new-look gardens have matured into some of the finest in Britain, to be called by Alan Titchmarsh – no less – as “one of the UK’s must-see gardens“.

In September 2010, the Gardens won one of the most prestigious European gardening awards, for the “Restoration, Enhancement or Development of a Historic Park or Garden”.

The contemporary revival of the famous Italian Gardens was led by renowned designer and multi-Chelsea gold-medal winner Tom Stuart-Smith.

To the east of the Italian Gardens are the Rivers of Grass and the adjacent Floral Labyrinth. Both these schemes were designed by eminent Dutch plantsman, and Chelsea gold-medal winner, Piet Oudolf.

The show gardens offer further inspiration to gardeners on a more domestic scale.

But Trentham is so much more than just a garden… bring your family to enjoy the great outdoors, the playground, barefoot walk, maze, boat and train rides.

Trentham Gardens is open everyday except Christmas day.

Hot Autumn colours simmer as light softly hits the planting amongst the 70 flower beds in the Italian Gardens whilst the swathes of coloured grasses in the Rivers of Grass, make a staggering impact.

During the winter months, beautiful seed heads with strong structure and texture are like glistenening frosty jewels. This stunning planting is left standing proud until mid January.

In spring the garden bursts to life with a fabulous bedding display in the Upper Parterre, a wondrous sea of gold, comprising 60 thousand daffodils in the Marie Curie Field of Hope, and a dazzling display of bluebells in the woodlands.

Early summer sees the tall bearded iris display perform with over 120 different cultivars providing a kaleidoscope of colour. The heady scent of the 90 metre long David Austin Rose Border will draw you towards our Trellis Walk.Miss Elizabeth

Miss Elizabeth is a pleasure boat that travels the length of Trentham Lake, within Trentham Gardens in North Staffordshire.  © Copyright Phil Eptlett and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Miniature Railways – Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway

Miniature Railways

Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway  

Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway Station   © Copyright John Firth and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Lincolnshire, England

Dates of operation 1948–

Track gauge 15 in (381 mm)

Headquarters Cleethorpes

Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway

Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway is a 15 in (381 mm) railway built in 1948 in Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire operating between Cleethorpes Leisure Centre and behind Pleasure Island/buck beck. It was originally built to a slightly smaller 14.5 inches (370 mm) gauge.Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway   © Copyright John Firth and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


The line was built in 1948 as a tourist attraction by Cleethorpes Borough Council, who also operated it from 1959 to 1990.[1] The line is now owned by Chris Shaw.

Trains run from Kingsway station, which is next to the Leisure Centre, over a 40 yards (37 m) viaduct and along the sea wall, turning west to run past the shed and museum at Lakeside station. Over the 2006/7 winter off-season, the Line was extended a further 900 yards (823 m) south-east to a new station at North Sea Lane, close to the Meridian Line car park, Pleasure Island Family Theme Park and the Buck Beck estuary. This brought the total current running length to 2 miles (3.2 km).Sutton Belle and Sutton Flyer seen at North Sea Lane  © C.Peake

The railway used to be operated by a pair of Severn lamb locomotives. In the 1960s, the line used diesel trains, followed by petrol-driven engines with a steam outline, though genuine steam locomotives are now in operation. A National Lottery grant enabled the railway to acquire stock from the long-dismantled Sutton Miniature Railway in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, some of which is housed in the old Sutton Miniature Railway locomotive shed, including Bassett-Lowke Class 10 Little Giant ‘Mighty Atom’. On guest weekends, visiting engines from other 15 in (381 mm) lines make an appearance.Sutton Flyer arrives at North Sea Lane – Geoffspages