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Friday, 7 August 2015

Toddington Narrow Gauge Railway

In a nutshell

Gauge:         2'

Length:       approx ½mile

Opened:     1982

Location:   



Email:   ngrinfo(at)talktalk.net   

 

Date of visit:     14 June 2015

 

Key Facts

  •  The railway is located  at Toddington Station on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
  • The line operates on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from Easter to September
  • The railway has four steam locomotives: a 1906 Arn. Jung 0-4-0WT, 'Justine'; two Henschel & Sohn Brigadelok(Heeresfeldbahn) 0-8-0T locos, one built in a 1917 and the other in 1918; a 1940 Hunslet 0-4-2T, 'Chakaskraal No 6'
  • It also has several narrow gauge petrol and diesel locos; Lister, Ruston & Hornsby, Motor Rail, FC Hibberd and Hunslet. The Hunslet is used on passenger services on 'diesel days'
  • There are three coaches used regularly on passenger services. These were built by members on military wagon frames. They also have a German built bogie coach.
  •  There is a well stocked cafe and gift shop on the site. 
  • The trip along the line includes a visit to the narrow gauge railway workshops and a restored signal box. There is also a 16mm scale railway layout at the sheds.

Route



My Impressions

 The Sunday on which I made my visit coincided with a vintage vehicle exhibition on the neighbouring Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. The car park was very nearly full and the site was heaving under the weight of people.

After browsing the bookstalls and model stalls, I had a spot of lunch in the site's large, well stocked cafe before making my way across the car park to the narrow gauge railway station, where the train was waiting.

 The loco for the day was the line's stalwart, Justine - a 1906 Arn. Jung 0-4-0WT.

I boarded the leading carriage and awaited the off.

During the day, trains were running at half hourly intervals, announcements being made via the site's tannoy reminding prospective passengers of the line's location and imminent departures.

With a blast on the loco's surprisingly high pitched whistle, the loco set off on its journey down the line.

Before long, we pulled into California Crossing, where the narrow gauge railway's sidings, sheds and workshops are located.

There was a ten minute stop, to allow passengers to visit the re-sited signal box.....

.... and the railway's collection of locomotives.

In the sidings were some fine specimens of restored former admiralty rolling stock.

 The staff were on hand to answer questions and explain the origins of the various items of rolling stock, while Justine was spruced-up.

We then continued our journey down the line

At the end of the line the loco ran round the train, before setting off at a smart pace back up the line to the main station.

 ..... where she ran round her train once more - awaiting the next departure.

The line's Hunslet diesel, which is the mainstay on 'diesel days' was also in evidence.

Time was limited, as we had stopped-off en route home from a holiday in Cornwall, but there was an opportunity to watch train movements on the GWR where some impressively large and powerful locos were in evidence, such as this 42xx 2-8-0 tank loco.

A great advantage of short railways such is this is that there are plenty of opportunities to get lineside shots and travel the railway more than once - the ticket allows unlimited journeys on the day of issue. For those interested in all aspects of steam railways, this combined standard gauge and narrow gauge railway site is well worth a visit. I would certainly be interested in returning when some of the line's other locos are in steam.

Video