Alderney Railway

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Coordinates: 49°43′05″N 2°12′00″W / 49.718°N 2.200°W / 49.718; -2.200

Vulcan Drewry 0-4-0 diesel locomotive Elizabeth and former London Underground 1959 Tube Stock cars
Alderney Railway
Engine Shed
Mannez Quarry
Chateau a L'Etoc
Eclipse Halt
Newtown Road
Braye Road
Inner Harbour
Fort Doyle (Crabby Bay)
Line onto Breakwater

The Alderney Railway on Alderney is the only railway in the Bailiwick of Guernsey (a British Crown dependency), and the only working railway in the Channel Islands. (There is a standard gauge railway at the Pallot Heritage Steam Museum in Jersey, but this provides no actual transport link, only pleasure rides.) The Alderney Railway opened in 1847 and runs for about 2 miles (3.2 km), mostly following a coastal route, from Braye Road to Mannez Quarry and Lighthouse.

The railway is run by volunteers and usually operates during summer weekends and bank holidays.


Rolling stock[edit]


Tube stock stabled at Braye Road Station

The current stock is former London Underground 1959 Tube Stock cars nos. 1044 and 1045,[1] a Vulcan Drewry 0-4-0 diesel locomotive no. D100 Elizabeth, a Ruston & Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel Molly II and six Wickham rail cars. Molly II is currently awaiting modification to her coupler system, so she can haul the London Underground stock. However, this cannot happen at the moment due to the fact she is not yet owned by the Alderney Railway company.


  • British Admiralty, 1854-1923. (The railway was, presumably, owned by some other department of the British Government from 1847-1854).
Name Date built Builder Works No. Wheels Cylinders Notes Withdrawn
Veteran 1847  ?  ? 0-6-0 Inside arr. 1847  ?
Fairfield 1847  ?  ? 0-6-0 Inside arr. 1847  ?
Waverley  ? Henry Hughes of Loughborough[2]  ? 0-4-0ST Outside - 1889
Bee  ?  ?  ? 0-6-0T  ? -  ?
Spider  ?  ?  ? 0-6-0T  ? -  ?
Gillingham  ? Aveling and Porter  ? 0-6-0TG  ? arr. 1893 1893
No.1 1880 Hunslet 231 0-6-0ST Inside arr. 1893 1923
No.2 1898 Peckett 696 0-4-0ST Outside arr. 1904 1923

  • Channel Islands Granite Co Ltd, 1923-1940.

This company took over the railway in 1923, together with locomotives No.1 and No.2. No.1 was returned to England and replaced by Manning Wardle 0-6-0ST Nitro.

  • German occupation, 1940-1945

No.2 and Nitro were commandeered by the Germans and are believed to have been shipped to Cherbourg in 1943 or 1944. The Germans lifted part of the standard gauge line and replaced it with a metre gauge line, worked by two Feldbahn 0-4-0 diesel locomotives.

  • British Home Office, 1945-?

The line was restored to standard gauge in 1947-1949 and the following stock was used:

  • Sentinel 4wVBT Molly, in service from 1947, withdrawn 1958. May have been converted to a mobile sand-blaster, which was still extant in 1980.[3]
  • Cowans Sheldon steam crane
  • Ruston & Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel Molly II


The railway was built by the British Government in the 1840s and opened in 1847. Its original purpose was to carry stone from the eastern end of the island to build the breakwater and the Victorian era forts.

There were three Royal visits by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to Alderney. On the first on 8 August 1854, the Royal couple rode on the railway, a horse drawn tender.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Enthusiasts visit Alderney Railway". The Railway Magazine. 154 (1,290): 80. October 2008. ISSN 0033-8923. 
  2. ^ M Swift in Industrial Railway Record February 1974
  3. ^ (Photo) Sentinel 4wVBT converted to a mobile sand-blaster (1980)


  • Railways of the Channel Islands, A Pictorial Survey compiled by C Judge, published by The Oakwood Press 1992, ISBN 0-85361-432-6

External links[edit]