Perrygrove Railway

Perrygrove Railway

The Perrygrove Railway is a minimum gauge railway running on RailGauge|15 gauge track. It is a private heritage railway running at Perrygrove Farm in the Royal Forest of Dean near Coleford, Gloucestershire, England. Trains travel at frequent intervals on a round trip of 1 ½ miles between 4 stations.

The railway was inspired by the minimum gauge estate railways or British narrow gauge railways developed by Sir Arthur Heywood at the end of the 19th century, including his pioneering Duffield Bank Railway and the later Eaton Hall Railway. Perrygrove is the home of the Heywood Collection which consists of 5 original vehicles including the original Saloon carriage from Eaton Hall. Also based at Perrygrove are replica vehicles built by James Waterfield including the locomotive "Ursula" and the Duffield Bank Dining Carriage. All these vehicles are available for viewing when Perrygrove is open, but visitors are asked to telephone +44 (0)1594 834991 if they wish to be certain of seeing a particular item.

The Perrygrove railway has 4 steam locomotives:
* "Spirit of Adventure" built by Exmoor Steam Railway in 1993
* "Ursula" built by James Waterfield
* A Garratt articulated locomotive which was built in Tasmania in 1990 for the Bush Mill Railway and imported to England in 2005
* "Lydia" which is under construction at the railway workshops of Alan Keef Ltd. and will enter service in 2008.

The railway also has 2 diesel locomotives:
* "Workhorse" built by the Motor Rail Company of Bedford in 1963
* "Jubilee" built by Hunslet at Jack Lane, Leeds in 1994 (under conversion)

Perrygrove Farm was purchased by Michael and Frances Crofts in 1993. Construction of the railway commenced in 1995 and it opened in 1996. The railway's existence depends on visits from day trippers, tourists and railway enthusiasts. The first two types of visitor are attracted by the promise of a great day out in the beautiful Forest of Dean, with picnic and play facilities outdoors and under cover, and an Indoor Village with secret passages, in addition to train rides. A unique treasure hunt is also offered. The railway supplies a key to open a hidden box of treasure, and clues to help treasure hunters find it. Clues are scattered in the ancient woodland where real treasure was found in 1849.

The railway depends for its existence on visits by day trippers, tourists, and railway enthusiasts of all ages. The first two types of visitor are promised a great day out for children in the beautiful Forest of Dean with outdoor and indoor activities including an Indoor Village with secret passages. The railway treasure hunt provides a key to open a box of hidden treasure – and the clues needed to find it. The clues are found at the stations and in ancient woodland where real treasure was found in 1849. Railway enthusiasts can meet the builder of the line and when staff are available they are taken on tours of the engine sheds and workshops.

The railway is a member of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association which promotes tourism in the area.

External links

* [ Perrygrove Railway website]
* [ Wye Valley & Forest of Dean Tourism website]
* [ photo of a steam train on the Perrygrove Railway on geograph]

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