Watford Miniature Railway

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Coordinates: 51°39′45″N0°25′25″W / 51.662403°N 0.423731°W / 51.662403; -0.423731

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Contents

Watford Miniature Railway
27I04I2019 Watford Miniature Railway 60 Anniversary B5.jpg
Willis Light Engineering Baldwin style 2-6-0 No. 7 'Marri' at the station
Locale Cassiobury Park, Watford, England
Dates of operation1959
Track gauge 10 14 in (260 mm)
Length600 yards (550 m)
Website http://www.watfordrailway.co.uk/

The Watford Miniature Railway is a 10 14 in (260 mm) gauge railway running in Cassiobury Park, Watford, Hertfordshire.

Cassiobury Park park in the United Kingdom

Cassiobury Park is the principal public park in Watford, Hertfordshire, in England. It was created in 1909 from the purchase by Watford Borough Council of part of the estate of the Earls of Essex around Cassiobury House which was subsequently demolished in 1927. It comprises over 190 acres (0.77 km2) and extends from the A412 Rickmansworth Road in the east to the Grand Union Canal in the west, and lies to the south of the Watford suburb of Cassiobury, which was also created from the estate. The western part is a 25.1 hectare Local Nature Reserve managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. The park hosts the free, weekly timed parkrun 5km event every Saturday morning at 9am, starting at the Rickmansworth Road entrance to the park.

Watford Town & Borough in England

Watford is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, South East England, 15 miles (24 km) northwest of central London.

Hertfordshire County of England

Hertfordshire is one of the home counties in southern England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For government statistical purposes, it is placed in the East of England region.

History

The railway was first opened at Easter 1959 by Charles Reed [1] [2] [3] as a circuit adjacent to the River Gade. Initially there were two locomotives; an LMS Compound steam locomotive named 'Maid Marion' and a petrol powered 08 Shunter locomotive. In 1968 the steam locomotive left and the railway was sold to George Webb.

British Rail Class 08 class of 350 hp 0-6-0 diesel electric shunting locomotives

The British Rail Class 08 is a class of diesel-electric shunting locomotive built by British Railways (BR). As the standard BR general-purpose diesel shunter, the class became a familiar sight at major stations and freight yards. Since their introduction the nature of rail traffic in Britain has changed considerably. Freight trains are now mostly fixed rakes of wagons, and passenger trains are mostly multiple units, neither requiring the attention of a shunting locomotive. Consequently, a large proportion of the class has been withdrawn from mainline use and stored, scrapped, exported or sold to industrial or heritage railways.

In 1979 the railway was sold to Jeff Price, who set about expanding and improving the railway. In the 1980s the station was rebuilt on a new site, accessed by a gated level crossing across one of the paths in the park. More coaches were added and a number of steam locomotives used.

On Mr Price's retirement in 2017, the railway was sold to new operators Southern Miniature Railways. [4]

The Railway

The railway's main station is adjacent to the paddling pools and main children's playground. From here it turns 120 degrees, crosses a level crossing, and then rounds on itself in an ingenious manner in a wooded area adjacent to the River Gade.

Trains run regularly at weekends and school holidays throughout the year. [3]

Locomotives

Current Locomotives

NumberNameLocomotive typeWheel

arrangement

BuilderBuiltPhotoNotes
Conway CastleDiesel Hydraulic4w-4wFenlow Engineering1972 Conway Castle Diesel Locomotive.jpg
Nikki LouiseDiesel Hydraulic0-6-0R Prime1988 Nikki Louise Diesel Locomotive.jpg Built for the Suffolk Wildlife Park, arrived at Watford in the early 1990s and extensively rebuilt for use there.
BreeDiesel Hydraulic2-4-2B. WhalleyUndergoing rebuild for use at Watford
7MarriSteam2-6-0Willis Engineering1993 15I04I2018 Watford Miniature Railway C5.jpg Returned to service in April 2018 for the first time since 2003. [5]
4179Chiltern ShuttleSteam0-6-0R. Morse1946Privately owned, undergoing restoration to working order
PilgrimSteam0-6-0TD. King1982 27I04I2019 Watford Miniature Railway 60 Anniversary A3.jpg On loan for 60th anniversary season

Former Locomotives

NumberNameLocomotive typeWheel

arrangement

BuilderBuiltPhotoDates at Watford
1070Maid MarionSteam4-4-0Unknown1920s1959 - 1968
Petrol Mechanical0-6-0C. Reed19581959 - ?
Meteor VPetrol Mechanical2-4-2Shepperton Metal Products1981 - 1996 [6]
Meteor IIDiesel Mechanical2-4-2Shepperton Metal Products1983 - 2003 [6]
4442Steam4-4-2A. Glaze1983 [7] - 2003
DerekDiesel Mechanical4wShepperton Metal Products1985 - 1991 [6]
TrevithickSteam0-6-2TR. Marsh1990 - 1997
InvictaPetrol4wMaxitrak
NellySteam2-4-0STRichards Engineering19772005 - 2014 [8]
Thomas PoolePetrol Hydrostatic0-6-0Roanoke20062011 - 2018

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References

  1. "Watford Miniature Railway - Miniature Railway World". www.miniaturerailwayworld.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  2. Roy), Knight, N. R. (Neville (1999). British miniature railways : a photographic survey. Chester: Rail Romances. ISBN   9781900622028. OCLC   42273592.
  3. 1 2 "About | Watford Miniature Railway". watfordrailway.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  4. "Future of miniature railway secured after being taken over by new owners". Watford Observer. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  5. "Steam Trains return to Cassiobury Park in 2018 | Watford Miniature Railway". watfordrailway.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  6. 1 2 3 "The Meteors" (PDF).
  7. "Miniature Railways News". Narrow Gauge News. 146. February 1985.
  8. "News". Miniature Railway Magazine. 24. Spring 2014.