Narrow Gauge Pleasure
Talyllyn at Brynglas

Welcome to the Narrow Gauge Pleasure web site. This site is devoted to The British Narrow Gauge Railways and what makes them worth visiting. If you want an introduction to the subject carry on and read this page first. If all you want is to find out about the railways or go straight to their own sites go to The Railways page and proceed from there.

It is all too easy to dismiss the narrow gauge railways of Britain as insignificant, and perhaps in a sense they are, however each surviving railway represents a fascinating and unique piece of history with a well earned place in our countryside. While our main line railways have been forced into dull uniformity by the practicalities of being a part of a larger whole, their smaller cousins retain their individuality, and with it their charm, which can be a delight to young and old whether railway minded or casual visitor.

The variety that exists on our narrow gauge railways would be hard to overstate. From the powerful locomotives of Wales built to haul heavy trains on an arduous climb into the mountains to the scale model, main line in miniature, offerings of the 15" gauge railways of England, the locomotives remain the stars.

Equally inspiring is the country through which many of our surviving narrow gauge railways run. Several of them were built to transport valuable minerals from mines hidden high in the mountains to the sea through country so rugged that a standard gauge line would have been impossible. This is why there are three beautiful lines climbing from the coasts of Wales to remote spots high in the spectacular Welsh hills.

Interior of a modern Ffestiniog coach
Narrow Gauge need not mean
Cramped or uncomfortable

Some more recent railways were built by visionaries with a dream of combining a miniature railway with a public service, this is how the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway came into being. This railway is unique in Britain in that for much of its length it is double track and the narrow gauge locomotives, each a miniature replica of a main line steam engine, flash past each other at speed with their trains. Unusually most of this line is flat and straight as it links the towns of Hythe and New Romney with a Holiday camp and then runs for miles out into the strange shingle desert that is Dungeness.

There is yet another group of railways which capture the spirit of narrow gauge rail while being of more modern origin, built specifically with the tourist in mind. Some of these are run by volunteers just as dedicated as those preserving systems that have been running for a century or more. This type of railway has brought narrow gauge to parts of the country where it either never existed or had completely disappeared. Don't dismiss modern lines as of no historical interest as some have locomotives and rolling stock much older than the railways themselves.

The narrow gauge has much to offer and it would be a shame to leave an area boasting a narrow gauge railway without paying it a visit. I hope that you will look around this site and share, at least for a minute or two, my enthusiasm for the narrow gauge.

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As well as maintaining this site Nick is an IT professional. For more information visit Nick's personal page or see Nick on LinkedIn.