The Tanfield Railway
The Worlds Oldest Existing Railway. The Railways original purpose was the movement of coal from nearby collieries to ships on the River Tyne. The oldest part, c1647, was the Lobley Hill section, it had over 300 years of coal traffic when closed in 1964. The surviving 1725 Sunniside to Causey section is now the World's Oldest Working Railway and the Causey to East Tanfield section dates from 1839. Marley Hill engine shed, built in 1854 and in colliery use until 1970, is where the loco fleet is maintained. the shed is open to the public every day.
Bideford & Instow Railway Group
Situated along the southern banks of the Taw and Torridge Rivers in scenic North Devon, the branch was closed to passengers in 1965 and to freight in 1982. The trackbed now forms part of the Tarka Trail. The Torrington branch through Bideford should never have been closed and we are committed to its reconstruction as part of the national network or as a heritage railway. We currently manage Instow signalbox and the Bideford Railway Heritage Centre, where short passenger rides are given on the Torridge Train.
Swansea Vale Railway Society
The Tram road was essentially a road of cast iron plates on stone sleeper blocks. Motive power was provided by Horses and Oxen, although from 1819 there is evidence that a George Stephenson Locomotive was employed from time to time. The Tram road eventually passed into the hands of Charles Henry Smith, a local Colliery owner, who used his own steam locomotives on the line, which would normally be used at his Loco Works in Llansamlet. In 1845 the Swansea Vale Railway Company was formed to rebuild the line as a 'modern railway', and extend it north into the Swansea Valley, to serve new collieries and metal works, and south to the developing port of Swansea, which by this time was experiencing an increase in trade. Today, more than 180 years after Scott's Tram road was constructed, another mile of track is being re-laid into the former Upper Bank station, once again the sight and sound of Steam is part of the Swansea Valley, and is a nostalgic reminder of this once busy and Historic railway.
LCR - London & Continental Railways
In 1996, London & Continental Railways (LCR) was selected by the Government to build and operate the high speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL), and to own and operate the UK arm of the Eurostar international train service. The CTRL is a major element of the British Government's Private-Public Partnership programme, which enables important infrastructure to be provided for the benefit of the public sector while taking advantage of private sector management and efficiency.
Sittingbourne's Steam Raillway
This is the 100th year of steam operation on this unique line which was built for transporting the raw materials required for the manufacture of paper and, of course, the finished product. The line continues to use the steam engines and rolling stock that were supplied to operate the railway in its working life prior to preservation in 1969. How many other railways can claim that they operate the original engines on part of the original line with original rolling stock?
Designed by George Stephenson and opened in 1826, Bowes Railway is the world's only surviving standard gauge operational preserved rope haulage system. Bowes Railway was originally a colliery railway built to carry coal mainly from pits in north west Durham to the Tyne at Jarrow. The earliest section was designed by George Stephenson and opened on 17 January 1826, making it one of the world's first modern railways. It was 15 miles long when completed in 1855. Each end was locomotive worked; the six mile middle section consisting of rope worked inclines with very steep gradients. At its peak, the Railway handled over 1 million tons of coal per year and remained virtually intact until 1968. Between 1968 and 1974, most of the line was closed until only the last 3.5 miles between Monkton and Jarrow staithes were operated by the National Coal Board. However, the original 1826 section between the Black Fell bank head and Springwell bank head was acquired for preservation in 1976 by Tyne and Wear County Council. This comprises Blackham's Hill West and East inclines, which are operated by a stationary haulage engine. It is the only working preserved standard gauge rope hauled railway in the world. In 1977, the Railway's Engineering and Wagon Shops at Springwell were added to the scheme, providing the facilities needed for maintenance.
The Elsecar Railway Preservation Group are a group of volunteers committed to the preservation, restoration and expansion of a preserved railway in South Yorkshire. The group intends to extend the railway from its current base at Elsecar, a further mile along the former colliery branch, to the new Cortonwood Retail Park. The railway would then be able to provide a service for tourists and shoppers alike, travelling behind a heritage steam or diesel locomotives and rolling stock lovingly restored by the group.