Our little railway begun its journey in 1985 on the Isle of Sheppey. Its taken a 36 years for the railway to become what it is today and the railway is still growing strong, thanks to its dedicated team of volunteers and visitors.
Leysdown Coastal Railway
Our extremely rare 9-inch gauge railway started life on the Isle of Sheppey as the Leysdown Coastal Railway in 1985, with Robin as the only Loco and Natalie and Daisy as rolling stock.
Running the railway was quite the challenge as there was no water supplies on site. This meant our volunteers had to transport the water to site in order for them to run trains. Once the water had run out, that was the end of the operating day.
It ran for 2 years until the storm of 1987 which severely damaged it and forced its closure. Some of the line can still be seen today.
Nortan Ash Miniature Railway
After 4 years passed the line then found a new home at the Norton Ash Garden Centre nr Faversham and was renamed to ‘Norton Ash Miniature Railway’.
Whilst at the Norton Ash Garden Centre the railway run a push-pull service around the centre and even added two new locos to the roster. One a semi scale model of class 35 diesel hydraulic “Hymek”, and the other Bertie a freelance design battery electric loco, more rolling stock was also acquired.
In 1995 the Garden Centre rebranded, which lead to a name change to the “Faversham Miniature Railway”, the name kept ever since.
Sadly in 1998 Barry Jones the Railways Founder passed away, but thankfully for the enthusiasts involved in the railway, the stock and equipment was purchased by the Faversham Miniature Railway Society, which still runs the line today.
Eventually the garden centre asked the railway to move.
The final move
After looking around for some time to find a new home, the railway moved to Brogdale Farm, Brogdale Road, Faversham. When the line first opened it was a simple out and back single track stopping at Cherry Halt, with the long term plans to build a large circuit around some of the Orchards. Over time the railway crept up into the orchards to Plumleigh Station, which offered a run around allowing for more trains to be simultaneously operated.
Faversham Miniature Railway
Today the railway now has 16 locos and a quantity of rolling stock, owned privately by members of the society or by the society itself.
Having started with a short piece of track the first year, the line grew to a quarter of a mile into the Orchards of Brogdale. In 2012 we embarked on a major track extension programme which significantly enhanced the railway. Now the railway has over 2000 yards of track and a ride time of roughly 15 minutes.
The railway is currently in the process of building 7 new coaches designed and built specifically for the Faversham Miniature Railway Society.
On top of this the near future will see steam returning to the line in the shape of our N Class Steam Engine, currently under construction.
The railway can be found open Every Sunday from March until November between 11am and 4pm.
So if you fancy helping out or just want a ride why not come and say hello.