Narrow Gauge Pleasure
Railways in The Midlands
The Ashover Light Railway
The Ashover Light Railway had a remarkably short life from 1925 to 1950 but for much of those brief years it was one of the most prosperous narrow gauge railways in the country. Although currently all we have are memories of this little railway the Ashover Light Railway Society are now actively working to restore part of the line to passenger operation.
The Duffield Bank Railway
If you want to visit a working railway then you are a century or so too late for this one! The Duffield Bank Railway is included here because of its historical significance. It is here that Sir Arthur Heywood built his experimental railway designed to show that a very narrow gauge, he chose 15", could be used to provide a practical railway at low cost and, most importantly, one that could be built or moved rapidly for military use close to the fighting. Although such a narrow gauge has rarely been used as he envisaged the spirit of Sir Arthur Heywood lives on in the British 15" gauge railways.
The Leek and Manifold Light Railway
This railway owed many of it's unique features to its engineer E.R. Calthrop. Calthrop brought his experience from construction of the Barsi Light Railway in India to this line in Derbyshire. He applied his philosophy of very low axle weights and well designed but lightly built and therefore low cost track and civil engineering works to the project. Sadly though the engineering was sound and could have stood the test of time economic factors cut the railway's life short. The visitor to this beautiful valley today will find little evidence that the railway was ever here.
The Golden Valley Light Railway
This 3/4 mile 2' gauge line brings a taste of the Narrow gauge to the Butterley Railway Centre in Derbyshire. The centre is close to the scenic splendour of the Peak District National park.
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