The Industrial Railway
A 2ft 0in gauge railway to transport materials around the site was laid soon after the site opened. Initially the railway connected the coal storage area to the Boiler House to move coal in and ashes out. After 1903 the railway was extended into the quarry and up to the lime kilns to move chalk and coke to the lime kilns. Further tracks allowed the lime to be moved to a storage room.
Standard skip wagons were used for all operations and these were pushed by hand on the level sections and pulled by rope up the inclines. There were two inclines - one out of the quarry and one up to the kilns.
Much of this railway remains in place today. Track can be found in the floor of the Boiler House and lime buildings, and the route of the incline to the kilns is easily discernible. The top of the incline has been partially restored complete with hydraulic (water operated) three cylinder winch.
A set of 5 replacement wagons were obtained from Southampton Power Station.
Commencing in 2004 new track has been laid beyond the kilns across a meadow to allow small locomotives, typical of this industry, to be demonstrated shunting a variety of wagons. The quarry was filled in many years ago but a new railway has been laid around its perimeter, the aim being to connect it once more to the Boiler House rails and the incline. The lower end of the incline, removed during the second world war, has been reinstated as a start to this project.
Please note: we cannot carry passengers on our industrial railway.
The following locomotives can be seen on Open Days:
Lister 3916 of 1931
History: This locomotive was built in June 1931 and is powered by a single cylinder JAP petrol engine giving just 6hp. It was supplied new to Tarmac Ltd in Wolverhampton as their Fleet No. 95 for use on contracting jobs, and in particular on road construction hauling small wagons of materials. In 1951 it was purchased by the Dorothea Slate Quarry in North Wales and ran there until 1968, when road vehicles took over the work.
In October 1970 Lister 3916 was purchased for preservation and was moved to Brockham Museum in Surrey. It subsequently was moved back to Wales to the Gloddfa Ganol Museum before being placed in store in Long Eaton.
The locomotive was purchased by the present owner in non-working condition in 1991 and following restoration it has been operated at several different locations.
Current status: regularly used at Open Days on the lime kiln railway
Lister 42494 of 1956
History: This is an example of the later Lister design, and it has a Lister SR2 diesel engine. It was supplied new to the Eclipse Peat Co Ltd in 1956 for use on the narrow gauge railways around their extensive peat workings on the Somerset Levels at Ashcott and Shapwick near Glastonbury. These workings were taken over by Fisons in 1961.
Use of the narrow gauge railways there finished by 1983 and Lister 42494 was purchased for preservation locally, before joining the Feldwick family collection in Essex in 1996. The locomotive was moved to Twyford in 2004.
Current status: regularly used at Open Days on the lime kiln railway
Motor Rail 5355 of 1932
History: This early petrol Motor Rail was built for 2ft 0in gauge but is best remembered after its conversion to standard gauge for use in Southampton Docks by the Engineers Department. After it was no longer required it was purchased for preservation and was stored in Southampton. The present owner purchased it in a derelict condition and it was moved to Twyford in 2006 for full restoration back to narrow gauge for eventual use on the Twyford system.
Current status: chassis has been completed and is occasionally on display at Open Days.
Motor Rail 7374 of 1939 ‘Ayala'
History: ‘Ayala' was built by Motor Rail Ltd of Bedford in 1939 and is an example of the popular 20/28HP design, which could be found at work in many industries. Initially the locomotive was used for building construction in Glasgow, but is best remembered as one of the fleet of locomotives that operated within the extensive sand quarries at Leighton Buzzard. Here it was owned by George Garside Ltd, who named all their locomotives after Grand National winners.
‘Ayala' was purchased for preservation in 1981 for the princely sum of £80 + VAT, and operated for many years on a private railway in Essex. It retains its Dorman 2DWD diesel engine.
Current status: in working order but awaiting repainting. Used at some Open Days on the lower quarry railway.
Hibberd 3983 of 1962
History: This locomotive was built by F C Hibberd & Co Ltd at Park Royal in London in 1962, and was one of the last constructed there. It is fitted with a Perkins P3 diesel engine. It was one of a pair supplied for use on Hoo Island, situated in the River Medway in Kent. The railway on the island was quite extensive and was used for dumping silt dredged from the entrance to Chatham Dockyard.
After the railway finished operation it took many years of negotiation by the present owner before the locomotives could be removed in 1990 for preservation. 3982 was purchased by the Yaxham Light Railway in Norfolk, while 3983 was moved to Essex where major restoration was commenced.
Current status: in store awaiting overhaul for eventual use on the lower quarry railway.
History: This small battery locomotive was built by Redland Bricks Ltd for use at their Funton Works in Kent and spent its entire working life there pushing loaded brickcars into the drying rooms and the kilns. Funton Works was closed in 2009 and the locomotive was moved to Swanage Brickworks in Dorset, where it was found to be unsuitable for the small narrow gauge system there. It was purchased for future use at Twyford, being ideal for shunting the Boiler House once a boiler is returned to steam. It was moved to Twyford on July 10th 2009.
Current status: in full working order. It will be displayed at major Open Days on a temporary track.
Ruston 209429 of 1943
History: This locomotive was built at Boultham Works in 1943 and was sent new to the Royal Navy Underwater Weapons Establishment at Bincleaves in Weymouth on 17/04/1943, where it worked until surplus in 1974. It was sold on a Tender to an individual in London but was used during late 1976, early 1977 on a contract in London, before being returned to its then owner.
It has spent nearly half its life in the rear garden of a house on the London North Circular road.
Current status: awaiting a full strip down and full restoration. On display at certain open days.
Lister Blackstone 52886 of 1962
History: Built for Painter Brothers Ltd, a steel engineering company in Hereford, this locomotive worked with two others around the stockyard. It was subsequently donated to the Hereford Waterworks Museum where it was fitted with air brakes for use on their passenger carrying railway. In recent years the loco has seen little use and it was moved to Twyford on a two-year loan on February 18th 2012. We are most grateful to Hereford Waterworks Museum for this arrangement.
Current status: in full working order and will be operation on the lime kiln railway during 2012.