Royal Victoria Railway
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2008)|
|Royal Victoria Railway|
|Locale||Royal Victoria Country Park in Netley, Hampshire, England|
|Track gauge||10 1⁄4 in (260 mm)|
|Length||1 mile (1.6 km)|
Coordinates: The Royal Victoria Railway runs for around 1 mile (1.6 km) through Royal Victoria Country Park in Netley, Hampshire, England, with views of Southampton Water. The line is built to the popular gauge of 10 1⁄4 in (260 mm) and runs every weekend throughout the year and all school holidays.
- Trevithick - An 0-6-2 steam locomotive built for the age of steam in Cornwall by Roger Marsh.
- Isambard Kingdom Brunel - A 2-6-0 tender locomotive built by David Curwen also for the age of steam in Cornwall.
- Basil the Brigadier - A 2-6-0 + 0-6-2 articulated locomotive, built by Kitsons of Leeds in 1938 for the famous Surrey Border and Camberley Railway. The engine was converted from a scale locomotive to a narrow gauge outline while at the Shillingstone light Railway. The locomotive was re-imported from Belgium where it had been in a private collection.
- Lynton - A 2-4-4 tank locomotive built as 7 1⁄4 in (184 mm) gauge by Narogauge Limited in 1984.
- Royal Scot Built in 1938 by Bassett-Lowke, and the only 10 1⁄4 in (260 mm) Royal Scot that was made by them. She worked at Hastings Miniature Railway and Oakhill Manor Railway before being exported to the USA. She was re-imported in 2002.
- Royal Scot Built by Dove of Nottingham she worked at various locations including Cleethorpes on the original 10 1⁄4 in (260 mm) gauge railway, before being shipped to Canada and then the USA. She was re-imported in 2002.
- Maurice the Major The first engine on the railway, built by P.Bowers and E.Laugnly in 1994/5. It is powered by a 3-cylinder Kubota diesel engine.
- D1001 Western Independence Built by David Curwen in 1964 for a railway at Margate Pier. She was originally powered by a 4-litre Perkins diesel engine. This was replaced, by a 3-cylinder Kubota engine and hydraulic drive.
- D1002 Western Explorer Designed by David Curwen, this engine was built in 1965 for the Brooklands Miniature Railway at Brooklands Park in Worthing. Upon change of ownership the engine went to Joe Nemeth to be restored for use on his Berkley Light Railway. When this line changed hands, this engine was bought by the RVR in a part restored condition. The restoration is continuing.
- D1011 Western Thunderer Built by David Curwen in 1964 for the Audley End railway. This engine was driven by the famous racing driver Stirling Moss to open the line.
- Ivor An 0-4-0 saddle tank, owned by a private individual and no longer based on the RVR.
- Sir Walter Gower Built by Walter Gower, the engine ran on the Orchard Farm Railway in Yorkshire. RVR bought the engine, and it was never used, being sold soon after.
- Claude The Colonel Built by P.Bowers during 1999/2000, it is a steam outline Bo-Bo with a 3-cylinder Kubota, and hydraulic system.
- Arctic Prince A Mardyke Hymec locomotive, owned by a private individual and no longer based on the RVR.
- St Albans Comet, previously named Western Courier ran at Basildon miniature railway. The locomotive was bought by a private individual and based at the RVR for a short time before returning to Basildon on loan.
- Belle Built by David Curwen and owned by a private individual, this engine visited for the renaming of Basil The Brigadier, with which it once ran at Shillingstone.
- Alice An 0-4-0 saddle tank locomotive with a tender based on a Bagnall.
The ride normally starts at Picadilly, named after the park road junction just opposite. Tickets are bought from the engine shed, opposite a well laid out yard, which is in fact the area for a new station building. The carriage shed is also here. Upon leaving the station, which is set into the hillside the line curves, crosses a set of points, that lead up to the yard and hence the engine shed, and runs along a straight parallel with Southampton water. The view from here is obscured by gorse hedges. At the end of the straight is another point, put in place for the new extension being built. The Train will always curve left here and run inland. On the right can be seen the area for specials, such as teddy bears picnic and treasure hunt and on the left, a new double track section. Here, the train passes over the site of a yet to be built diamond crossing where one track will cross over and then over a point which allows the other track to join the mainline. This double track leads back to the yard and the site of a new terminus station through the carriage shed. The line curves right at this point and begins to descend entering a closely wooded section. At the bottom of the hill is where the train stops for the specials. The line enters a cutting, and curves around an 'S' bend, emerging onto an embankment with panoramic views of Southampton Water and the Chapel, last remnant of the once huge military hospital. At the bottom of this embankment is a short section of hedge, which gives way to Chapel Road Station. This is the start for all special events and some other trains but is normally closed. There is now a new ticket office in place at the end of the platform replacing the old one which was very tired. Upon leaving the level chapel road station, the line begins to climb crossing the first level crossing and running between the gorse bank and the car park on an embankment. There is a 'S' bend through a patch of small trees before the line emerges to run below the playground and past the tea rooms on the former hospital branch trackbed. The line curves inland again and crosses a second crossing just opposite the recently refurbished Cedar Tea Rooms. Here the line begins to climb more steeply and, if you are lucky enough to be on a steam engine you can here the engine working hard to climb the steep grade as it enters some woodland and another cutting. At the deepest point of the cutting the line, curves sharply. This is the sharpest curve on the whole line and will need realigning before the planned tunnel can be built. Curving right, out of the sharp bend and through another 'S', the line runs straight, climbing alongside the sensory garden and emerges from the woods across another level crossing and left past the playground. The view here is easily the best on the line but, does not last long before the line re-enters the gorse bank. Across the last level crossing, down a short straight brings us to Picadilly and the end of our journey.
There is planned a new terminus station, opposite the engine shed. This will then lead into the carriage shed, which doubles up as a tunnel. At the other side of it, the line splits into two tracks, and heads south in a shallow cutting. At the end, the left hand line joins the main circuit, but the right hand one stops short of the current mainline. Here it is planned to build a diamond crossing, and a new curve through the specials area, to join up with a straight that is already in place and leads to a point. Trains will eventually leave by the left track, travel around the main circuit and then continue straight on at the points to the new loop, over the diamond crossing and return through the carriage shed to the new station terminus.
The line is run by a group of dedicated volunteers who carry out and perform all the work necessary to improve and maintain the railway. On most Sundays can be seen a gang of young volunteers from network rail who help out with various tasks such as hedge cutting. There are also one or two permanent young volunteers who assist with driving and other things when needed. In 2005, the tri-service cadets from Southampton university began construction of the new station building, but complications led to them instead assisting with the track laying on the extension, and the postponing of the building work.
There are various other projects including a new steam engine, large terminus station and extensive refurbishment of Chapel Road station, including the reinstatement of the passing loop and general clean, some of which including a new ticket office and much of the fence repainting from black to cream has already been done.
- Little puffer book