Great Bush Railway
|Dates of operation||1966–Present|
|Track gauge||2 ft (610 mm)|
The Great Bush Railway is a private, 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge running round the edge of Tinkers Park, Hadlow Down, Sussex. The railway is operated by the Claude Jessett Trust Company. The line is 500 meters long and has a single station at Hadlow Down.
The line was laid down by Claude Jessett as an attraction to accompany the yearly steam rallies and as a replacement for an earlier miniature railway that existed around his garden. Locomotives and rolling stock was acquired from Alpha Cement Company and Ludlay and Crowborough Brickworks. Locomotives Alpha and Aminal were used for motive power, the carriages being built from Crowborough supplied brick wagons. As the trackwork extended, Aminal was deemed problematic due to the suspension sprngs being welded up and derailed constantly. Thus ending up out of use. Laterly the coaches were retired and a bogie coach built to take their place. Later joined by three coaches from the Hayling Seaside Railway.
Over time, the track has been extended further and the locomotive fleet expanded. The railway only runs on Tinkers Park events.
The line today
The line runs in a U shape, with Hadlow Down station a few yards apart from the lower sidings. From the station, there is a straight run alongside the "Great Bush" which gives the railway its name, before reaching the locomotive shed, workshop and various sidings. After passing alongside, the line then reaches the Organ Museum Halt. The line then drops into a 1in27 curve situated in a cutting. The cutting being the largest feature on the line, having been dug gradually while the organ museum halt being the end of the line. After the cutting the line has taken a 180 degree turn running alongside another hedge before crossing over an access road between event fields and ending in a pair of sidings.
|1||Aminal||Motor Rail||4wPM||1931||Purchased from the Ludlay Brick and Tile Company|
|4||Mild||Motor Rail||4wDM||1941||8687||Purchased from the Crowborough Brickworks|
|5||Alpha||Ruston & Hornsby||4wDM||1937||183744||Purchased from the APCM Rodmell Works|
|14||Albany||Ruston & Hornsby||4wDM||1941||213840||Purchased from the 18 in (457 mm) gauge Royal Arsenal Railway, converted to 2 ft (610 mm) gauge in 1973|
|22||Lama||BEV||4wBE||1953||5033||Purchased from the Crowborough Brickworks|
|23||BEV||0-4-0BE||1972||M7534||In unrestored condition|
|24||Titch||BEV||0-4-0BE||1972||M7535||Purchased from the Crowborough Brickworks|
|28||São Domingos||Orenstein & Koppel||0-6-0WT||1929||11784|
|29||RJ Brown||Ruston & Hornsby||4wDM||1955||382820||Worked at Penrhyn Quarry Railway|
|30||Drusilla||Motor Rail||4wDM||1965||22236||Worked at Drusillas Zoo Park|
|2||Sezela No. 2||Avonside||0-4-0T||1915||1720|
|3||Goat||Lister||4wDM||1936||8022||Purchased from the Crowborough Brickworks, sold to the Surrey Light Railway, 1977|
|6||Sezela No. 6||Avonside||0-4-0T||1928||1923|
|7||Fido||Motor Rail||4wPM||1931||5297||Purchased from the Surrey Light Railway, 1976; sold to Ian Jolly, 1977, Now at Old Kiln Light Railway|
|8||Tuesday||Hibberd||4wDM||1941||2586||Purchased from the Surrey Light Railway, 1976; sold to the Leadhills and Wanlockhead Railway, 1988|
|9||Smifsagit||Hunslet Hudson||4wDM||1944||3109||Purchased from the Surrey Light Railway, 1976; sold to Alan Keef, 1979|
|10||Cape||Orenstein & Koppel||4wDM||1935||5925||Purchased from Cape Universal Products, 1976; converted from 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge; sold to Amberley Chalk Pits Museum, 1978|
|11||Layer||Fowler||4wDM||1936||21294||Ex Brockham Museum, later Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills|
|12||Hibberd||4wDM||1938||2136||Ex Horam Brickworks, later to Nick Williams, Reading|
|13||Peter Pan||Kerr Stuart||0-4-0ST||1922||4265||Arrived September 1977, left May 1978|
|15||Olde||Hudson Hunslet||4wDM||1940||2176||Arrived 1977, left 1979|
|17||Bear||Ruston & Hornsby||4wDM||1952||339209||Arrived 1978, left 1979|
|18||Owl||Ruston & Hornsby||4wDM||1939||283513||Arrived 1978, left 1979|
|19||Hibberd||4wDM||1943||2631||Arrived 1979, left 1987|
|20||Wingrove & Rogers||4wBE||1951||4634||Arrived 1980, scrapped 2006|
|21||Wingrove & Rogers||4wBE||1953||5035||Arrived 1980, Scrapped 2006|
|26||No 4||Ruston & Hornsby||4wDM||1936||177638||Arrived 2000, left 2011|
|27||Number 22||Ruston & Hornsby||4wDM||1944||226302||Arrived 2000, left 2011|
- Industrial Railway Society (2009). Industrial Locomotives (15EL). Industrial Railway Society. ISBN 978-1-901556-53-7.
- Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Kevin (2001). Sussex Narrow Gauge. Middleton Press. ISBN 1-901706-68-0.
- Oughton, Ian. Great Bush Railway Locomotives.
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