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Author Topic: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?  (Read 3769 times)

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Offline austinbob

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2016, 12:20:06 PM »
I live in Farnborough Hampshire and tend to stick mainly to the four of the closest preserved railways - All of which are very good.
Didcot Railway Centre
Mid Hants Railway
Bluebell Railway
Severn Valley Railway

The best however, in my opinion, is the West Somerset Railway.
Beautifully kept stations, Wide range of resident and visiting locos, brilliant scenery, friendly staff and volunteers - brilliant.
 :) :beers:
Size matters - especially if you don't have a lot of space - and N gauge is the answer!

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Offline davidinyork

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2016, 12:26:38 PM »
I don't know if I could pick a top five, but I tend to prefer the diesel-oriented ones which aren't polished to resemble an idealised point in the 20th century which never actually existed.

Probably my favourite is the Mid-Norfolk, which is a decent length and specialises in very good diesel galas. Wensleydale is also good, and I like the Embsay & Bolton Abbey (yes, more steam than diesel in that case, but I like that area and go walking around there).

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2016, 01:08:03 PM »
I've always liked the Ravenglass to Eskdale railway - mainly for the views.

If I include that one I can get to 5. I just lurve those beautifully engineered small locos and the whole thing is run very professionally. As Steve says, the scenery is an added bonus.

Offline railsquid

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2016, 02:13:03 PM »
Ah, the Ratty. I spent some childhood years on the Cumbrian coast, it was a regular for days out with relatives and visitors (to calm them down after a trip over the Hardknott Pass).

Tragically I've scoured my memory and can only come up with two other railways I've been on, the SVR many years ago (was kind of local at one point) and the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire (as reported previously on this august forum).

Which brings me to something else I've been vaguely wondering - does any other country have anything like the amount of preserved lines Britain has? Maybe the US? Germany has a very active rolling stock preservation scene, and Japan has a number of private railways which keep themselves in business by providing rides on old trains, but as far as I know, there's nothing like the UK.
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

Offline Malc

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2016, 03:58:08 PM »
Which brings me to something else I've been vaguely wondering - does any other country have anything like the amount of preserved lines Britain has? Maybe the US? Germany has a very active rolling stock preservation scene, and Japan has a number of private railways which keep themselves in business by providing rides on old trains, but as far as I know, there's nothing like the UK.
Dr Beeching had a lot to do with the number of preserved railways and of course we did have more miles per square mile than most other countries due to the railway building boom in the early days.

My top 5 in no particular order...GWR, SVR, RH&DR, GCR and the Ratty.
The years have been good to me, it was the weekends that did the damage.

Online silly moo

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2016, 04:08:00 PM »
I've only been to about five and they've mainly needed to be accessible by train because I'm on holiday. Don't make me choose between them  :(

Mid - Hants
Isle of Wight
Bluebell
Great Central
North Yorkshire Moors

I also like the Midland Railway Centre because you can wander around without restriction. I've been to the Bluebell three times but I do wish you could get closer to the locos in the yard. I've always wanted to see a Terrier in steam as the last time I saw that was in 1963, but I've always been unlucky.

Offline Dorsetmike

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2016, 04:09:13 PM »
Swanage has to be at the top of my list, it's closest, about 15 miles, and stock is nearly all SR, next Mid Hants and Bluebell  next, again Southern bias.  Then N York Moors and Keighley & Worth Valley.Less impressed with Bodmin & Wadebridge, only brigh spots there being the Beattie well tanks and T9, bottom of the list of those I've visited - East Somerset.

I'd like to see some of the Welsh narrow gauge, and I also like RH&D but don't see that so much as a preserved railway.
Cheers MIKE
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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2016, 06:22:06 PM »
I'm not playing the top five game. Far too difficult for me. I just love all trains.

However, one or two people have mentioned Romney Hythe and Dymchurch railway.  Miles and miles from where I live, but in the summer holidays we are taking the twins to Eurodisney. They're very excited. We have to stay over in Folkestone anyway, so I thought the RHDR might be worth a look.
Would someone like to offer an objective opinion? I can't find prices on the website, any ideas?

Cheers
Kirky
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Offline gc4946

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2016, 08:11:27 PM »
Bluebell Railway
Isle of Wight Railway - no Mk1s in sight!
Keighley & Worth Valley
Welsh Highland - superb scenery!
Severn Valley Railway - took a non-railway friend to a steam gala event some three years ago, he liked it, especially as the ticket included unlimited use of the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway.

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2016, 08:28:55 PM »
So hard to choose.
We just spent a few days in Wales and travelled on the Welsh Highland and ffestiniogg - great little railways amidst fantastic scenery.
Bodmin & Wenford is my closest and one I visit most so near the top of my list.
Others that I really like are Swanage and West Somerset.
So.....I guess that's my 5 !
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Offline ozzie Bill.

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2016, 11:16:51 PM »
Kirky
I have just returned home from a holiday in UK, which had to have a heritage rail trip in the schedule. We selected the Romney as it was the closest to Folkestone, where we were visiting family.
Loved it. Only did the 20 mins from Hythe to the next town, Dymchurch. This was only about 20 mins each way, but was perfect. We stopped at D, had lunch and a brilliant ice cream at a new shop, Amarettos. Owned by a young couple, the ice creams are beaut and their range of flavours are just awesome.
I cannot remember the prices, but all those details are on the RHD website.
Cheers, Bill.

Offline Flounder

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2016, 07:30:05 AM »
Top 5 of the ones I have visited:

1. Mid Hants
Grew up in Alresford and spent many a weekend in the brake van as Dad was, and still is, a volunteer guard.  Saw line grow from Ropley through to Alton and the efforts of the volunteers to make it happen.

2.  North Yorks Moors
Great stock and scenery.  Always make an effort to travel behind SNG.

3.  Swanage
Again, childhood memories of the line, and at the end of the day enjoying fish and chips on the sea wall.

4.  Churnot Valley
Used to walk along canal by railway, then have the most enormous baguette and chips at a pub at the first station (name escapes me).  Then spend rest of day travelling up and down line.

5.  Severn Valley
Had to include this as, whilst only been there once, it was to drive a Class 50 with a full train of 8 coaches as part of their Diesel experience.

Cheers,
Flounder

Offline 4x2

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2016, 08:36:40 AM »
I'm not playing the top five game. Far too difficult for me. I just love all trains.

However, one or two people have mentioned Romney Hythe and Dymchurch railway.  Miles and miles from where I live, but in the summer holidays we are taking the twins to Eurodisney. They're very excited. We have to stay over in Folkestone anyway, so I thought the RHDR might be worth a look.
Would someone like to offer an objective opinion? I can't find prices on the website, any ideas?

Cheers
Kirky
I've only been once and it was brilliant ! I've checked the website and a family ticket is 45 (2 adults and 3 children) or Adult is 17 and child 8.50. That's all stations rover's, I suspect that you can also buy tickets for other stations if you just want a taster...

The locomotives are beautiful works of art and will pull a ten coach train easily, they don't hang around either ! This railway has all the usual facility's - New Romney is the best place to jump off as you have the workshops, museum and the obligatory gift shop. Hythe is the best place to start and has a wonderful station that feels a lot bigger than it actually is. The line is 13 miles long so you will definitely get your money's worth !

Favourite fact - as part of the coastal defence during WWII, a train was fitted with an anti aircraft gun and managed to shoot down a Messerschmitt me109 !

The only downside is that the end station Dungeness is a bit boring, as it's right next to a power station and an open wilderness. There is a little shop on the platform and you usually have about 15mins or so to grab an ice cream etc...


« Last Edit: July 09, 2016, 08:51:44 AM by 4x2 »
If it's got rails... you have my full, undivided attention - Steam, diesel and electric, 'tis all good !

Mike

Offline johnlambert

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2016, 12:38:53 PM »
I'm not playing the top five game. Far too difficult for me. I just love all trains.

However, one or two people have mentioned Romney Hythe and Dymchurch railway.  Miles and miles from where I live, but in the summer holidays we are taking the twins to Eurodisney. They're very excited. We have to stay over in Folkestone anyway, so I thought the RHDR might be worth a look.
Would someone like to offer an objective opinion? I can't find prices on the website, any ideas?

Cheers
Kirky
I've only been once and it was brilliant ! I've checked the website and a family ticket is 45 (2 adults and 3 children) or Adult is 17 and child 8.50. That's all stations rover's, I suspect that you can also buy tickets for other stations if you just want a taster...

The locomotives are beautiful works of art and will pull a ten coach train easily, they don't hang around either ! This railway has all the usual facility's - New Romney is the best place to jump off as you have the workshops, museum and the obligatory gift shop. Hythe is the best place to start and has a wonderful station that feels a lot bigger than it actually is. The line is 13 miles long so you will definitely get your money's worth !

Favourite fact - as part of the coastal defence during WWII, a train was fitted with an anti aircraft gun and managed to shoot down a Messerschmitt me109 !

The only downside is that the end station Dungeness is a bit boring, as it's right next to a power station and an open wilderness. There is a little shop on the platform and you usually have about 15mins or so to grab an ice cream etc...

Great summary of the RH&DR experience, 4x2.  When I was in my early teens I used to go every year.  You can easily spend a day riding the line and hopping off at the different stations.  I quite liked the bleakness at Dungeness; counting the steps up to the top of the lighthouse or visiting the power station visitor centre.

I loved the fact that the RH&DR had the facilities to turn the engines at Hythe and New Romney plus Dungeness is on a big loop so the engines are always facing the right way.

It's a pity I've not been there in 20 years...

Offline violets49

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Re: Top 5 preserved railways - what's yours ?
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2016, 12:46:43 AM »
Top five preserved railways:-
5)-Welsh Highland/Ffestiniog
4)-Spa Valley
3)-Bo'ness and Kiniel.
2)-Keighly and Worth Valley.
1)-Bluebell.

I would also give honourable mention to the West Highland extention line from An Gearasdan to Mallaig, in my opinion the greatest in the world. Although its not preserved it has summer steam I still love the everyday, un-preserved working railway. :)

 

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