top of page

Lavender Line

RCD’s Overview

A short railway, comprising one mile of line in East Sussex. It operates a steam tram engine and a number of diesel electric multiple units of a type that once operated in this area in former British Railway days. This can be easily reached by car, particularly for those from or visiting the Lewes or Brighton area.

The support group is the 'The Lavender Line Preservation Society' (see 'Information on the Support Group' below).



Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Isfield (near Uckfield, East Sussex) to Worth Halt

Principal Visitor Centre:

Isfield station (TN22 5XB)

Period of Operation*

- January to March: Diesel day one Sunday per month

- April: Typically 3 running days per month

- May: Typically 4 running days per month

- June to November: Typically 2 running days (on a Sunday) per month

- December: Special event trains

 [* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days] 


Happening This Month on the Railway

  • Go to 'Homepage' and click into 'Railway Club Calendar'

Key Facts (what you’ll see)

Services usually steam or diesel?

Open days typically alternative between a steam day and diesel day

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Steam tram engine and DEMU’s

Length of Line:

1 mile

Time taken for a round trip:

20 minutes

Number of trains per day:

Half hourly in each direction

Number of Stations:

2 stations


Day Rover Adult: £15 Child: £10. Family: £35.

Adult Return: £8. Child Return £6

Time to allow for Visit:

1 hour





Picnic/Play areas:


Preservation Established:


Car Park Facilities:

Limited parking at Isfield station


Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- None currently advertised                                                                               

Event Trains:

- None currently advertised 

Principal Galas:

- None currently advertised 


- Driver Experience



Email:                                                                     Use contact box on railway website

Telephone:                                                           01825 750515


Social Media:                                              

                                                                                Also on Twitter




Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

The Lavender railway runs along part of the form LB&SCR secondary route from London to Brighton via Oxted and Uckfield. The line also saw through workings from Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells to Brighton, at which time the line was doubled to take the additional traffic. By the 1960’s local traffic along the line had fallen, and although the line represented an important through route, the Beeching Report recommended closure of the entire section south of Hurst Green (where the East Grinstead line, being retained, diverged) and also the connecting Tunbridge Wells spur. A battle against closure ensured. In 1968 the Transport Minister determined to reprieve the line as far as Uckfield, but to close the Uckfield to Lewes section. Further objections were raised and the matter was reviewed by the Transport Commissioners who upheld the users' complaints. However British Rail then declared a road bridge in Lewes as structurally unsafe and as monies were not available for repair, the line was closed in early 1969. The route between Lewes and Uckfield has been protected from development in case of future re-opening, and this has enabled some preservation but also hindered its development in case re-opening as part of the national network is determined in the future. The present Lavender railway preservation is based at Isfield railway station which had been privately bought in 1983 and subsequently restored and track expanded resulting in the heritage operation that runs today.


Principal Aspiration

To extend the line in either direction


Steam Operational Locomotives:

Cockerill 0-4-0 vertical boiler engine - ‘Lady Lisa’


Diesel Operational Locomotives/DMU:

(1) Heritage DEMU Unit - No 1118

(2) Heritage DEMU Unit - No 1121

(3) Heritage DEMU Unit - No 1133

(4) Andrew Barclay shunter - 354 (Army 221)

(5) Hibberd shunter - 15 ‘Planet’     

(6) Class 09 shunter - 09 025 (D4113)


Diesel DMU Under Overhaul:

Heritage DMU Class 101 - 56408


Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:  

- Railbus: Wickham Track Recording Car - No.20

- EMU 309 Class: 309624

- Vulcan/Drewry shunter - 5257 (DC 2176)



Name of Support Group:

The Lavender Line Preservation Society

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £18 Senior: £ 12 Junior: £10. Family: £40


Benefits of membership:                                   Contact Society for benefit details.


How to Join:                                                


What They Say About Volunteering:

The Lavender Line steam railway is a completely voluntary organisation which is completely dependent on hard working volunteers who give up their spare time to help fulfil their dreams of running a steam railway. We always have plenty of vacancies at the Lavender Line and by joining us you could discover the excitement of preserving a real piece of history and gain a fascinating insight into the workings of a steam railway.


How to Volunteer:                                               Go to


How to Donate:                                                    Email railway for information as to donations


WHY JOIN: Help the railway extend its line.


Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this



Traditional Railway Societies:

- Brighton Circle

- Southern Railways Group


Model Railway Clubs:

- Uckfield Model Railway Club


bottom of page