Miniature Railway Magazine

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In MR 61:
miniature-railway-61Smoky Mountain & Grizzly Flats Railroad
A fascinating story from the little known world of Australian 12-inch gauge. A group of enthusiasts decided to keep steam alive in the late 1960s with a 1:3-scale replica of a 3-foot gauge Baldwin. That’s the easy part. They then built a replica backwoods railway for it to run on… in the Australian outback. The Smoky Mountain & Grizzly Flats became a bit of a legend in Australian miniature railway circles, but when it was killed off by the planners, they needed to find a home for the locomotive key locomotive (not the one on our cover, by the way!).

Walsall Steam Railway
So many photos appeared when we published an article on the Walsall Steam Railway in MR60, we had to find room for a second batch… vintage 1970s stuff.

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In MR 60:
Barn Well Hill Railway
A very unusual 10.25″ railway, and that’s putting it mildly. At 1:8, it’s claimed to be the second steepest adhesion railway in the world, of any gauge. But it won’t be for long. And why not? Because the 1:8 section is being equipped with a rack and pinion, and the 1:10 section too. So it will lose one world record and gain another. Then there’s the current locomotive, which started life as Exmoor Steam frames, for an 0-4-2 locomotive and acquired a diesel engine. And if that’s not unusual enough, the second locomotive will be electric and rack & pinion-equipped.

Walsall Steam Railway
If you lived in the West Midlands in the 1970s, you will have known this railway well, but like the exquisite gem of a park it ran in, the line was almosy unknown elsewhere. Double track, a fleet of iconic steam engines (how about two 9Fs?) and a brutally short life.

The Portable Railway Show
The most fun you could have in Telford in July 2023, the portable railway show was held at Abbots Model Engineering, where – for just one weekend – a complex 71/4″ circuit sprang up and entertained us all. There is a serious purpose too, because if you are buying or hiring portable equipment, this annual shindig is where you go.

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Miniature Railway 59

Exmoor Steam 2023
A brief profile of the company and a complete list of all the publicly-known Exmoor engines produced to date

Forest Row Light Railway
A delightful little 7.25″ railway created by the late Bob Wills

Barton House
A fascinating place in Hoveton on the Norfolk Broads. They’ve finally added the ‘Museum’ line they’ve always wanted

miniature-railway-58Inside MR58:
Cropthorne Light Railway

This rural 10.25″ line is open each year during the world-renowned Cropthorne Walkabout event (30th April to 1st May 2023). It has grown gradually and organically, but there are now a host of locos, some very special, and track-laying continues apace. This will evolve into a very special line.

Cover Story: Grittingham Light Railway
It feels like a dream now. A hugely complex private 10.25″ line with freight trains, dozens of carriages and a host of special steam and diesel locos? It was true, and we had the chance to visit before it was all swept away.

Mease Valley Light Railway
All the latest on this 12.25″ gauge extension to the well-known Statfold Barn complex

Plus book reviews, letters and the latest news

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miniature-railway-57Bekonscot Model Village & Light Railway
Arguable the finest model village in the UK, certainly the best Gauge 1 railway, and now with its own 7 1/4″ Light Railway too.

Radwell Miniature Railway
A visit to the Bassett-Lowke ‘test-track’ in 1928

Ultrasonic Signalling
Track circuits without rain, ice, leaves and non-standard locos. A fascinating series of experiments.

Strange Trains
A brief look at some of the stranger miniature locomotives. Something we must come back to!

Digital and paper out now
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north-cornwall-seapoint-light-railway-brandhojbanenInside MR56:

The Seapoint Light Railway
A remarkable story of little 5-inch gauge locomotive in Cape Town that raised £20,000 for the war effort between 1939 and 1945

The North Cornwall Miniature Railway
10.25″ gauge, and not to be missed

The Brandhojbanen
An old gravel quarry in Denmark is now home to a interesting 5/7.25″ railway

Digital and paper out now
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ukraine-poole-gooseInside MR55:

Ukraine’s Children’s Railways

Of the eight in use before the war, most are more or less safe, but a handful are gravely threatened. Some history and a full report from the ‘Small SouthWestern’ in Kyiv.

Poole Park Tracklaying

It’s all-new and it’s 10.25-inch gauge, but don’t let the consultants know!

From Goose to Swan

How a time-expired Cromar White Hymek emerged from the workshop as a swan, or more accurately, a Galloping Goose

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Miniature Railway 54

Inside MR54:

Waipuna Railway, New Zealand

A tiny urban site, but a lot of track, tunnels, trestles and fun, all courtesy of the local mechanical engineering group.

Ayton Castle

A very different 10.25-inch gauge railway in the Scottish Borders, transporting castle visitors the last half mile from the car park to the castle.

Paignton Zoo

Closure of this long-established line came as a complete bolt out of the blue in mid-January. We put together a potted history at the last second, together with details on how you can help the campaign to reverse the decision

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Miniature Railway 53

Previous issue MR53:

Valley Park Miniature Railway –
a typical park line from the 1940s

Beacon Hill Light Railway –
An unusual private line that squeezes three stations and four signal-boxes into a small suburban garden!

Mr Smith’s Amazing No.10 –
A tribute to engineer Tom Smith, who died in August. And see our video of the loco at

Oakhill Manor –
Some wonderful slides have been unearthed by Dave Hill

The There & Back Light Railway –
a new portable line

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Miniature Railway 52

Previous issue MR52:

Riverside Miniature Railway, St Neots
A brand new 7.25″ railway in this charming Cambridgeshire market town

The Finnish Quickie
We were in Finland in the last issue, and we’re back building a little battery-electric loco

Bow Hills

Deep in Herefordshire, a rarely visited hillside railway

Farewell to ‘Tram Man’ Howard Burford
A brief tribute to the man who broke the mould by building authentic trams

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Miniature Railway 51

Previous issue MR51:

Oulton Lodge Miniature Railroad
Galloping Geese and US steam from the 1860s… in Northamptonshire?

The Finnish Railway Museum
There won’t be many miniature railways further north than this! A fascinating story

Memories of Radwell Manor
Personal recollections of the 1930s and ’40s

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miniature-railway-50Previous issue MR50:

Greenly’s Canadian Pacifics
Best Welsh Anthracite!
Last Days at Mull Rail

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Previous issue MR49:

Farewell to Ise Valley
The 12-inch Gauge in Australia
Making Concrete Sleepers
A Cautionary Tale

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Previous issue MR48:
Mull & West Highland Remembered
The Shuzenji-Romney Railway
New Minimal Gauge Locos
Upgrade to Lithium-ion Batteries
Mr Brereton’s Locomotive!

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Previous issue MR47:
Liverpool Garden Festival Railway Voryd Park Railway
Bushey Miniature Railway
Bridge View Light Railway
Mr Leatham’s Locomotive!

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Previous issue MR46:

Fairy Glen Miniature Railway, New Brighton: 18-inch gauge
Churwell Woodland Railway: 7 1/4-inch

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Previous issue, MR45:
Alexandra Palace, Lakeside Miniature Railway: 15-inch gauge
Glenfinnan Woodland Narrow Gauge Railway: 7 1/4-inch gauge
New Class 08 for Faversham: 9-inch gauge

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Previous issue, MR44:
Cuckoo Hill Railway: 7 1/4-inch gauge

Tan-y-Bwlch & Creuau Bank Railway: 7 1/4-inch gauge
Hampton Loade Railway: 15-inch gauge

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Previous issue, MR43:
Radwell Miniature Railway: 10 1/4-inch gauge
Kitlands Light Railway: 7 1/4-inch gauge
The Plum Line – 5-inch gauge
The Bankside Miniature Railway

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Previous issue, MR42:
More Garden Railways of the 1920s and ’30s
The Return of ‘Katie’
The IMechE Railway Challenge – Results!
The Bankside Miniature Railway

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Previous issue, MR 41:
More Garden Railways of the 1920s and ’30s

Alderney Miniature Railway
Maritzburg Mallard
The IMechE Railway Challenge
More on the Far Tottering & Oyster Creek Railway

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Previous issue, MR40:
Somerford Light Railway
Wells & Walsingham Anniversary
Garden Railways of the 1920s and ’30s
Plus Canvey Island and much more

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Researching a particular line and unsure which issues you need? Find everything relevant in our Line Profile Index

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Miniature Railway magazine fills the gaps left by other publications. We specialise in 5″, 7.25″, 9.5″, 10.25″, 12.25″ and 15″ miniature railways – both the commercial and garden varieties – and touch upon just about anything, either scale, miniature or narrow gauge from 5″ to 3″ 6″. Please contact us with any queries.


Whatever your chosen gauge, background, interest or enthusiasm, Miniature Railway magazine will keep you informed for just £15.40 for a 4-issue 16-month subscription in the UK, or £24.50 overseas.

Miniature Railway is a sister publication to A to B magazine


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