Ridable miniature railway

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A (ridable) miniature railway is a ground-level, large scale model railroad (or railway) that hauls passengers using locomotives that are models of full-sized railway locomotives (powered by diesel or gasoline engines, live steam engines or electric motors).

Typically they have a track gauge between 10 and 18 inches (254 to 458mm), though both larger and smaller gauges are used. In the USA the terms riding railroad and grand scale railroad are commonly used to describe this type of railway.

These large model railroads are most often seen in municipal parks or in commercial settings, such as amusement park rides.

The major distinction between a miniature railway and a narrow gauge railway is that miniature lines use models of full-sized prototypes. There are miniature railways that run on gauges as wide as 2 ft (610 mm), for example the Wicksteed Park railway. There are also narrow gauge railways running on extremely narrow track as small as 15 inch gauge or less, for example the Rudyard Lake Steam Railway, Perrygrove Railway and the Eaton Hall Railway: these are known as minimum gauge railways.

Typically in the UK miniature lines are operated as public heritage railways, though many private lines also exist, especially in the USA.

UK Miniature Railways

20 in gauge

18 in (457 mm) gauge

  • Heath Park Tramway, Cardiff
  • Sundown Pets Corner, Retford, Nottinghamshire
  • Terrific Train, New Metroland, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear

15 in (381 mm) gauge

1212 in (317 mm) gauge

12" in (305 mm) gauge

1014 in (260 mm) gauge

  • Audley End Railway, Audley End, Saffron Walden, Essex website
  • Beale Park, Pangbourne, Berkshire website
  • Berkeley Light Railway, Gloucestershire website
  • Bickington Steam Railway, Trago Mills, Liverton, Newton Abbot, Devon website
  • Birchley Miniature Railway website
  • Brechin Castle Centre Railway, Haughmuir, Brechin
  • Brooklands Pleasure Park, Worthing, Sussex
  • Chichester & District Society of Model Engineers, Chichester, Sussex
  • Drayton Manor Park and Zoo, Staffordshire
  • Eastleigh Lakeside Railway, Hampshire website
  • Egerton Park Sportsground, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
  • Exmouth Express, Exmouth, Devon
  • Ferry Meadows Miniature Railway, Nene Valley Park, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
  • Happy Mount Park, Bare, Morecombe, Lancashire
  • Hastings Miniature Railway, Hastings, Sussex
  • Kerr's Miniature Railway, West Links Park, Arbroath
  • Kirkby Green Light Railway, Sleaford, Lincolnshire (private with open days)
  • Knebworth Park Miniature Railway, Hertfordshire
  • Lions Mane Line Miniature Railway, Saville Brothers Garden Centre, Selby Road, Garforth, Leeds
  • Manor Railway, Ingfield Manor, Billingshurst, Sussex
  • Mull & West Highland Narrow Gauge Railway, Craignure, Isle of Mull website
  • Paignton Environmental Park, Paignton, Devon
  • Paradise Wildlife Park, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire
  • Pettit's Animal Adventure Park, Reedham, Norfolk
  • Poole Park Miniature Railway, Poole, Dorset
  • Queens Park, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
  • Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley, Hampshire website
  • Rudyard Lake Steam Railway, Rudyard, near Leek, Staffordshire website
  • Saville Brothers Garden Centre, Garforth, Yorkshire
  • Smokey Oak Railway, Woodland Park, Brokerswood, Westbury, Wiltshire
  • Stapleford Miniature Railway, Stapleford Park, Leicestershire website
  • South Downs Light Railway, Pulborough, Sussex website
  • St. Anne's Miniature Railway, St. Annes-on-Sea, Lancashire
  • Sutton Hall Railway, Rochford, Essex website
  • Twycross Zoo, Leicestershire
  • Vanstone Park Miniature Railway, Vanstone Park Garden Centre, Codicote, Hertfordshire. website
  • Watford Miniature Railway, Cassiobury Park, Watford, Hertfordshire website
  • Wells & Walsingham Light Railway, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk website
  • Wells Harbour Railway, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk website
  • Weymouth Bay Miniature Railway, Lodmoor, Weymouth, Dorset

9½" in (241 mm) gauge

  • Clevedon Fields Miniature Railway, Salthouse Fields, Somerset
  • Hall Leys Park, Matlock, Derbyshire
  • Lakeshore Railroad, South Marine Park, South Shields, Tyne & Wear

9" in (229 mm) gauge

  • Brogdale Horticultural Trust, Faversham, Kent

8¼" in (210 mm) gauge

  • Brambridge Park Garden Centre, Eastleigh, Hampshire

7¼" (184 mm) gauge

Miniature railways - rest of the world

18 in (457 mm) gauge

15 in (381 mm) gauge

  • Dalaas Waldbahn, Austria
  • Weiner Prater Park Vienna, Austria
  • Bear Creek Park Train, British Columbia, Canada
  • Chemin de Fer d'Anse, France
  • Dresdner Park Liliputbahn, Germany
  • Stuttgart Park Railway, Germany
  • Sakuradani Light Railway, Japan
  • Driving Creek, New Zealand
  • Whangaparaoa Narrow Gauge Railway, New Zealand
  • B.A.D. Great Northern Railroad, California, USA
  • Hillcrest & Wahtoke Steam Railroad, California, USA
  • Joshua Tree & Southern California, USA
  • Leipzig Park Railway, Germany
  • Laurel Run, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Little Toot Railroad, Illinois, USA
  • Milwaukee County Zoo, Wisconsin, USA
  • Nickel Plate Railroad, California, USA
  • Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation, Ohio, USA
  • Old Wakarusa Railroad, Indiana, USA website
  • Orland Newville and Pacific Railroad, California, USA
  • Paradise and Pacific Railroad, Arizona, USA
  • Parkeisenbahn Auensee in Leipzig, Germany
  • Phoenix & Holly Railroad, Oregon, USA
  • Redwood Valley Railway, California, USA
  • Riverside and Great Northern Railway, Wisconsin, USA website
  • Riverview & Twin Lakes Railroad, Wyoming, USA
  • Sonoma Traintown, California, USA
  • Tiny Town Railroad, Colorado, USA
  • Waterman & Western Railroad, USA

12" in (305 mm) gauge

  • C&H Railroad, 12" gauge, USA website
  • Wabash Frisco & Pacific Railway, 12" gauge, Missouri, USA website
  • Zilker Zephyr, 12" gauge, USA website

7¼" and 7½" in (184 and 191 mm) gauge

  • Los Angeles Live Steamers
  • Train Mountain, Oregon, website
  • Great Lakes Live Steamers, Royal Oak and Southgate, Michigan. website
  • Riverside Live Steamers, Riverside, California website
  • Many Model Engineering Societies in New Zealand, including
    • Kapiti Miniature Railway & Associates, Raumati Marine Gardens, Raumati Beach, New Zealand (5" and 7¼" dual gauge)
    • Havelock North Live Steamers and Associates inc
    • Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers, Christchurch, host of 2006 CANMOD International Convention
  • Railroad Museum of South Florida Train Village, 7.5" gauge, USA website
  • Finnish Railway Museum


See also

External links