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A sad visit to Wat Tyler Miniature Railway

This week we visited Wat Tyler Railway in Pitsea near Basildon. We had been told about this railway and wanted to see it for ourselves. We were confronted with a sad sight of a railway that obviously haden't been in use for quite some time, apparently due to 'poor ground conditions'.

Above is 'Grand Central Station'.

This 10 1/4" gauge railway opened in 1988, using a Severn Lamb locomotive 'Western Courier" together with rolling stock from Basildon Zoo Railway, which had closed previously. It was operated at first by Derek Bundock. Although the last info I can find is that its still owned by Go Bonkers Ltd. The line runs through Wat Tyler Country Park, taking passengers from the boat museum to the marina. The 2 locos were as follows:

Number: D7022

Name: Sid Tydnall

Type: 4w-4PH

Builder: Cromar White in 1971

Number: 31327

Name: The Goyle

Type: 4w-4PM

Builder: Ford (date unknown)

Photo Credit: 10th April 2009 © N.Tozer from miniature railway world

Above 'The Goyle' at Grand Central station

The 10 1/4" gauge railway wound its way for 1200 yards from the main car park up to the Marina station.

Above: The railways route around the park. Image credit: Wat Tyler Country Park

Marina station is situated next to the water in a really nice spot. Although the railway isn't open there's still lots going on here. Below, Marina station today:

The turntable is still in place at Marina station and still works with very free and smooth movement -errrm - sort of...

Apparently, the railway was offered to the Canvey Railway and Model Engineering Club (a great triple gauge club by the way) but they declined the offer as they had their own railway to focus on. Lets hope somehow this lovely railway can be reinstated back to working order in the future - what a waste...

Below a walk along the track up to the sheds where there appears to be some rolling stock?

Above: I think this was taken by the Green Centre (see map)

There a bit of further reading on the Ten and a Quarter Inch Gauge Railway Society about the railway HERE.

Even though the railway is closed until further notice, there is still lots to see at Wat Tyler Park, some really nice walks and some very interesting WWII history - well worth a visit.

Address: Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea Hall Lane, Pitsea, Basildon, SS16 4UH

Useful Links:

Wat Tyler Country Park

Canvey Island Miniature Railway Club

Miniature Railway World

Ten and a Quarter Inch Gauge Railway Society

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