Abbey Light Railway
|Dates of operation||1974–2012|
|Track gauge||2 ft (610 mm)|
|Length||3⁄4 mile (1.2 km)|
|Website||Abbey Light Railway|
The Abbey Light Railway was a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge railway in Kirkstall, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Built by enthusiasts, the Railway ran from the nearby Bridge Road commercial area into the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey, operating most Sundays.
From 1976, the line was built from scratch by a group of local enthusiasts, most of whom were members of the Ffestiniog Railway. Second hand rail was acquired from the Ffestiniog and the line was built over a number of years, eventually extending to 3⁄4 mile (1.2 km) from Kirkstall Abbey to Bridge Road, Kirkstall.
Initially the line ran purely as a private railway, but in 1986 it received permission to start public passenger services. These ran from Spring to Autumn, every Sunday and most Bank Holidays. The highlight of the year was the weekend Kirkstall Festival.
In 2006 plans were made to extend the line to the Armley Mills Industrial Museum nearby. This would however involve crossing both the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The project was never realised.
After Peter Lowe died following a short illness in October 2012, the railway closed. Proposed to reopen in the Spring, without its Chief Engineer insurance became difficult to secure. The decision was reluctantly made by his widow to sell off the rolling stock and infrastructure. All but one of the locomotives and much other material was sold to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway in Porthmadog, with work to dismantle the railway beginning in February 2013.
|1||Loweco||Lister||0-4-0PM 6HP||1942||20449||Supplied new to Kelby Sand and Gravel Co. Lincolnshire. Later worked at Hoe Hill Tile works, Barton-on-Humber. Became the first locomotive of the ALR. Now at Poppleton Community Railway Nursery, York.|
|2||Atlas||Hunslet||4wDM 20HP||1943||2465||Supplied new to the Ministry of Defence, then to the Strensall Brick and Tile works, finally worked at the Alne Tile works, near Selby.|
|3||Odin||Motor Rail||4wDM 20HP||1934||5859||Originally used as a contract locomotive, purchased by the Ham River Grit Co. Ltd then by Joseph Arnold & Sons, Leighton Buzzard. Now at Gelert's Farm works (WHHR), Porthmadog.|
|4||Vulcan||Ruston||4wDM 44/48HP||1942||198287||Supplied to Harpur Hill, Buxton then sold to the Royal Air Force at Burtonwood, finally acquired by Yorkshire Water for use at Chellow Heights and Thornton Moor near Bradford. Taken back by Yorkshire Water and now at Bolton Abbey & Embsay Steam Railway.|
|5||Ruston and Hornsby||4wDM 20HP||1946||235654||Supplied new to the Elsham Lime Co., sold to the Barrow Haven Tile works, Lincolnshire. Informally known on the ALR as Little Ruston.|
|6||Druid||Motor Rail||4wDM 20HP||1941||8644||Supplied new to the Ministry of Defense. Sold to the Alne Tile works. Purchased by the Creekmoor Light Railway at Poole. Has been heavily rebuilt at the ALR, with only the chassis, wheels, transmission and nameplate surviving from the original. Now at Gelert's Farm.|
|7||Orenstein & Koppel||4wDM 11HP||1935||5926||Supplied new to Cape Universal Building Products Ltd., Uxbridge. Preserved at the Chalk Pits Museum, Amberley. Currently being rebuilt. Now at Gelert's Farm.|
|8||Robert Hudson Ltd||0-4-0 20HP||1924||39924||New to Lanarkshire county council, Cairngryffe Quarry near Biggar.|
|9||Muir-Hill||0-4-0 20HP||1925||110||New to Meeth Clay works, Devon; thence to R. P. Morris, Dartford, Kent. Now at Gelert's Farm.|
|10||Baguley||0-4-0 10HP||1917||736||New to War Department Light railways, returned to Baguley's and sold to Bristol Corporation water works, Blagdon reservoir. Now at Gelert's Farm.|
|11||Baguley||0-4-0 10HP||1917||760||New to APCM Ltd., Bidwell Clay pit, Dunstable, then to A. J. Keefe, Aylesbury, then to R. P. Morris, Dartford.|
|12||"George"||Greenbat||4wBE||1957||2848||New to Chemical and Insulating Co. Ltd, Faverdale, Darlington thence to R. Stewart, North Yorkshire. Now at Ripon & District Light Railway (private line).|
- Jacobs, Gerald (2006). Railway Track Diagrams Eastern. Bradford-On-Avon: Trackmaps. p. 43b. ISBN 0-9549866-2-8. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- Brown, Jonathan (19 February 2013). "Miniature Leeds railway on the move". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- "uploads/2013/03/Sheet-171.pdf" (PDF). LTHS. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- Brown, Jonathan (19 February 2013). "Miniature Leeds railway on the move". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
- "End of the Line for the Abbey Light Railway". new.kirkstall.org.uk. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- "Locomotive donated to North Yorkshire volunteer railway". BBC News. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- Thomas, Cliff (2002). The Narrow Gauge in Britain & Ireland. Atlantic Publishers. ISBN 1-902827-05-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Abbey Light Railway.|
- Details of Railway
- Film clips of the railway These were taken some time ago on 8 mm and include a film of some of the construction. Small films for dial up, others need DSL.