Wells Harbour Railway

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Wells Harbour Railway
Wells Harbour railway - geograph.org.uk - 950199.jpg
Howard hauling a southbound train on the Wells Harbour Railway.
Overview
Fleet size4
Stations called at2
Stations operated2
Route km operated1.1
Technical
Line length1,200 yards (1,100 m)
Gauge10 14 in (260 mm)
Wells Harbour Railway
Pinewoods
Pitch & Put Car Park Level Crossing
Wells Harbour

The Wells Harbour Railway is a 10 14 in (260 mm) gauge railway at Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, England. It is 1,200 yards (1,100 m) long, running between Wells Harbour and Pinewoods. Diesel locomotives are used.

History[edit]

The Wells Harbour Railway was established in 1976 by Roy Francis.[1] It opened in July of that year. There are two stations, Harbour and Pinewood, located at the town and seaward ends of the line respectively. At the latter there is a caravan park and beach.[2] The railway provides an alternative to the long walk between Wells next the Sea and the beach at Wells Harbour. A bus route once served Pinewoods, but this was withdrawn.[1] The engine shed is located at Pinewoods.[2]

Over 80,000 passengers were carried in the first two years of operation. In January 1978, a storm washed away over 12 mile (800 m) of track. The railway was rebuilt and reopened in July that year.[1] In 1980, Francis sold the Wells Harbour Railway and established the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway on part of the trackbed of the dismantled Wymondham to Wells line.

The railway was sold again in 1988, the new owners finding that it was in poor condition. In 1998, new carriages were supplied by Alan Keef of Ross on Wye. A new steam-outline diesel locomotive was supplied by Keef as the new carriages were too heavy for Weasel to pull. The railway was sold after the 2000 season, with the new owners improving the track and Pinewoods station. Another new locomotive was supplied in 2005.[3]

Operation[edit]

The Wells Harbour Railway operates at weekends from Easter to the May Day bank holiday, then daily until the end of September, using a published timetable. It then operates at weekends until the end of October.[2] The railway claims to hold the record of being the first railway of its gauge (or any smaller gauge) to operate a scheduled timetable passenger service.[4]

Rolling stock[edit]

Current locomotives
Name Wheel arrangement Year built & builder Notes Photograph
Weasel 4wPM 1980
David King
Petrol mechanical locomotive.[2] Powered by an Alfa Romeo petrol engine, driving all four wheels.[5] Currently undergoing restoration and re-build.
Densil 0-6-0 DH 1998
Alan Keef
Steam outline diesel locomotive.[2] Powered by a one-litre 3-cylinder Perkins engine.[5] WHR-Densil.jpg
Howard 0-6-0 DH 2005
Alan Keef
Steam outline diesel locomotive.[2] Wells Harbour Railway, Pinewoods station - geograph.org.uk - 153937.jpg
The Duke 0-6-0 DH 2014
Alan Keef
Diesel locomotive.[2] The Duke WHR.JPG
Former locomotives
Name Wheel arrangement Year built & builder Notes Photograph
Edmund Hannay 0-4-2ST 1972
David King
Steam locomotive.[5][5] Sold in 2011 and now based at the Vanstone Woodland Railway in Hertfordshire.[6]

The original carriages used on the line were made by David King, who was the engineer who built Edmund Hannay. They were two open carriages and two covered carriages with wooden bodies on steel underframes. In 1998, four new covered carriages were made by Alan Keef. These have steel bodies on steel underframes.[3]

References[edit]

Wells-next-the-Sea from the 1946 Ordnance Survey map. The Wells Harbour Railway runs adjacent to the road to the beach, on its west side.
  1. ^ a b c "Wells Harbour Railway". Steam Railway Lines. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Wells Harbour Railway ​10 14 inch". Miniature Railway World. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Wells Harbour Railway History". Wells Harbour Railway. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  4. ^ "Wells Harbour Railway Homepage". Wells Harbour Railway. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d "Wells Harbour Railway Engines". Wells Harbour Railway. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  6. ^ Locos Vanstone Woodland Railway

Coordinates: 52°58′5″N 0°50′54″E / 52.96806°N 0.84833°E / 52.96806; 0.84833