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Narrow Gauge Railways

The Railway Club Directory has divided Narrow Gauge Railways into two distinct categories:

 

(A) Narrow Gauge Railway Lines

(B) Narrow Gauge Railway Centres and Attractions

 

Note that 'society run' miniature railways (typically gauge of around 10 inches or less) can be found in the 'Model Engineering Society' section of this RCD Website.

 

Note that 'society run' garden railways are located in accordance with the society type that runs them (typically model railway clubs or model engineering clubs),

 

Note the RCD is a directory of railway societies and related railways, not purely commercial rail related businesses. Accordingly we do not list, for example, (i) private railways not frequently open to the public, (ii) cliff railways, (iii) harbour/beach/pier railways, (iv) railways which are accessed through other venues such as country houses/adventure centres/activity centres or museums, or (v) railways which are essentially ancillary to other attractions. 

 

A ‘Narrow Gauge Railway Line’ is a railway that travels between at least 2 stations not within the confines of a park or some other form of restricted area.

 

A ‘Narrow Gauge Railway Centre’ is a railway centre dedicated to the narrow gauge, and a ‘Narrow Gauge Railway Attraction’ is a tourist attraction featuring a narrow gauge railway within a complex or restricted area including parks and mountains. For completeness, we have included commercial operations within this section.

 

(A) Narrow Gauge Railway Lines

 

The following comprises our list of narrow gauge railways within our definition of that term.

 

Note that this list contains the UK's most well known narrow gauge railways, including the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, the Talyllyn Railway, the Welsh Highland Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway, amongst many others.

 

England

 

1. Bure Valley Railway

Address: Aylsham Station, Norwich Road, Aylsham, Norfolk NR11 6BW

Length of Line: 9 miles

Destinations: Wroxham (with connections with national rail) to Aylsham

Opened: 1990

Background: Runs along part of former Great Eastern Railway from Wroxham to County School

Gauge: 15 inch

Railway website: www.bvrw.co.uk

Name of Support Group: 'Friends of the Bure Valley Railway'

https://www.bvrw.co.uk/membership

 

2. Lappa Valley Railway

Address: St Newlyn East, Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 5LX

Length of Line: 1 mile

Destinations: Benny Halt to East Wheal Rose

Opened: 1974

Background: Runs along part of former Newquay to Chasewater railway

Gauge: 15 inch

Support group is integral part of the railway 

www.lappavalley.co.uk

 

3. Launceston Steam Railway

Address: St Thomas’ Road, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 8DA

Length of Line: 2.5 miles

Destinations: Launceston to Newmills

Opened: 1983

Background: Runs along part of former North Cornwall Railway from Halwill Junction to Wadebridge

Gauge: 1 foot 11+1⁄2 inch

Support group is integral part of the railway 

www.launcestonsr.co.uk

 

4. Leighton Buzzard Railway

Address: Page’s Park Station, Billington Road, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 4TG

Length of Line: 3 miles

Destinations: Page's Park to Stonehedge Works

Opened: 1969

Background: Runs along route of former industrial sand quarry lines out of Leighton Buzzard

Gauge: 2 foot

Railway website: www.buzzrail.co.uk

Name of Support Group: 'Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway Society'

https://www.buzzrail.uk/help-us/membership/

5. Lynton and Barnstaple Railway

Address: Woody Bay Station, Martinhoe Cross, Parracombe, near Barnstaple, EX31 4RA

Length of Line: 1 mile

Destinations: Woody Bay to Killington Lane

Opened: 2004

Background: Runs along part of former Barnstable to Lynton Railway

Gauge: 1 foot 11+5⁄8 inch

Railway website: www.lynton-rail.co.uk

Name of Support Group: 'Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust'

https://www.lynton-rail.co.uk/membership

6. Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

Address: Ravenglass Station, Cumbria, CA18 1SW

Length of Line: 7 miles

Destinations: Ravenglass to Dalegarth Station (Boot)

Opened in current form: 1960

The railway was originally 3 feet gauge and converted to 15 inch and re-opened  in 1916 (it never closed again). As a 15 inch public railway it carried passenger, tourists, goods and quarry traffic. In 1960 it was bought by a preservation society to save it. In 1961 there was a split, with the Railway now owned by a private family company, which is supported by an independent and separate preservation society.

Gauge: 15 inch

Railway website: www.ravenglass-railway.co.uk

Name of Preservation Society: The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Preservation Society

www.rerps.co.uk

7. Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway

Address: 2 Littlestone Road, New Romney, Kent TN28 8PL

Length of Line: 13.5 miles

Destinations: Hythe , Dymchurch, St. Mary's Bay, New Romney, Dungeness

Opened: 1927

Background: Purpose built narrow gauge railway by millionaire racing drivers Captain Jack Howey and Count Louis Zborowski in 1920s

Gauge: 15 inch

Railway website: www.rhdr.org.uk

Name of Support Group: 'Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway Association'

https://www.rhdr.org.uk/railway-association-membership/

 

8. Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway

Address: The Wall, Sittingbourne Retail Park, Mill Way, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2XD

Length of Line: 2 miles

Destinations: Sittingbourne Viaduct to Kemsley Down

Opened: 1970 (initially by the Locomotive Club of Great Britain)

Background: A former industrial railway to transport paper between Ridham Dock, on the River Swale, and paper mills at Sittingbourne

Gauge: 2 foot 6 inch

Railway website: www.sklr.net

Support group is integral part of the railway 

https://www.sklr.net/about-us/membership/

9. South Tynedale Railway

Address: Station Road, Alston, Cumbria CA9 3JB

Length of Line: 5 miles

Destinations: Alston to Slaggyford

Opened: 1983

Background: Runs along part of former Alston to Haltwhistle branch line

Gauge: 2 foot

Railway website: www.south-tynedale-railway.org.uk

Name of Support Group: 'South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society'

https://www.south-tynedale-railway.org.uk/membership/

10. Wells & Walsingham Light Railway

Address: Stiffkey Road, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, NR23 1QB

Length of Line: 4 miles

Destinations: Wells to Walsingham

Opened: 1982

Background: Runs along part of former Wells to Norwich branch line

Gauge: 10+1⁄4 inch

Support group is integral part of the railway 

www.wwlr.co.uk

 

 

Isle of Man

 

11. Groudle Glen Railway

Address: Groudle Glen, Onchan Isle of Man

Length of Line: 1 mile

Destinations: Lhen Coan Station to Sea Lion Rocks

Opened: 1986

Background: Late Victorian railway linking Groudle Glen with Manx Electric Railway

Gauge: 2 foot 

Railway website: www.ggr.org.uk

Name of Support Group: 'Friends of Groudle Glen Railway'

https://www.ggr.org.uk/friends-of-ggr

12. Isle of Man Steam Railway

Address: Douglas Railway Station, Banks Hill, Douglas, Isle of Man

Length of Line: 15 miles

Destinations: Douglas to Castletown and Port Erin

Opened: 1870

Background: Remaining part of once extensive Isle of Man steam railways

Gauge: 3 foot

Support group is integral part of the railway

www.rail.im

 

13. Manx Electric Railway

Address: Derby Castle, Strathallan Crescent, Douglas

Length of Line: 17 miles

Destinations: Douglas to Laxey and Ramsey

Opened: 1893

Background: Electric tram. Oldest electric tram line in the world with original rolling stock is use

Gauge: 3 foot

Support group is integral part of the railway

www.rail.im

 

 

Northern Ireland

 

14. Giant's Causeway & Bushmills Railway

Address: 6 Runkerry Road, Bushmills BT57 8SZ

Length of Line: 2 miles

Destinations: Giant's Causeway to Bushmills, County Antrim

Opened: 2002

Background: Runs along former Portrush and Giant's Causeway line

Gauge: 3 foot

Support group is integral part of the railway

www.causewaycoast.holiday/locations/giants-causeway-railway

 

Scotland

 

15. Leadhills and Wanlockhead Railway

Address: The Station, Station Road, Leadhills, ML12 6XS

Length of Line: 0.6 miles

Destinations: Leadhills to Glengonnar

Opened: 1986

Background: Runs along former Leadhills and Wanlockhead branch of the Caledonian Railway

Gauge: 2 foot

Railway website: www.leadhillsrailway.co.uk

Name of Support Group: 'Lowthers Railway Society Limited'

https://leadhillsrailway.co.uk/about/join-us-2/

 

Wales

 

16. Bala Lake Railway

Address: The Station, Llanuwchllyn, Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7DD

Length of Line: 4.5 miles

Destinations: Llanuwchllyn to Bala Halt

Opened: 1972

Background: Runs along former Great Western Railway Ruabon to Barmouth railway

Gauge: 1 foot 11+5⁄8 inch

Railway website: www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk

Name of Support Group: 'Bala Lake Railway Society'

https://bala-lake-railway.co.uk/society/

17. Brecon Mountain Railway

Address: Pant Station, Pant, Merthyr Tydfil, CF48 2DD

Length of Line: 5 miles

Destinations: Pant to Torpantau

Opened: 1980

Background: Runs along former Great Western Railway Brecon and Merthyr Railway

Gauge: 1 foot 11+3⁄4 inch

Support group is integral part of the railway

www.bmr.wales

 

18. Corris Railway

Address: Station Yard Corris, near Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 9SH

Length of Line: 0.75 miles

Destinations: Corris and Maespoeth

Opened: 2002

Background: Former quarry line from Corris and Aberllefenni via Dulas Valley to Machynlleth

Gauge: 2 foot 3 inch

Railway website: www.corris.co.uk

Name of Support Group: 'Corris Railway Society'

https://www.corris.co.uk/membership-application/

19. Fairbourne Railway

Address: Beach Road, Fairbourne LL38 2EX

Length of Line: 2 miles

Destinations: Fairbourne to Barmouth Ferry

Opened: 1895 (converted 1915)

Background: Originally narrow gauge horse-drawn tramway for building materials, later converted for holidaymakers

Gauge: 12+1⁄4 inch

Railway website: www.fairbournerailway.com

Name of Support Group: 'Fairbourne Railway Preservation Society '

http://www.fairbournerailway.com/preservation%20society.html

20. Ffestiniog Railway

Address: Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd LL49 9NF

Length of Line: 13.5 miles

Destinations: Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog

Opened: 1955

Background: Formerly an industrial railway transporting slate from quarries around Blaenau Ffestiniog to the harbour at Porthmadog with subsequent seasonal passenger traffic.

Gauge: 1 foot 11+1⁄2 inch

Railway website: www.festrail.co.uk

Name of Support Group: 'The Ffestiniog Railway Society'

http://www.ffestiniograilway.org.uk/

21. Llanberis Lake Railway

Address: Gilfach Ddu, Padarn Country Park, Llanberis, Gwynedd, LL55 4TY

Length of Line: 2.5 miles

Destinations: Llanberis to Pen Llyn

Opened: 1971

Background: Runs along part of the defunct Padarn Railway connecting local quarry with Port Dinorwic on the Menai Straits

Gauge: 1 foot 11+1⁄2 inch

Support group is integral part of the railway

www.lake-railway.co.uk

 

22. Talyllyn Railway

Address: Wharf Station, Neptune Road, Tywyn, Gwynedd LL36 9EY

Length of Line: 7.25 miles

Destinations: Tywyn to Nant Gwernol (near Abergynolwyn)

Opened: 1951

Background: Industrial railway to carry slate from the quarries at Bryn Eglwys to Tywyn, with subsequent passenger traffic added.

Gauge: 2 foot 3 inch

Railway website: www.talyllyn.co.uk

Name of Support Group: 'Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society'

https://www.talyllyn.co.uk/support/trps-membership/

23. Vale of Rheidol Railway

Address: Park Avenue, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 1PG

Length of Line: Approx. 12 miles

Destinations: Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge

Opened: 1902 (privatised 1989)

Background: Initially industrial railway to carry timber and lead ore from the Rheidol Valley to the sea and main railway network at Aberystwyth, with subsequent passenger traffic.

Gauge: 1 foot 11+3⁄4 inch

Support group is integral part of the railway

www.rheidolrailway.co.uk

 

24. Welsh Highland Railway

Address: Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd LL49 9NF

Length of Line: 25 miles

Destinations: Caernarfon to Porthmadog

Opened: In stages 1997 to 2011

Background: Runs along former WHL railway created in 1922 by merger of 2 railways, with new link between them, to form complete line between Porthmadog and Dinas (with LNWR connection to Caernarfon)

Gauge: 1 foot 11+1⁄2 inch

Railway website: www.festrail.co.uk

Name of Support Group: 'Welsh Highland Railway Society'

https://www.whrsoc.org.uk/

25. Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway

Address: The Station, Pool Road, Llanfair Caereinion, Powys SY21 0SF

Length of Line: 8.5 miles

Destinations: Welshpool to Llanfair Caereinion

Opened: 1963

Background: Former Cambrian Railways line built for passengers and freight under Light Railways Act.

Gauge: 2 foot 6 inch

Support group is integral part of the railway

www.wllr.org.uk

 

 

(B) Narrow Gauge Railway Centres and Attractions

 

England

 

1. Amerton Railway

Address: Amerton Railway, Stowe-by-Chartley, near Stafford, ST18 0LA

Nature of Railway: Purpose built. One-mile circular 

Gauge: 2 foot

www.amertonrailway.co.uk

 

2. Apedale Valley Light Railway

Address: Loomer Road, Chesterton, Newcastle-under-Lyme Staffordshire ST5 7LB

Nature of Railway: Purpose built. Under one mile

Gauge: 2 foot

www.avlr.org.uk

 

3. Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway

Address: The Warren, Stanton Street, Sittingbourne ME9 8AT

Nature of Railway: Purpose built. Under one mile

Gauge: 2 foot

www.bwlr.co.uk

 

4. Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway

Address: Lakeside Station, Kings Road, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, DN35 0AG

Nature of Railway: Purpose built tourist railway. One mile (Cleethorpes Kingsway station to Lakeside) 

Gauge: 15 inch

www.cclr.co.uk

 

5. Evesham Vale Light Railway

Address: The Valley, Evesham Country Park, Twyford, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4DS

Nature of Railway: In Evesham Country Park.  One mile

Gauge: 15 inch

www.evlr.co.uk

 

6. Gartell Light Railway

Address: Common Lane, Yenston, near Templecombe, Somerset BA8 0NB

Nature of Railway:  Runs along part of former S&D Railway (newly created stations named Common Lane, Pinesway Junction, Park Lane and Tower View). 0.75 miles.

Gauge: 2 foot

www.newglr.weebly.com

 

7. Hampton Kempton Waterworks Railway

Address: Snakey Lane, Hanworth, Middlesex, TW13 6XH

Nature of Railway: Runs along part of former Metropolitan Water Board Railway (wharf on River Thames to regional water supply's pumping station). 0.18 miles

Gauge: 2 foot

www.hamptonkemptonrailway.org.uk

 

8. Heatherslaw Light Railway

Address: Ford Forge, Heatherslaw, Cornhill on Tweed, Northumberland, TD12 4TJ

Nature of Railway:  Purpose built (Heatherslaw to Etal Village). 2.25 miles

Gauge: 15 inch

www.heatherslawlightrailway.co.uk

 

9. Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway

Address: Skegness Water Leisure Park, Walls Lane, Ingoldmells, Skegness PE25 1JF

Nature of Railway:  Purpose built. From Skegness Water Park

Gauge: 2 foot

www.lclr.co.uk

 

10. North Bay Railway

Address: Burniston Road, Scarborough YO12 6PF

Nature of Railway:  Purpose built (Peasholm Park to Scalby Mills). One mile

Gauge: 20 inch

www.snbr.org.uk

 

11. Statfold Barn Railway

Address: Ashby Road, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 0BU

Nature of Railway:  Purpose built (Statfold Farm). 1.5 miles with balloon loop

Gauge: 2 foot

www.statfold.com

 

12. West Lancashire Railway

Address: Station Road, Hesketh Bank, near Preston PR4 6SP

Nature of Railway: Purpose built narrow gauge line around clay pits at former Alty's Brickworks                     Gauge: 2 foot

www.westlancsrailway.org

 

13. Whistlestop Valley (formerly Kirkless Light Railway)

Address: Park Mill Way, Clayton West, Huddersfield, HD8 9XJ

Nature of Railway:  Runs along part of former Clayton West branch line

Gauge: 2 foot

www.whistlestopvalley.co.uk

 

Isle of Man

 

14. The Great Laxey Mine Railway

Laxey Valley Garden, Laxey

Nature of Railway: Converted former lead mine railway located in Laxey. 0.25 miles

Gauge: 19 inch

www.laxeyminerailway.im

 

15. Snaefell Mountain Railway

Laxey Station, Laxey, Isle of Man

Nature of Railway: Mountain railway using Fell Incline System centre rail for braking. 5.5 miles

Gauge: 3 foot 6 inch

www.rail.im

 

Wales

 

16. Snowdon Mountain Railway

Llanberis, Gwynedd LL55 4TT

Nature of Railway: Rack and pinion mountain railway. 4.7 miles

Gauge: 2 foot 7+1⁄2 inch

www. snowdonrailway.co.uk

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