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Here are details of some of the Steam Railways we have visited, and some pictures. Index
is our favourite, which we visit every year whilst on holiday. The main station is Bodmin General, with engine shed, shop and cafe. There are two branches, one runs about 3.5 miles down to the main line station at Bodmin Parkway, and the other branch runs about 2.5 miles to Boscarne Junction.
19th March 2004
Another favourite. The line runs from Pickering for 18 miles through the heart of the spectacular National Park, to the main line at Grosmont. The line passes through Goathland, otherwise known as Aidensfield, from the TV series "Heartbeat".
more details at www.nymr.demon.co.uk
23rd August 2003
Brings back memories of childhood days watching the steam trains run up and down. Based at Havenstreet, the line follows the old Ryde to Newport line as far as Wootton, and in the other direction to meet the Island Line at Smallbrook Juntion. The total length of the line is five and a half miles. Small 0-4-4T 02 and A1X Terrier 0-6-0T engines originally used on the railway in steam days are preserved and are the mainstay of the locomotive fleet, pulling historic carriages, many in Southern Railway malachite green.
more details at www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk
The line runs from Tenterden through the Wealden marshes to Northiam, which was reached in 1990 with the aid of Anneka Rice on the "Challenge Anneka" television programme. This was the terminus for 10 years until Bodiam was reached in 2000, 100 years after the line was first opened. The medieval castle at Bodiam is worth a visit, being just a 5-minute walk from the station, before returning to Tenterden.
more details at www.kesr.org.uk
31st March 1997
The ten mile journey starts from the main line station at Alton, running through the Hampshire countryside to Medstead and Four Marks, then to Ropley, with the engine works, to the terminus at Alresford and the Goods Shed Visitor Centre.
more details at www.watercressline.co.uk
The first standard gauge passenger carrying preserved railway. The line runs 9 miles from Sheffield Park to Kingscote, with a future extension planned to East Grinstead.
more details at www.bluebell-railway.co.uk
31st March 1991
The South Devon Railway runs between Buckfastleigh and Totnes beside the fast flowing river Dart. This is a wonderful example of an ex-Great Western Railway branch line, with lovely views along the river on the journey.
more details at www.southdevonrailway.org
30th August 1987
Centred around the Ex-GWR steam engine shed at Didcot, this site is a GWR steam enthusiast's paradise. Home of the Great Western Society and its unique collection of GWR steam engines, coaches, wagons, buildings and small relics. A demonstration line runs along the edge of the site enabling the engines to be steamed and giving short rides.
more details at www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk
"The Poppy Line" is part of the former Melton Constable to Cromer Beach branch line between Sheringham, Weybourne and Holt. The line is never far from the sea and passes through a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are some surprising gradients of 1 in 80 despite so-called "flat" Norfolk.
more details at www.nnrailway.co.uk
Famous as featuring in the classic film "The Railway Children". Starting from the industrial mill town of Keighley, the line runs for five miles up a beautiful Yorkshire valley, through the heart of Brontë country. The first station is Oakworth, then Haworth, the headquarters of the railway, then on to Oxenhope, which is 300 feet higher than Keighley.
more details at www.kwvr.co.uk
Runs for seven miles in Great Western tradition along the spectacular Torbay coast to Churston, then through the wooded slopes bordering the River Dart estuary to Kingswear.
30th May 1992
This authentic working railway has been created from scratch on part of the trackbed of the old Colne Valley & Halstead Railway at Castle Hedingham.
more details at www.colnevalleyrailway.co.uk
Following an extensive overhaul back to main line standard, "Britannia" 4-6-2 No. 70013 "Oliver Cromwell" made a return to it's Great Eastern "home", the London Liverpool Street to Norwich line on September 9th 2008. The run was repeated on Saturday September 20th, and I was lucky enough to have a first class seat!
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