Heatherslaw Light Railway
|Heatherslaw Light Railway|
Heatherslaw Light Railway shown within Northumberland
|OS grid reference|
Founded by Neville Smith, the railway opened in 1989 on the Ford and Etal estate. It operates over a route from Heatherslaw to Etal Village, a return trip of 4.5 miles (7.2 km). The railway normally operates from March to October inclusive, with an hourly (half-hourly during busy days) train service, and Santa Specials (weekends in December) but closes for the winter season. The passenger coaches include facilities for transporting wheel chairs and buggys, and a typical summer season eight-coach train can convey up to 90 passengers.
The railway's principal locomotive from its opening has been a 0-4-2 steam engine named "The Lady Augusta". Lady Augusta was built under contract with the workshops at the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway and entered service in 1989. She has successfully pulled up to 100 passengers a trip for 21 years. Lady Augusta became the spare loco when Bunty (see below) arrived. It is expected that Lady Augusta will leave the railway at the end of 2015.
The second locomotive is a diesel hydraulic locomotive named "Clive". This was built on site at Heatherslaw by Neville Smith and Sid Ford.
A new build diesel locomotive has been built during 2015 and is expected to enter service at the start of 2016, Bunty will remain the main locomotive hauling passenger trains. The new diesel has not yet been named.
The station at Heatherslaw features an overall roof covering one concrete-slabbed platform; a third line serves as a locomotive release road for engines to run round trains; there are also storage sidings and sheds, as well as a ticket office and shop. The station at Etal has a simple terminal passing loop and a turntable.
Media related to Heatherslaw Light Railway at Wikimedia Commons