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Tag Archives: Narrow Gauge
265 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Spring 2003 Part 4 – Ryan & Narrow Gauge
Driving Creek Railway
380 Driving Creek Road, Coromandel
PO Box 87, Coromandel, 3543
Ph/Fax: 07 8668-703
Three trains at the No. 5 Reversing Point
The 1 hour return trip on our innovatively designed trains takes you through replanted native kauri forest and includes 2 spirals, 3 short tunnels, 5 reversing points and several large viaducts as it climbs up to the mountain-top terminus.
Called the Eyefull Tower, this handsome new building (shown below) offers great panoramic views out over the island-studded Hauraki Gulf with the forested valley and mountains behind.
The railway and pottery complex blends into the natural bush setting.
The train ride is one of the most popular in New Zealand. To avoid disappointment, please book at least a day in advance to reserve your seats.
You can either request a booking online or use phone or fax when booking ahead.
Laying track at Chipmans Reversing Point
Track laying began in 1975 by Barry Brickell shortly after he established the pottery workshop on a corner of the 22Ha block of land he purchased in 1973. As a railway enthusiast he saw the practical and environmental advantages of having a narrow-gauge railway system through his rugged scrub-covered land to give all weather access to clay and pine wood kiln fuel. Yellow plastic clay derived from the weathering of the old volcanic rocks. The scattered pine trees are self-sown from original pines planted by the early Californian gold diggers of last century. New Zealand‘s first official gold discovery was made in this district in 1852. Most of the raw materials for the making of terracotta pottery garden wares, tiles and sculpture thus comes from the hills above.
Brickell worked for 15 years and poured a considerable amount of money into railway construction before it was licensed to carry fare-paying public in 1990. This huge gamble has now paid off, while returns from the pottery have been steadily diminishing. A recent move into the tile and brickmaking industry is an exciting new development.Work train with “Elephant” locomotion
Today, the railway carries more passengers than raw materials because it has become a major and unique tourist attraction. Unlike most other tourist railways, the DCR is newly built rather than being an old, line that has been restored. It is New Zealand‘s only narrow-gauge mountain railway. All earlier railways built to convey minerals and timber have been abandoned, some now made into heritage trails.
Early surveying of the tortuous route was done using a home-made instrument and miles of survey tracks had to be cut through the steep scrubby land. A maximum workable adhesion gradient of 1 in 15 was decided upon but the average gradient of the line is about 1 in 26. Despite the narrow gauge of 15 inches (381mm) which allowed for sharper curves, there are plenty of heavy earthworks along the line which necessitated the use of a bulldozer contractor and the digging of some very deep cuttings.
There are several major civil engineering features on the railway. Some of the big viaducts were built under difficult conditions, reminding us of the early colonial engineering feats. The three short tunnels were made by the cut and cover process. Ceramic art works complimenting the engineering can be seen from the train.
The specially designed passenger trains were built at the DCR’s own engineering workshop located beside the potteries. The “Possum” is a 14-seater twin-bogie diesel railcar built in 1994. The “Snake”, a double-articulated 3-bodied train-set, a truly ambitious project was built in 1992. Like a snake it can twist and turn around the sharp curves abounding up the line.
A new train called the Linx is of more sophisticated design, completed in 2004, is similar in seating to the Snake. These units have special features possibly unique in New Zealand railway engineering such as the use of hydraulic transmission and special designs for safe operation on the sharp curves and steep grades. The trains are also fitted with modern air-type braking, air operated track sanding and centre-mounted diesel engines. The “Snake” and “Linx” can accommodate up to 36 people each, which is a modern tour bus load.
There are two older diesel locomotives and various wagons used for conveying clay, wood, native plants for the extensive forest replanting project up the line, and others for construction purposes.Dieselmouse – the very first passenger train
There are five major viaducts and five reversing points up the main line as well as two horseshoe spirals, on the route to the present summit. The double deck viaduct is unique. In a return trip on the railway, trains pass over it four times in different directions on both levels. The two levels are connected by a spiral all in very rugged, forested terrain. The main span is 14 m long and total length of the upper level is 46 m. Its construction took two years.
The Terminal building, the “EyefullTower” at 165 m above sea level offers wide panoramic views over the island-studded Hauraki Gulf and valleys covered in native forest.
Train Timetable 2014
- 10:15am & 2pm daily throughout the year
- over the summer period, additional trains run at 11:30am, 12:45pm, 3:15pm and 4:30pm.
- extra trains may be available at 11:30am, 12:45pm, and 3:15pm throughout the rest of the year for groups of more than 5 adults.
Train Fares 2014
- Adults: $28
- Children: $12 (up to 15 years)
- Family: $68 (2 adults and 2 children)
- Special Excursion Rates: $27 for seniors and $25 students (with ID)
Children under 4 years old can go free if they do not require a seat
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS AVAILABLE: PLEASE ADVISE WHEN BOOKING.
As well as touring the pottery complex you may also spend some time in the craft shop viewing the finished works. You can also find well-researched material on local history and ecology in our bookshop, as well as a variety of souvenirs.
2 3/4 hour drive from Auckland
Take the southern motorway to the bottom of the Bombay Hills, 30 minutes. Take highway 2 to Thames, 1 hour. From Thames take highway 25 to Coromandel. Driving Creek Railway is on Driving Creek Road 3km past the township.
Forgotten underground: Incredible pictures of Chicago‘s abandoned, labyrinth tunnels once used to transport coal, ventilate movie theaters and hide phone cables
- The Illinois Telephone and Telegraph Company built the expansive tunnel network around 1900 to hold cables
- When they went bankrupt, the Illinois Tunnel Company took over and used the tunnels to move merchandise and coal
- 62 miles of tunnels criss-crossed underneath the city
- The tunnels were six feet wide and 7.5 feet high with one-foot thick concrete walls, powered by overhead trolley wires
- Several theaters bought tunnel air to keep audiences cool
Chicago is famous for its soaring skyline, but hidden from view is a 62-mile grid of abandoned freight tunnels once considered an engineering masterwork.
Although the impressive grid connects all major railroad freight houses and many commercial establishments in downtown Chicago, few people ever saw this system from construction in 1899 to its abandonment in 1959.
It wasn’t until a contractor kicked a hole into the side of the one of the bores during the 1992 floods that the doomed passageways became big news.
Out of business: Almost a century after construction, the doomed Chicago tunnels had helped facilitate the Chicago Flood of 1992, despite chief engineer George W. Jackson’s original intention that measures to prevent flooding be maintained
Chicago: The Illinois Telephone and Telegraph built the first 26 miles of this concrete tunnel by 1905. But the Illinois Tunnel Company which took over, building another 60 miles, went bankrupt in 1909 and construction stopped
Multi-purpose: In 1912, the Chicago Tunnel Company started using the track to move merchandise, coal and ash before abandoning the unprofitable tunnels in 1959
Under the watchful eye of chief engineer George W. Jackson, the company built the first 26 miles of tunnel to hold telegraph and telephone cables.
In 1905, the Illinois Tunnel Company took over construction, expanding the network to 60 miles before it went bankrupt in 1909.
The network, widely considered cursed, was taken over by the Chicago Tunnel Company which sold the communication installations and cables but continued to use the track to move merchandise, coal and ash in 1912. The group was finally forced to abandon the unprofitable tunnels in 1959.
Some Foreign Lines
Froissy Dompierre Light Railway
The Froissy Dompierre Light Railway (CFCD) is a narrow-gauge light railway running from Froissy to Dompierre-Becquincourt, through Cappy, in the Somme department, France. It is run as a heritage railway by APPEVA and is also known as P’tit Train de la Haute Somme. It is the last survivor of the 600 mm (1 ft 11 5⁄8 in) gauge trench railways of the World War I battlefields.
The Musée des chemins de fer Militaires et Industriels (Military and Industrial railways Museum), located near the line Terminus in the hamlet of Froissy, features a large collection of 600mm gauge railway material, steam engines, diesel engines and wagons, in a 1800 m² exhibition hall inaugurated in 1996. it also features an interesting Fairbanks-Morse speeder of 1917, used by the US Army.
Froissy Dompierre Light Railway
(P’tit Train de la Haute Somme)
Name Le P’tit train de la Haute Somme
Built by British and French armies – Original gauge 600 mm (1 ft 11 5⁄8 in)
Preserved operations – Operated by APPEVA (Association Picarde pour la Préservation et l’Entretien des Véhicules Anciens)
Stations 4 – Length 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) – Preserved gauge 600 mm (1 ft 11 5⁄8 in)
Commercial history – Opened 1916 – Closed 1972
Author: Dan Crow – Author Original uploader was Gwernol at en.wikipedia
Permission – GFDL-SELF-WITH-DISCLAIMERS; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
In 1915, the French Army built a railway along the Somme Canal between Péronne and Froissy. Between 1916 and 1918 the railway was at the Allied front line, and transporting 1,500 tonnes of materials daily. At Froissy, the metre gauge Réseau Albert connected with the CFCD.
After the war, the railway was used in assisting with the reconstruction and also to bring food into the villages it served. New lines were laid including a zig-zag to reach the Santerre Plateau. The line was by this time being used for the transportation of sugar beet to the sugar refinery in Dompierre. In 1927, a further deviation was built to avoid Cappy Port, which required a 300 metres (330 yd) tunnel. The line was extended to Chaulnes in 1931. The line escaped World War II with little damage, although one train of molasses was attacked by a British aircraft. Two Coferna diesel locomotives were acquired in 1942, working alongside the Feldbahn 0-8-0s. The steam locomotives were retired in 1946 and replaced by three Plymouth loco-tracteurs. The extensions to Péronne and Chaulnes had been removed by 1954 and increased competition from road traffic meant that the line ceased operations in 1972, by which time a preservation society had already started operations.Franco-Belge 0-8-0 type KDL
Own work – Author Hektor – Permission: I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following license: – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.
APPEVA was formed in 1970 with the aim of preserving a 600mm gauge railway as a working museum. The CFCD was a good location, being between Paris and Lille near A1 motorway and close to Amiens. APPEVA operated its first train in June 1971 between Cappy and Froissy, a distance of 1 kilometre (1,100 yd). By 1974 the line was operating as far as the top of the zig-zag and in 1976 the full line to Dompierre was opened to traffic, following improvements to the level crossing on the Santerre Plateau. In 1996, a new museum was opened in Froissy.
The line starts from the Froissy terminus and follows the towpath along the Somme canal to the little station of Cappy. It then runs through a curved tunnel more than 200 metres (220 yd) long followed by a bridge to cross the road from Cappy to Chuignes and a zig zag which was built after WWI to allow locomotives to climb the very steep slope towards the Santerre upland area. Once on the Santerre, the line runs on the side of the road to Dompierre. The terminus is located near the former sugar refinery of Dompierre.
APPEVA owns or has in store 9 steam locomotives, of which three are operating and some are considered as a Monument historique, and 24 diesel engines. The Froissy Dompierre Railway operates from April till the end of September, on Sundays and holidays, and every day of the week (except Monday) in July and August. The journey between the Froissy museum and the Dompierre terminus takes one hour. The CFCD is twinned with the Leighton Buzzard Light Railway.
Français : Locomotive construite par “Decauville” type 030 T (N°1652 de 1916) de l’APPEVA (Chemin de fer Froissy-Dompierre).
Author Hektor – Permission – (Reusing this file) – I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following license: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.
258 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Autumn & Winter 2002 Part 4 Narrow Gauge – Early Days
258 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News – Autumn & Winter 2002
Narrow Gauge/Miniature Railways
The 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!
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.
© Copyright Christine Johnstone and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Some Foreign Lines
The Harz Narrow gauge Railway
More than a million passengers a year and not only for the railway enthusiasts, enjoy this steam railway. Anyone who likes train travel, beautiful scenery and history will love the Harz Narrow Gauge (1 m) Railways. It takes you through the beautiful picturesque scenery of the Harz: it’s hills and mountains, forests and meadows. A trip on a steam train is a delightful experience.
This 132km integrated gauge railway network the largest in Europe is served by 25 steam trains and 10 diesel locomotives who have to tackle gradients of 40% and curves as tight as 60 meters in radius. Most locomotives date back to 1950. They connect the principal cities of Wernigerode, Nordhausen and Quedlinburg and several smaller towns in the area. The first train ran from Wernigerode to Schierke on 20th June 1898.
As industries collapsed much of the freight traffic was lost. There are now few through passenger trains on the 2 main lines. The main attraction is now on the nostalgic tourist attraction of steam operated regular service and special trains, especially on the economically vital Brockenbahn branch. Trains run at peak times all the year round to the summit, even in winter though the snow.
There are three services:
The Trans-Harz Railway Line:
Crosses the Harz Mountains from north to south. On the 60km track passengers are treated to a kaleidoscopic journey through nature.
The Selke Valley Railway Line:
Is the most romantic track of the whole narrow gauge network and has long been an open secret among nature lovers.
The Brocken Railway Line:
In July 1992 public rail service was resumed to the legendary Brocken. Climbing up there is a hard work for the 700 HP steam powered locomotives.
(Tip: it is worth buying the HarzCard if you plan to do the Brocken trip combined with other activities)
The present day narrow gauge network emerged as a result of the merger of originally separate railway lines which belonged to two different railway companies:
In 1887 the first narrow gauge line in the Harz, from Gernrode to Mägdesprung, was opened. It was owned by the Gernrode-Harzgerode Railway Company (Gernrode-Harzgeroder Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft) or GHE. In the years that followed the line was extended and the network enlarged. The GHE network included the railway lines from Gernrode to Harzgerode, Hasselfelde and Eisfelder Talmühle. Because the line followed a section of the valley of a small river, the Selke, it was also nicknamed the Selke Valley Railway (Selketalbahn); another pet name was the Anhalt Harz Railway (Anhaltische Harzbahn).
In 1896 a second railway company was entered into the commercial register who wanted to build a narrow gauge railway through the Harz. On 22 December 1898 the Nordhausen-Wernigerode Railway Company (Nordhausen-Wernigeroder Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft) or NWE opened special services on the line from Wernigerode to the Brocken (Brocken Railway), the so-called Trans-Harz Railway (Harzquerbahn) from Wernigerode via Drei Annen Hohne to Nordhausen was fully opened to traffic on 27 March 1899.
The GHE and NWE were subordinated to the Deutsche Reichsbahn in East Germany on 1 April 1949.
Some Foreign Lines
The Glacier Express
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Service type – Inter-city Status Operating Locale Graubünden, Uri and Valais, Switzerland Current operator(s) Rhaetian Railway Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn Former operator(s) Furka Oberalp Bahn BVZ Zermatt-Bahn
Start St Moritz / Davos / Chur End Zermatt
On-board services – Class(es) – 1st and 2nd – Disabled access Yes
Catering facilities Restaurant car – Observation facilities Panorama cars
Technical – Rolling stock Panorama cars Restaurant car
Track gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge – Electrification 11 kV AC 162⁄3 Hz
9 September 2006 Own work Champer This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
The Glacier Express is an express train connecting railway stations of the two major mountain resorts of St. Moritz and Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. The train is operated jointly by the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (MGB) and Rhaetian Railway (RhB). For much of its journey, it also passes along and through the World Heritage Site known as the Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes.
The train is not an “express” in the sense of being a high-speed train, but rather, in the sense that it provides a one-seat ride for a long duration travel. In fact it has the reputation of being the slowest express train in the world. As St. Moritz and Zermatt are home to two well-known mountains, the Glacier Express is also said to travel from Piz Bernina to Matterhorn.
The Glacier Express first ran in 1930. Initially, it was operated by three railway companies: the Brig–Visp–Zermatt Bahn (BVZ), the Furka Oberalp Bahn, and the RhB. Since 2003, the train has been operated by RhB and a newly established company, the MGB, which arose from a merger between the BVZ and the FO.
The trip on the Glacier Express is a 7½ hour railway journey across 291 bridges, through 91 tunnels and across the Oberalp Pass on the highest point at 2,033 m (6,670 ft) in altitude. The entire line is metre gauge (narrow gauge railway), and large portions of it use a rack-and-pinion system both for ascending steep grades and to control the descent of the train on the back side of those grades.
19 August 2009 Own work Gio 2000
The completion of the final portion of the FO in 1926 opened up the Cantons of Valais and Graubünden to further tourist development. In particular, a pathway was laid for the introduction of Kurswagen (through coaches) between Brig and Chur, and between Brig and St. Moritz.
In early June 1930, the then Visp–Zermatt Bahn was extended to Brig by the opening of a metre gauge line along the Rhone Valley between Visp and Brig. For the first time, it was feasible to operate through coaches all the way from Zermatt to St. Moritz and return. On 25 June 1930, the first train of such coaches set out from Zermatt to St. Moritz, under the name Glacier Express. The new train’s name honoured the Rhone Glacier, which is near Gletsch, on the Furka Pass.
Until 1982, the Glacier Express operated only in the summer months, because the Furka Pass and the Oberalp Pass were both snowed over in winter. Initially, the train was made up of first to third class salon and passenger coaches, supplied by all three of the participating railway companies. Between Chur and Disentis/Mustér, passengers could enjoy a hot lunch in a Mitropa dining car. From 1933, the Glacier Express through coaches were attached to normal passenger trains between Brig and Zermatt.
In the earliest years of the Glacier Express, electric locomotives were used to haul the Glacier Express on the BVZ and the RhB, but steam locomotives were used on the FO. That changed in 1941-1942, when overhead catenary was installed on the FO, enabling completely electric operation for the full length of the route. However, no through trains were operated between 1943 and 1946, due to World War II.
Upon the resumption of daily through trains in 1948, the dining car service was extended from Disentis/Mustér to the top of the Oberalp Pass. Between the 1950s and the 1970s, both the BVZ and the RhB introduced new locomotive classes that, when attached to the Glacier Express, enabled reductions in schedule times. Meanwhile, the dining car service was extended further, to Andermatt.
Year round operations
In 1981 a Glacier Express era came to an end, with the final closure for the winter of the FO line over the Furka Pass and through the Furka Summit Tunnel, between Oberwald and Gletsch. In June 1982, that FO line was replaced by the newly opened Furka Base Tunnel. As a consequence, the Glacier Express not only became disconnected from its namesake Rhone Glacier, but also could now, for the first time, be operated on a year round basis.
At that time, the BVZ, FO and RhB took the opportunity to relaunch the Glacier Express as a tourist attraction. Promotional material focused on the train’s status as “the slowest express train in the world”, covering 291 km or 181 mi, 91 tunnels, and over 291 bridges. A special promotional wine glass on a sloping base emphasised the steepness of some parts of the route. Passenger numbers rose from 20000 in 1982 to over 53000 in 1983, and to just over 80000 in 1984.
In 1985 the Glacier Express timetable was completely revised. Between 1986 and 1993, the BVZ and the FO invested nearly 40 million Swiss Francs in constructing 18 new first class panorama cars for the train. By 2005 more than 250000 passengers were travelling on the Glacier Express each year.
In 2006 a few scenes of the documentary film The Alps were shot inside the train, and further new panorama cars were added to the Glacier Express passenger car fleet. On 7 July 2008, the Albula Railway and the Bernina Railway were jointly recorded in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, under the name Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes. Currently, the Glacier Express is especially popular with tourists from Germany, Japan, and, increasingly, India.
Narrow Gauge Lines
Evesham Vale Light Railway
© Copyright William J Bagshaw and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The Evesham Vale Light Railway operates in Evesham Country Park in Worcestershire, England, where it opened in August 2002. Constructed at 15 in (381 mm) gauge, the line runs for over a mile through the park, including a lengthy section through the fruit orchards. Passengers are conveyed throughout the year, although operations tend to be limited to weekends during school term time, becoming a daily service during school holidays.
Dougal, built 1970 by Severn Lamb of Stratford on Avon is about to be put to bed for the night. This site has four workable 15″ gauge steam locomotives. © Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Trains run from Twyford Station, opposite the country park’s main Car Park. The run takes around 10–15 minutes, through the Apple Orchard and around the Balloon Loop to Evesham Vale Station. Here, there is a few minutes break. Passengers can either break their journey here and enjoy a picnic or country walk (returning on a later train), or simply get out for a look at the locomotive. The EVLR staff are always on hand to answer questions. The train then carries on, out of the Balloon Loop, upgrade towards Twyford Station. The locomotive is then turned and run round ready for the next departure.
Bickington Steam Railway
The railway gives a real value for money ride as it tours the whole complex. © Copyright Neil Kennedy and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Technical – Track length 11⁄2 mi (2.4 km)
Track gauge – 10 1⁄4 in (260 mm)
Located at Trago Mills Regional Shopping Centre, Newton Abbot, the 10 1⁄4 in (260 mm) minimum gauge Bickington Steam Railway was opened in 1988, using equipment recovered from the Suffolk Wildlife Park, which itself was taken from Rudyard Lake. It was built by Brian Nicholson, the headmaster of Waterhouses School in Staffordshire. Waterhouses was the junction for the Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway. After being thwarted in an attempt to rebuild a portion of the Leek and Manifold Valley railway, Nicholson moved his railway, via Rudyard Lake and Suffolk, to Trago Mills.
A narrow gauge railway with steam hauled trains is one of the attractions within the popular Trago Mills shopping complex. © Copyright Richard Dorrell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Originally the railway was a 1 mile (1.6 km) double loop around two lakes with one station, ‘Trago Central’, but in 2006 the railway grew over 1⁄2 miles (805 m), with an extension taking it to Trago’s front car park. A three-track terminus and turntable was built and named the ‘Riverside Station’. A third station was added in 2008, located at the far end of the Trago site on one of the original sections of line; this was named ‘Goose Glen Halt’. This was constructed in the hope that shoppers would use the ride to return to their vehicles, a near half-mile uphill walk from the main shopping complex.
A two loco service for trips to Santa’s Grotto. The line has both steam and diesel miniature locomotives. The diesel was sharing with the US style steam locomotive No. 24. © Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Over a section of this line, the railway climbs one of the steepest inclines for any non rack railway in the UK. The railway is a member of Britains Great Little Railways
An excellent live steam experience with a two mile run, three stations, lots of scenery and a hop-on hop-off all day ticket is £2. Very popular on this particular day. The loco is one four steam engines – No.24 Sandy River 2-6-2 tender engine based on the Sandy River and Rangley Lakes railway in New England. Built by Clarkson, Vere & Nicholson and completed in 1991. See – Link © Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.