The Colonels Railways a brief guide

 

CRANBROOK & PADDOCK WOOD RAILWAY

 

11-mile standard gauge branch from Paddock Wood, on SER's Redhill-Ashford route, to Hawkhurst in Kent. Opened 1893 and operated by SER, becoming part of South Eastern & Chatham Railway in 1900. Closed 1961. (more)

 

RYE & CAMBER TRAMWAY

 

3ft gauge line alongside the River Rother between Rye and Camber in East Sussex. Opened in 1895 to carry passengers to Rye Golf Club links, and closed in 1939. The company was dissolved in 1949. (more)

 

SELSEY TRAMWAY / WEST SUSSEX RAILWAY

 

Standard gauge, 9 miles from Chichester in West Sussex down Selsey Bill to a terminus at Selsey. Opened in 1897 as The Hundred of Manhood & Selsey Tramway. Changed name to West Sussex Railway in 1924 and closed in 1935. (more)

 

ROTHER VALLEY/KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY

 

Standard gauge line from Robertsbridge in E. Sussex to Tenterden, 12 miles away in Kent. Opened 1900 as RVR, then extended through to Headcorn 1905 and renamed K&ESR. Closed by BR 1961. Tenterden to Bodiam section operated as steam railway by the Kent & East Sussex Rail­way. Bodiam to Robertsbridge under reconstruction. (more)

 

SHEPPEY LIGHT RAILWAY

 

9-mile standard gauge branch on Isle of Sheppey in Kent, from Queenborough to Leysdown. Opened in 1901, taken over by the SE&CR, and closed in 1950. (more)

 

BERE ALSTON & CALSTOCK LIGHT RAILWAY

 

Standard gauge railway, between Callington and Bere Alston on the LSWR's Tavistock-Plymouth line, opening in 1908. Upper section of 10-mile line closed in 1966, but remaining four miles to Gunnislake is still open. (more)

 

BURRY PORT & GWENDRAETHVALLEY LIGHT RAILWAY

 

Standard gauge goods-only line converted to light railway for passengers in 1909. 13 miles long from junction near Llanelli, up Gwendraeth Fawr valley. Closed to passengers 1953, and 1996 for freight. (more)

 

SHROPSHIRE & MONTGOMERYSHIRE LIGHT RAILWAY

 

Reconstructed 20-mile standard gauge between Shrewsbury in Shropshire and Llanymynech in Montgomeryshire. Reopened in 1911, closed to passengers in 1941 and run by the Army until 1960. (more)

 

WESTON, CLEVEDON & PORTISHEAD LIGHT RAILWAY

 

14-mile standard gauge railway linking three seaside towns on the Bristol Channel, opening in 1907. Never a commercial success, it closed in 1940, although the company was never officially wound up. (more)

 

EAST KENT LIGHT RAILWAY

 

Built to serve East Kent coalfields, 11-mile standard gauge opened to goods in 1912 and passengers in 1916 between junction at Shepherdswell and Wingham. Closed between 1949 and 1987. East Kent Light Railway Society now runs trains on short section. (more)

 

EDGE HILL LIGHT RAILWAY

 

Built in 1920, 3-mile, standard gauge from Burton Dassett to ironstone mines at Edge Hill in Oxfordshire. Closed 5 years later when ores ran out. Railway and rolling stock were left to rot for another 22 years. (more)

 

WESTON POINT LIGHT RAILWAY

 

One-mile standard gauge, opened in 1922 from LNWR Runcorn Dock branch, alongside ManchesterShip Canal, to serve a chemical works. Still partially in use today. (more)

 

SNAILBEACH DISTRICT RAILWAY

 

Narrow gauge, served mines and quarries around Stiper­stones hills in Shropshire. Stephens assumed control in 1923. County council took over in 1947. Closed 1961. (more)

 

FESTINIOG & WELSH HIGHLAND RAILWAYS

 

Narrow gauge WHR began in 1877 as 9-mile North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway between Caernarfon and Rhyd-ddu in Snowdonia. Closed in 1916, revived by Stephens and extended to Porthmadog, re-opening in 1923 as WHR. Closed in 1937 and dismantled in 1941.

 

In 1923 Stephens became civil engineer and loco­motive superintendent of both the WHR and FR, which were under joint management. Since 1951, the FR has beer a preserved steam railway. In 1999, reconstruction of the WHR began, and the first section opened in August 2000. (more)

 

ASHOVER LIGHT RAILWAY

 

60cm gauge, 7 miles long between Clay Cross and Ashove in Derbyshire. Opened in 1924, it was owned by the Clay Cross company and mainly carried granite railway ballast. Closed to passengers in 1936 and throughout in 1950. (more)

 

NORTH DEVON & CORNWALL JUNCTION LIGHT RAILWAY

 

Rebuilt 6-mile, 3ft gauge Torrington & Marland Mineral Tramway. Extended to 20½miles standard gauge between Torrington and Halwill Junction on LSWR. Opened 1925 and run by SR. Closed to passengers 1965 and totally 1982 (more)