The Great Cockcrow Railway
The Great Cockcrow Railway is a miniature railway located at Lyne, near Chertsey, Surrey, UK.
It is open on Sundays afternoons from May to October inclusive, plus Wednesday afternoons during August.
This 7 1/4" gauge railway originated in 1946 when John Samuel started construction in the garden of his house,'Greywood', on the Burwood Park estate at Walton-on-Thames. With the help of a group of volunteers the Greywood Central Railway developed into one of the foremost of its type in the country until by 1962 a run of 3/4 mile was possible. From the first the line was properly signalled and ultimately worked to a timetable. Samuel's death in 1962 threw the railway's future into doubt but the publisher, Ian Allan, purchased the line and, with the assistance of most of the GCR volunteers, a few of whom are still involved, moved it to its present site at Hardwick Lane, Chertsey. It reopened to the public on 14 September 1968 under the new name Great Cockcrow Railway, taken from Cockcrow Hill which rises on its south side. Prototypical working remains the key to the railway's operation with full track circuiting and both semaphore and colour-light signals controlled by three signalboxes located at the two termini and the main intermediate station. Two different routes are offered to the public, both running to about 1 1/4 miles. A named train, 'The Gladesman', operates once each working afternoon at 5 pm, covering both routes. There are presently about 25 steam engines and four i/c locomotives in the stud, all owned by individual members of the operating team. Six or seven can usually be seen on operating days.
Steam locomotives are based on British mainline prototypes built to 1/8th scale. All four pre-Nationalisation companies are represented and locos from both pre-Grouping and BR 'Standard' eras are present. The oldest,a North Eastern Railway class 'R1' (LNER D19) 4-4-0 was built in 1913 and is still in full working order. The smallest is a GWR 1400 class 0-4-2T while the largest are the 'Pacifics',the oldest being the freelance Pacific built by Louis Shaw in 1927 and given the name 'Eureka' by Sir John Samuel in 1947, with others from the LMS, LNER and Southern companies, as well as British Railways. Engines of 2-6-0 and 4-6-0 wheel arrangement feature as do 'Atlanics' from both the GNR and LBSCR alongside 0-8-0, 2-8-0 and 2-10-0 freight engines. A comprehensive list follows.
Trains are generally made up of three 4-seater 'sit-in' bogie carriages to accommodate twelve people. The all-up weight of a train - without the engine - is estimated on average to be about 1 1/4 tons or 1270kgs. 'The Gladesman' is double-headed and is made up of six or seven carriages depending on demand.
The railway is open to the public each Sunday afternoon between 1.45 and 5.30 from the end of April to the end of October. It is about 1.5 miles/2.5km from junction 11 on the M25, situated on the east side of Hardwick Lane, Lyne at map ref: 026662 and marked by 'Brown' signs in the immediate vicinity. Postcode for SATNAV is KT16 0AD.
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