Lea Bailey Light Railway

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Lea Bailey Light Railway
WR8 Locomotive entering Lea Bailey gold mine.jpg
WR8 locomotive shunting wagons into the mine
LocaleEngland
Commercial operations
NameMitcheldean Road & Forest of Dean Junction Railway
Built byGreat Western Railway
Original gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Operated byLea Bailey Light Railway Society
Length200 yards (183 m)
Preserved gauge2 ft (610 mm)
Commercial history
Opened1885
Closed1917
Preservation history
2012Work started at the Lea Bailey site

The Lea Bailey Light Railway is a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow-gauge heritage railway in the United Kingdom. It is built on the site of the Bailey Level Gold Mine

An attempt was made in 2003 by the owners of Clearwell Caves to open the mine as a tourist attraction, but this was ultimately unsuccessful. In 2012, a small group from the Royal Forest of Dean Caving Club discovered the mine and a quantity of disused railway equipment and proposed to the owners that a volunteer-led project could start work on restoring the site. As of 2014, two locomotives and a number of wagons have been moved to Lea Bailey from storage at Clearwell Caves or the nearby Hawthorn Tunnel.[1]

Part of the railway is laid on the trackbed of the disused Mitcheldean Road & Forest of Dean Junction Railway.

In 2013 the Lea Bailey Light Railway Society was formed;[2] its members act as volunteers, undertaking all aspects of work on the site. A regular free newsletter is produced and sent out by e-mail.[3]

Locomotives[edit]

Name Type Builder Works number Date built Arrived at Lea Bailey Notes
4w DM Motor Rail 21282 1964 September 1993 Supplied to brickworks at Kempston Hardwick, then purchased by Alan Keef and sold to the Meirion Mill Railway in 1975. Returned to Alan Keef in late 1976, was sold on a peatworks where it worked until 1989. Then went to Lea Bailey.[4]
4w compressed air locomotive Eimco 401-216[5] Ex-mining contractor in British Columbia. Re-gauged from 18 in (457 mm) gauge.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lea Bailey Light Railway - Newsletter No. 1" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Lea Bailey Light Railway Society". Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Lea Bailey Light Railway - Newsletter Archive". Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  4. ^ Quine, Dan (November 2016). "Trixie and the Meirion Mill Railway". Narrow Gauge World.
  5. ^ "Chance to see rare loco in action at Lea Bailey". The Ross Gazette. 15 September 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°52′23.73″N 2°31′8.25″W / 51.8732583°N 2.5189583°W / 51.8732583; -2.5189583