Latest page update - Tuesday 21st February 2017

 

Can you help identify this Narrow Gauge Railway near Forest Row in Sussex?
Another previously unreported line

Was this position of the southern end of the line?
 

After reading about the recently reported East Grinstead woodyard railway we have been contacted by another reader concerning an even more mysterious line. This was apparently located quite near to East Grinstead in the grounds of a large house in or near Forest Row, Sussex.

Said to be 10" or 15" gauge, over 1 mile long and powered by several live steam locos it operated in the 1920s and 1930s probably being lifted about the time of the second world war when the Government tried to collect every piece of "unused" metal ranging in size from such things as saucepans to park railings. A campaign later said to be more of a morale booster than a desperate metal shortage - what a waste! Some clues are that there was a main loop line around the gardens with a long siding going down to the main road. This was used to bring up the milk and morning papers, although whether driven by the butler a la the railway in Chigley, we don't know! Possibly not as there was a full time chauffer/train driver on the domestic staff, with repairs to track and rolling stock being in the hands of the garden staff. Small country house railways were by no means uncommon the the early 20th century sometimes helped by the large amount of ex-war department track built for use in France later being sold off very cheaply.

One possible location is a large property, now a school to the east of Forest Row. On a recent visit to an adjacent home we saw a level section of roadway that was very reminiscent of railway earthworks, running in an essentially level gentle curve down to Hartfield Road. If not built as a railway line then these earthworks must have been built for a specific reason as they are certainly too good to be laid as a simple road, and it is not common to see two tracks side by side both curving off in the same direction.

We have been told no more than this and have just spent a good few hours studying some old Ordinance Survey maps to try to find possible sites - there are in fact many large properties in the area going over towards the Kent border so this line does seem a distinct possibility.

If you have any knowledge of such a line, especially if you have any photographs them please get in touch with us at info-at-railwaytrains.co.uk.

With your help we would love to be able to put another old railway on the internet map.

 

 

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