Nottinghamshire’s only 15” gauge steam railway.

A view of the station under construction, late 1999/early 2000

How it all began…      To return to History page, Click Here

Phone: 01623 515339

E-mail: davidcolley@sherwoodforestrailway.com

When David Colley saw two steam locos advertised for sale in 1998,  he went down to  Keith Hardy’s home in Cheltenham to look at them.

The Bagnall had already run at Cleethorpes Coast Railway. Pet had never been run and was finished for us. After some consideration (not a lot) we decided to buy both of them but then we had the job to find some where to run them.

For a year both locos were kept in our garage at home we pushed them out every now and them to polish them. We eventually found a site to build our railway which is within the Sherwood Forest Farm Park in 1999 and work started stripping points and sleepers behind the farm in preparation for the winter when the farm park closes.

It was in the winter of 1999/2000 that the hard work really began when we sited a storage container to act as our engine shed then started digging a track bed, laying track which went up the hill and into the sheep field to the right of where our tunnel is now. It was only 100 yards long, but we were ready to open in the season of 2000.

After a successful first season we then decided to alter the route to go down a slight gradient, through a cutting and across the lane at a level crossing. This was started in 2001 and the final goal was to arrive at the Buffalo in the far corner of the farm park. Each year we have extended the line as time, man power and resources have allowed, until finally in 2006 we reached our second station area, just in time for two visiting loco’s from Cleethorpes that joined in our Gala celebrations. Over the winter of 2006/2007, the lower station was revised in order to simplify the running procedures. The line now is 800 yards long with two crossings, a tunnel and two stations named Loxley and Weldale

The tunnel which we go through was rope containers from the former Clipstone Pit, and was sited in 2004. This still needs the ends cladding to better resemble a narrow gauge tunnel.

The route we now take is part of the flood dykes, an irrigation system built between 1819 and 1838 by the Duke of Portland who spent almost £40,000 on a 7.5 Mile irrigation scheme to create water meadows on the dry and sandy land. Huge amounts of earth were moved to smooth the fields and move the river, with an irrigation canal being excavated along the top between Mansfield Woodhouse and where we are now.  This was partially drained in the fifties to allow development but provides us with a stunning valley to run around and a level course to continue along for future extensions.

The railway is a family concern and we would like this opportunity to thank all our hardworking volunteers, without whom, we wouldn’t have the fantastic little railway we have today.

To contact us for running times or to see what’s running:

Sherwood Forest Railway

The same view in October, 2006 at our now famous Gala.