Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Branch Railway

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The Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Branch Railway (or Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Railway) was a narrow gauge railway created by Rowland Emett. A whimsical view of British rural life and embodying his typical fanciful mechanics,[1] it echoed the similar works of Heath Robinson and Rube Goldberg. The railway began in a series of cartoons in Punch magazine in 1939, as the "Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Railway."

Festival of Britain[edit]

It was chosen as an attraction for the 1951 Festival of Britain events on the South Bank. As the "Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Branch Railway", the third of a mile long railway carried over two million passengers through Battersea Pleasure Gardens.[2]


The three locomotives were:

Nº1 Nellie 
a saddle tank
Nº2 Neptune 
as much paddle steamer as locomotive
Nº3 Wild Goose 
supposedly made from an airship

They were constructed to Emett's designs by Harry Barlow, using war-surplus Fordson diesel engines on a fifteen inch gauge chassis.[2] The Barlow chassis of Neptune would later become Prince Charles on the Lakeside Miniature Railway at Southport.[2]


After the closure of the Festival, the Pleasure Gardens became part of Battersea Park. The railway continued on the same site until 1953; then was moved to another site in the park, where it continued until 1975 with other Barlow locomotives.[2]


  1. ^ "The Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Railway". Museum of London. 2 May 2001. 
  2. ^ a b c d Mosley, David; van Zeller, Peter (1986). Fifteen Inch Gauge Railways. David & Charles. pp. 40–41. ISBN 0-7153-8694-8. 

External links[edit]