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We all love a steam train and dotted around London are a number of miniature steam railways to ride on. They all closed during the lockdown, but are starting to reopen, so below will be a regularly updated list of the steam rides as they open up again.
Operated by local model railway enthusiasts, these miniature railways offer trips for the public for a nominal fee, and apart from the sheer fun of it, supporting them as they lost their summer income is a good thing to do.
Brockwell Park Miniature Railway
Reopens 5th July
A decent-sized 7¼ inch gauge miniature railway offering round trips from Herne Hill Gates to the Brockwell Lido and return.
Opened in 2003 and runs for 240 yards along a single track with loops at either end. The railway has been relaid close to the formation of the original railway which ran between 1951-1961.
A range of diesel effect battery and steam locomotives.
Chingford and District Model Engineering Club
One of the best-kept secrets in Chingford is the 2 model train tracks at the back of Ridgeway Park. There is a 1000 foot long raised level track and a 3000 foot long 7¼” ground level track.
Colney Heath Railway
Two newish railway tracks at this mainly model railway group.
Great Cockcrow Railway
Only just on the outside of the M25, so included anyway. Two tracks offering trips of 15-20 minutes each on a huge selection of locomotives – they have 25 steam engines plus others.
Harlington Locomotive Society
Built in what was once a back garden, this decent sized loop railway has several steam and battery locomotives, a single station, and one tunnel to travel through. The tea room also contains a small railway history museum.
Harrow and Wembley Society of Model Engineers
80 year old model railway society, offers a range of medium-sized locomotives with sit-on carriages and a number of tracks looping around the site. Sometimes known as the Roxbourne Park Miniature Railway.
Havering Miniature Railway Club
A new 7¼” gauge miniature railway with a range of locomotives, including a miniature Metropolitan electric locomotive. The track is quite long as well, being 772 metres with a couple of loops.
Ickenham Miniature Railway
The small railway is located in the centre of Ickenham and has been giving rides to the public since 1970.
Ilford & West Essex Model Rail Club
Aiming to reopen 2nd August
A 7¼” gauge miniature railway in an irregular loop and featuring a 30 feet long timber viaduct across a lake. The clubhouse is also open with model railway layouts to watch.
London Transport Miniature Railway
Only open when the London Transport Museum depot has its open weekends.
Northolt Model Railway Club
Running since 1950, the live steam section has a continuous raised track suitable for 3½” and 5″ gauge locomotives. It is about 660 feet long and runs around the perimeter of the Community Centre site.
Ruislip Lido Railway
Reopens 4th July
A big railway for a miniature service – offering sit in carriages rather than the sit-on variety used by smaller model services. The two and a half-mile round trip on the 12-inch gauge service takes about 35 minutes.
Swanley New Barn Railway
A sizeable railway that is also used as a cargo service for park visitors in addition to being a pleasure service. The fleet includes a large range of battery-electric locomotives and steam engines and a couple of substantial stations.
Thames Ditton Miniature Railway
A venerable organisation that has been around for nearly 80 years, they operate two independent railways. The ground level railway is for the larger trains the other is an elevated railway for the smaller scale trains, both are used for passenger hauling.
Watford Miniature Railway
Roughly 600 yards long, and apparently operational all year round. Has quite large locomotives with sit-in open-air carriages.
Welling and District Model Engineering Society
Founded in 1945, the society has a 1,268 long miniature railway track with 3.5″ and 5″ gauge raised steel track. The track is electronically signalled and features a full anti-tip rail, level crossing, footbridges, mini-viaduct, signal box and tunnel.
This article was published on ianVisits
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