The Bluebell Railway, for many years, has been one of my favourite places to be. The variety of locomotives and rolling stock are the main reason for my interest, but it is also within an hours drive from my home, so I can visit for a day quite easily. I will usually visit once or twice a year, perhaps in the Summer or Autumn.
For those of you unfamiliar with the line, it runs between Sheffield Park and Kingscote Station, around 2 miles south of East Grinstead. It was the first preserved standard guage passenger line in the UK being opened in 1960. The line used to run from East Grinstead to Lewes or Haywards Heath, the junction being Horsted Keynes, the current location of the railway's carriage works.
The oldest photos below were taken in September 2004 and this page will hopefully keep expanding into the future!
www.bluebell-railway.co.uk - the website is regularily updated with updates about the current extension, loco overhauls and carriage restoration.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
The following photos were taken in August 2008 across four days. The line is 18 miles long from Pickering to Grosmont. Steam trains also run to Whitby on some services. Goathland Station has several claims to fame, including appearing as Hogsmeade Station in the early Harry Potter movies.
I visited the Poppy Line in August 2008, during the visit of the Kent and East Sussex Railway's 16xx. The line runs for 5 miles between Sheringham and Holt in North Norfolk, with its headquarters at Weybourne, During my time near the railway, the 16xx ran each day and the Poppy Line's own J15 and N7 ran on seperate days.
Despite the line being short, it is still a wonderful railway and can provide a great day out.
During a very wet October half term in 2004, I camped in Bala. The Bala Lake Railway itself was not open, though I managed to visit the Ffestiniog, Talyllyn, Llangollen and Welsh Highland (Caernarfon).
Dolgogh and Douglas (as Duncan) were running on the Talyllyn, though a strange, reduced service was running as the run round loop at Tywyn Wharf being part of a building site! At the Ffestiniog, and alternating steam/diesel service was timetabled, though the rostered diesel failed so we were treated to two Double Fairlies!
The Llangollen was slightly disappointing as the Thomas event ran all week, with trains top and tailed by a 57xx (as Duck) and a diesel (as D199) . The 57xx had its front facing the train so didnt make for a good photo. The Welsh Highland has beautiful scenery though there is little to do at any of the stations though the size of the Garrats, considering that they are narrow guage is extremely impressive!
Whilst my Dad was on a canoeing trip in Pembrokeshire in August 2006, I visited the Gwili Railway and the Teifi Valley. The Teifi had recently had a short extension opened and it was interesting to walk along the remainder of the embankment at the end of the line before the collapsed bridge.
At the Gwili, 'Welsh Guardsman' was running with two maroon mk1s and a Taff Vale workman's coach. Both lines are short but have great scenery in places.