SALTBURN'S MINIATURE RAILWAY
Saltburn's miniature railway runs through the Valley Gardens
from the seaside end to the foot of the Italian Gardens. It is a delightful
ride, along the beck and through the picnic area, bordered by deep woodland.
Aromas of earthy Indian balsam and garlicky ransoms waft over you. You
may catch a glimpse of a kestrel hovering overhead or the bobbing movements
of a pied wagtail down by the beck.
The Saltburn Miniature Railway Association have
produced an interesting booklet about the railway, entitled: The Saltburn
Miniature Railway: 1947-1987. Here are a some information taken from
The line was built in the late 1930s by Mr. H. Dunn.
It was shorter than at present, but was extended in 1948 and 1950.
The first train to run was a petrol 2.4.0 locomotive
built for the Yarmouth Miniature Railway. In 1948 Mr. Dunn bought the first
ever English steam outline locomotive - the 1909 'Blacolvesley' 4.4.4,
built by Bassett-Lowke of Northampton, which he renamed 'Elizabeth'.
The line was next owned by Councillor J. Cyril Pickering
who purchased the H N Barlow 4-6-2 TVO/ electric pacific type locomotive
'Prince Charles' and 4 16-seat, 8-wheel coaches.
'Elizabeth' and 'Prince Charles' ran the line between
them until alterations to the track meant there was not a suitable turntable
for both engines to operate and 'Elizabeth' was retired - first to a bus
garage, but later to be restored by Tom Tate and eventually housed in Lightwater
In 1974 Cleveland Transit bought the railway and it was
operated by Langbaurgh Council (the forerunner of Redcar & Cleveland
Council) who converted the locomotive to diesel-electric. Various problems,
including a landslide, meant that the line was put out to contract. This
was taken on by Brian Leonard, but despite his best efforts he was unable
to get the railway working again.
In 1983, following a period of dereliction, Arthur Ing
asked the Council for money to revive the railway. When the answer was
"No", he called a public meeting in the Community Centre in Saltburn. From
this the Saltburn Miniature Railway Association was formed to raise funds
to rebuild the railway.
The Council gave the go-ahead in July 1984 and lots of
public effort was put into the restoration, including fund-raising events
and track laying by Community Task Force and volunteers.
Following a successful re-inspection the line was re-opened
on 15th August 1987, just in time for Saltburn Victorian Week. Unfortunately
a mechanical problem occurred which prevented the railway operating on
the Sunday, but the railway was back in operation on August 27.
Today, the Saltburn Miniature Railway runs on weekends
and Bank Holidays during the summer and many improvements have been carried
out, including a new ticket office down opposite the beach and new track.