BRITISH RAILWAYS 1920 - 1970

 

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INDEPENDENT Co: M-Z

 

K & E S R railcar. Photo H C Casserley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDEPENDENT COMPANIES A-L        Click for F-L

The following lines retained their independence throughout much of their working existence and, in the case of the long-lived examples, at least until 1948. The selection is somewhat subjective, because the distinction between railways and tramways is ill-defined, and it is not possible to include all colliery or quarry railways.

Click for narrow gauge lines absorbed by the major companies.

The format is as follows: name: gauge f(reight)/p(assenger); route; dates open; locomotives used; length in route miles

Aberford Railway: standard gauge f/p, colliery line; Aberford-Garforth (N.E.R.); open c1835-1925; initially horsedrawn, locos from 1870: Manning Wardle 0-4-0STs; 2.75mi

Alderney Railway: standard gauge f (breakwater construction and maintenance); Braye Bay breakwater-Mannez quarry, originally with a branch to Platte Saline; open 1847-present (preserved), dismantled in last war; locos: vars 0-4-0s, 0-4-0Ts and 0-6-0Ts, latterly Ruston & Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel; c2.5 + 0.5

Ashover Light Railway: 60cm gauge f/p; Clay Cross & Edgestow-Ashover Butts, Derbyshire; inc. 1919, open 1925-50, closed to p 1936; locos: Baldwin 4-6-0Ts in Midland red or black livery; 7.25mi

Barrington Light Railway: standard gauge f/p(employees); Foxton- Barrington cement works, Cambs; open 1926-present; locos: Barclay 0-4-0STs, Y.E.Co. 0-6-0ST in green or black livery, Drewry 0-4-0 and Sentinel diesel in yellow/black, latterly Hibberd, Thos Hill, Ruston & Hornsby 0-4-0 diesels; 1.5mi

Bicester Military Railway: standard gauge f/p(personnel); Bicester London Road (ex-L.N.W.R.)-Arncott area, Oxon; open wartime-present; locos: M. of S. 0-6-0STs and 0-4-0 diesels initially, latterly B.R. (Derby) 0-6-0 and Barclay 0-8-0 diesels; 70 track mi

Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Light Railway: standard gauge f/p; Bideford-Appledore, Devon; open 1901-17; locos: Hunslet 2-4-2Ts; 7mi

Bishop's Castle Railway: standard gauge f/p; Bishop's Castle-Lydham Heath-Craven Arms, Salop; open 1866-1935; locos: vars 2-4-0, 0-6-0, 0-4-2T, 0-4-0ST in dark green livery; 10.5mi

Bowaters Light Railway: 2'6" gauge f/p(employees); Bowaters, Sittingbourne-Kemsley paper mills, Kent; open 1908-69 (now preserved); locos: Bagnall 0-6-2Ts, 2-4-0T, 0-4-0T, 0-4-4-0T, Kerr Stuart 0-4-2STs, Manning Wardle 0-6-2T, E.E. battery electric, Hunslet 0-4-0 diesel; 3.5mi. Also standard gauge siding to Sheerness (S.R.) branch from Kemsley mill: four locos

Bowes Railway (Pontop & Jarrow R. until 1932): standard gauge f/p (for a time); Jarrow-Dipton Colliery (near Stanley), Durham + spurs; open 1826-from 1974 only Jarrow-Monkton open, part now preserved; locos: initially 2-4-0s and Stephenson 0-4-0s; later Stephenson 0-4-0s and 0-6-0s, B. Hawthorn 0-6-2STs, Barclay, B. Hawthorn, Hawthorn, Hawthorn Leslie, Hunslet, Stephenson, Stephenson & Hawthorn and Vulcan 0-6-0STs, Barclay, Hawthorn Leslie, Hudswell Clarke, ex-Lambton R. and Stephenson & Hawthorn 0-4-0STs, ex-G.W.R. 0-6-0Ts, and others; latterly Barclay, Hibberd, Hunslet and Sentinel diesel types; 15mi maximum, inc. 7 rope-hauled inclines

Brampton Railway: standard gauge f/p; Brampton-Lambley Colliery (at maximum) and Naworth coalfield mineral lines, mainly Cumberland; open 1799 (as waggonway, later realigned)-1953; Brampton-Brampton J. leased to N.E.R. from 1912, closed to p 1923, f:1924; other lines taken over by the National Coal Board; locos: Avonside 0-6-0STs, Barclay 0-4-0ST, 0-6-0STs, Brampton R. 0-4-0s, 0-6-0s, Neilson 0-4-0T, Stephenson 0-2-2 ('Rocket') from 1837, Stephenson 0-6-0 types; 9mi + mineral branches

Burlington Slate Quarry Railway: 3'2" gauge f; Kirkby exchange sidings (F.R.)-Burlington Slate Quarry, Lancs; open 1843-1971; horsedrawn until battery loco introduced in 1946; 1mi incline

Cairnryan Military Railway: standard gauge f/p; Cairnryan J. (L.M.S.), near Stranraer-Cairnryan Deep Water Quay; open 1941-59; locos: W.D., L.N.E.R., G.W.R. types, also Manning Wardle 0-6-0T, Barclay, Planet, Armstrong Whitworth diesel types and Drewry railcar; 6.75mi

Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway: 2'3" gauge (from 1906), f/p; Campbeltown-Machrihanish, Argyll; open 1877-1932; locos: Barclay 0-4-2ST, 0-6-2Ts, Kerr Stuart 0-4-2T in olive green livery; 6mi

Cannock Chase and Wolverhampton Railway: standard gauge colliery f; Rawnsley-Anglesea Sidings, with branch to Norton, Staffs; open c1867-part preserved as Chasewater Light Railway); locos: Beyer Peacock 0-4-2STs, vars 0-6-0ST, 2-4-0T; 11mi including various branch lines

Chattenden and Upnor Railway: 2'6" gauge f/p(personnel); Chattenden-Upnor-Frindsbury (wharf), Kent; War Office/Admiralty system originally built as a standard gauge line (in 1870s); open 1885- 1961; locos: Dick, Kerr and Y.E.Co. 0-6-2Ts, Manning Wardle, Peckett 0-4-2Ts and others; 2.5mi

Chattenden Naval Tramway: standard gauge f/p(personnel); Sharnal Street-Lodge Hill, Chattenden, Kent; open 1901-transferred to Kingsnorth Light R 1929, closed c1961; c2mi

Cheddleton Tramway: standard gauge f/p; St Edward's Hospital-Cheddleton Heath (N.S.), Staffs; open 1895-1954, closed for p 1920; locos: Manning Wardle initially, then Thomas Parker (Wolverhampton) overhead electric (c1900); c0.5mi with two reversals in zigzag

Chilmark (RAF) Railway: standard gauge with 2'0" gauge feeders f; Chilmark Depot-Ham Cross-Dinton (S.R.), Wilts; open 1937-95; locos: Barclay, Drewry, Fowler (s.g.) diesels, Baguley-Drewry, Ruston & Hornsby (n.g.) diesel and battery types; 2.5mi + 9mi n.g.

Cliffe Hill Quarry Railway: 2'0" gauge f; Cliffe Hill granite quarries-Bardon exchange sidings (M.R.), Leics; open 1897-1948; locos: Bagnall types; 2.25mi

Corringham (Coryton) Light Railway: standard gauge f/p; Coryton-Corringham, Essex; open 1901-52(closed for p), operated as a private siding from 1971; locos: Kitson 0-4-0WT, Kerr Stuart 0-4-2T, Avonside 0-6-0STs in red or blue livery, latterly diesel locos; 3.25mi, latterly 2mi

Corris Railway: 2'3" gauge f/p; Machynlleth-Corris-Aberllefenni with mineral branches to Upper Corris, Aberllefenni Quarries and Ratgoed, mostly Merioneth; open 1859-1948, quarry lines in use later; abs. By G.W.R. and closed to p in 1931; locos (from 1879): Falcon E.Co., Kerr Stuart 0-4-2STs; 6.5 + 4.5mi

Cranwell RAF Railway: standard gauge f/p; Cranwell Airfield-Sleaford (G.N.); open 1917-56; locos: Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T, Manning Wardle 0-6-0STs, Peckett 0-4-0ST, Fowler 0-4-0 diesel, Kerr Stuart 0-4-0 diesel, Hawthorn Leslie 0-6-0 diesel; 5mi

Creech Barrow: see Furzebrook

Crich Tramway: 3'3" gauge f with incline; Crich-near Whatstandwell (M.R.), Derbyshire; open 1793-1930, part preserved; locos: Peckett 0-4-0T and other 0-4-0Ts including Markham; c2.5mi

Croesor and Portmadoc Railway (Croesor Tramway): 1'11" gauge f/p; Portmadoc-Croesor J.-upper Croesor valley slate quarries; open 1864 - mid 1930s, lower part incorporated in Welsh Highland R.; horsedrawn; 7mi

Deeside Tramway: 2'6" gauge horsedrawn f; Glyndyfrdwy-Deeside Slab Quarries, Merioneth; open 1871-c1950; 3mi with gravity incline

Derwent Valley Light Railway: standard gauge f/p; Layerthorpe (York)-Cliffe Common, Yorks; open 1912-1980, closed to passengers 1926; locos: Sentinel, Ford railbus, latterly Drewry 0-6-0 and Fowler 0-4-0 diesel shunters; 16mi latterly 10mi

Dorking Grey Stone Lime Co. Ltd.: 2'0", 3'2" and standard gauge quarry system, Betchworth, Surrey; inc. 1865, formed basis of Brockham Museum, now transferred to Amberley Museum; locos: T.H. Head, Fletcher Jennings and Y.E.Co. 0-4-0Ts (s.g.), Fletcher Jennings 0-4-0Ts, Orenstein & Koppel diesel (3'2")

Douglas Horse Tramway: 3'0" gauge p; Victoria Pier-near Douglas Station, Isle of Man; open 1876-present; 1.6mi

Easingwold Light Railway: standard gauge f/p; Easingwold-Alne, Yorks; open 1891-1957 (p:1948); locos: Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0STs; 2.5mi

East Kent Railway: standard gauge f/p; Shepherdswell-Canterbury Rd (near Wingham) with branch from Eastry to Richborough, extension from Sandwich Rd to Richborough built 1928; open 1912-51, only Shepherdswell-Tilmanstone remained open to serve colliery (closed 1987), part now preserved; locos: Fox Walker, Hudswell Clarke and ex-L.S.W.R. 0-6-0STs, Kerr Stuart 0-6-0T, ex-L.S.W.R. 4-4-2T, ex-L.S.W.R. and ex-S.E.C.R. 0-6-0s mainly in black livery; 11.25 + 2.5mi; abs. By B.R. in 1948

Edge Hill Light Railway: standard gauge f; Burton Dassett siding (S.M.J.) near Fenny Compton-Edge Hill ironstone quarry, Warwicks; open 1920-5; locos: ex-L.B.S.C.R. Class A1 and A1X 0-6-0Ts and Manning Wardle 0-4-0ST; 2.25mi + cable incline

Fairbourne Railway: 1'3" gauge, regauged to 12" in 1983, reopened 1986 p; Fairbourne-Penrhyn Point-ferry head (for Barmouth), Merioneth; open 1890-present; originally 2'0" gauge horse tramway until 1916; locos (1'3"-g): various built by Bagnall, Bassett Lowke, G. & S. Light Engineering, Heywood and Lister; 2.25mi

Festiniog Railway: 1'11" gauge f/p; Portmadoc (Porthmadog) Harbour-Blaenau Festiniog, Merioneth and mineral branches; open 1836-1946 and 1955-present (preserved), horsedrawn until 1863; locos: George England 0-4-0STs, Fairlie 0-4-4-0Ts, Hunslet 2-4-0STs and 0-4-0ST, Alco 2-6-2PT and others, in red then green or black livery; originally 13.25mi + mineral branches

Fordell Railway: 4'4" and standard gauge f (colliery); St David's (near Inverkeithing), Fife-coal pits; open 1770 (as waggonway), rebuilt 1833-8, truncated 1946; locos: Hawthorns (Leith) 0-4-0WT, Barclay, Grant Ritchie and Hughes 0-4-0STs; 5.75mi

Furzebrook Railway (Pike Bros, Creech Barrow Mines): 2'8" gauge f; Creech Barrow mines (for fireclay)-Furzebrook sidings (L.S.W.R.)-wharf near Ridge at Poole Harbour, Dorset; c1836-1954, section north of Furzebrook sidings taken over by War Dept in 1939, then abandoned; locos, after c1866: Bellis 0-6-0WT, Manning Wardle 0-6-0ST and 0-4-0ST, Fowler 0-4-2T, Peckett 0-4-2Ts and Simplex 4-wheel diesel; c7mi

Glamorganshire Canal Railway: standard gauge f; Glamorganshire Canal wharves-Cardiff (Riverside) branch of G.W.R.; open 1883-1963; locos: Avonside, Hawthorn Leslie and Hunslet 0-4-0STs and Manning Wardle 0-6-0ST, latterly Greenwood & Batley 4-wheel battery electric; 3mi including sidings

Glyn Valley Tramway: 2'4" gauge f/p; Chirk-Glyn Ceiriog, Denbighshire and mineral branches; inc 1870, horsedrawn until 1888, closed to p 1933, to f 1935; locos: Beyer Peacock 0-4-2T tram engines, Baldwin 4-6-0T; 6.5mi + mineral lines

Great Orme Railway: 3'6" gauge cable-hauled tramway p; Great Orme-Llandudno (Victoria), Caernarvon; open 1902/3-present; 1mi including car sheds

Grwyne Fawr Light Railway (Abertillery water board): 3'0" gauge f/p; Grwyne Fawr Reservoir-Llanfihangel (G.W.R.), Monmouth; open 1913-28 (part requisitioned in 1917-9); locos: Bagnall, Black Hawthorn, Hudswell Clarke and Manning Wardle 0-4-0STs, Bagnall and Manning Wardle 0-6-0STs; c12mi

Guernsey Railway: standard gauge p; St Peter Port-St Sampson Harbour; open 1879-1934; 0-4-0 steam tram engines built by Hughes, Lewin and Merryweather used until electrification with trams in 1892; 2.75mi

Guernsey light railway (German army of occupation): 90cm gauge with 60cm feeder lines f (fortification construction); St Peter Port-St Sampson-Grand Havre-Rocquaine Bay; open 1940-5; locos: Henschel, Krupp and other 0-4-0Ts, diesel 60cm-g types; c20mi

Harrington and Lowca Light Railway: standard gauge f/p; Lowca-Rosehill J., Cumberland; open 1858, Light R Order 1913-closed 1973; colliery line with running powers over the C.W.J.; Copperas Hill was the steepest gradient (1 in 17) to have carried adhesion-worked passenger services; 3.25mi

Harrogate Gas Company railway: 2'0" gauge f; Harrogate gasworks-Bilton Road J., Yorks; open 1908-56; locos: Green 0-6-2ST, Hunslet 4-6-0T, Peckett 0-6-0ST and Drewry 0-6-0 diesel; 1.75mi

Hellingly Hospital Railway: standard gauge f/p; Hellingly Hospital-Hellingly (L.B.S.C.R.), Sussex; open 1899 (electrified 1903)-1959, closed for p 1931; loco: Whiteley 0-4-0 tram engine; 1mi

Hendre Ddu Tramway: 1'11" gauge f; Aberangell-Hendre Ddu slate quarries, Merioneth; open c1867-Second World War; horsedrawn, some ic locos from 1920; c5mi

Hetton Colliery Railway: see Lambton, Hetton and Joicey Railway

Holyhead breakwater railway: standard gauge (originally broad gauge until 1913) f (construction and maintenance of breakwater); Holyhead light house-Holyhead silica works quarry, Anglesey; open c1845-1981; locos: initially Longridge 0-4-0WTs, latterly B.R. diesels D2594/5; 2mi

Horton Hospitals Railway: standard gauge f; Ewell West(S.R.)-Long Grove Hospital-West Park, Surrey (mental hospitals on Horton Manor Estate); open 1898-1947; locos 0-4-0Ts, 0-6-0T; 7.5mi

Irlam (C.W.S.) Works railway: standard gauge f/p(employees); part of the Manchester Ship Canal Railway (q.v.); Irlam Soap Works-Irlam (C.L.C), Lancs; open c1893-1959(p); locos: latterly Peckett 0-4-0STs, Peckett 0-4-0 fireless; 0.5mi; a similar service operated to the C.W.S. Margarine Works

Isle of Man Railway: 3'0" gauge f/p; Douglas-Peel (11.5mi), Douglas-Port Erin (15.4mi), St Johns-Ramsey (16.5mi)-formerly Manx Northern Railway; open 1873/4/9 respectively-1965, partial reopening 1967-8, only Douglas-Port Erin remains open (purchased by the Manx Government in 1977); locos: Beyer Peacock 2-4-0Ts and Dubs 0-6-0T

Jersey Eastern Railway: standard gauge f/p; St Helier-Gorey Pier; open 1873-1929; locos: Kitson 0-4-2Ts, Sharp Stewart 2-4-0T and Sentinel steam railcars; 6.25mi

Jersey light railway (German army of occupation): 1m and 60cm gauge f; St Helier-Gorey/Ronez quarry/west coast; open 1942-5; locos: (1m-g) Corpet & Louvet 0-6-0T, 0-8-0T, Orenstein & Koppel 0-6-0T and others; (60cm-g) Deutz diesels and others; c23mi + short branches

Jersey Railway: 3'6" gauge (initially standard gauge) f/p; St Helier-Corbiere with branch to St Helier harbour; open 1870-1936; locos: Bagnall, Barclay and Manning Wardle 2-4-0Ts, Sentinel steam railcars; 8.5mi

Kent and East Sussex Light Railway: standard gauge f/p; Robertsbridge (Sussex)-Headcorn (Kent); open 1900-61, part now preserved; locos: Hawthorn Leslie 2-4-0Ts and 0-8-0T, ex-L.B.S.C.R. 0-6-0Ts, ex-L.S.W.R. 0-6-0ST and 0-6-0s, Manning Wardle 0-6-0ST, steam railcar and petrol twin railcars; locos in green livery after 1931; 21mi; abs. by B.R. in 1948

Kingsnorth Light Railway: standard gauge f; Sharnal Street (S.R.)-Abbotts Court Pier, Kent; open 1915-c1950; locos: Kerr Stuart 0-4-0ST and petrol shunters; 2mi

Kinlochleven Railway (British Aluminium Co.): 3ft gauge f; Loch Leven-works, Argyll; open 1907/11, works closed 2000; locos: Dick Kerr, Metro-Vickers 500/550V d.c. overhead electric; 1.25mi

Lambton, Hetton and Joicey Railway: standard gauge f (colliery); Hetton-Sunderland, Durham; open 1822-1959; locos: latterly Kitson, Stephenson 0-6-2Ts, Hawthorn Leslie, Hunslet, Stephenson & Hawthorn and Vulcan 0-6-0STs, N.B. 0-6-0 diesel and others; 8mi including originally 5 self-acting inclines

Lee Moor Tramway: 4'6" gauge f; Lee Moor china clay pits-Cann Quarry branch (Plymouth and Dartmoor R.), Devon; open 1854, 1858-1939 and 1945-7; after 1916 incorporated parts of P. & D.R. to reach Cattewater; locos: Peckett 0-4-0STs in green livery; c9.5mi, latterly 3mi in use, horsedrawn until closure 1960

Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway: 2'6" gauge f/p; Waterhouses-Hulme End, Staffs; open 1904-35, closed to p 1934; locos: Kitson 2-6-4Ts in brown then N.S. lake then L.M.S. red livery; worked by the N.S. and purchased by the L.M.S.; 8.25mi

Leighton Buzzard Light Railway: 2'0" gauge f; Leighton Buzzard exchange sidings (L.M.S.)-sand quarries at Heath & Reach, Beds; open 1919-78, truncated 1968, part preserved; locos: initially Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0WTs (for 6 months), Motor Rail petrol and diesel types; 4.3mi

Liverpool Overhead Railway: standard gauge p; Seaforth Sands-Dingle (Liverpool); open 1893-1956; first electrically operated elevated city line; 6.5mi

Lochaber Railway (British Aluminium Co.): 3ft gauge f/p(employees), hydroelectric scheme construction and maintenance; Loch Linnhe Pier (Fort William)-Lochaber Works-Loch Treig, Inverness; open 1925-77 (flooding caused part-closure in 1971); locos: Hunslet, Kerr Stuart 0-4-2STs, Ruston, Simplex diesels, Greenwood & Batley battery trams, Wickham trolleys; 21mi + three branches. Also 1.75mi of standard gauge at Lochaber Works with Fowler 4-wheel diesel

Longmoor Military Railway (formerly Woolmer Instructional Military R.): standard gauge f/p; Bordon (L.S.W.R.)-Longmoor Camp-Liss (L.S.W.R.) with Hollywater loop (circular line), Hants; open 1909 (Liss extension 1933)-1969; locos: postwar: G.W.R. Dean 0-6-0s, W.D. 0-6-0STs, 2-8-0s, 2-10-0, L.B.S.C.R. Class I2 4-4-2Ts, Peckett 0-6-0ST and diesel shunters; latterly N.B. Loco Co. 2-8-0 and 2-10-0s, Hudswell Clarke, Hunslet and Stephenson 0-6-0STs and others; 11.3mi

Lowesmoor Tramway: standard gauge f; Hill Evans & Co. (vinegar, cider works)-Shrub Hill (G.W.R.), Worcester; open 1872-1964; operated by the G.W.R.; 0.4mi + sidings

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