© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
This is, without a doubt, the smallest
gauge railway to merit a full page in
the "Rail Diaries" - at 7¼" gauge, it's
at the lower limit for reasonably
capability. Go down a scale, to 5"
gauge, and the elevated track, sitting
astride type of setup is necessary. And
the Weston Park Railway has the
length and distinguished pedigree to merit the "Rail
The pedigree is the late lamented Hilton Valley
Railway, a lovely little line which ran beside the brook
at the village between Wolverhampton and Bridgnorth.
Subsequent to the death of its owner, the line closed in
1979, and some of the redundant equipment was used
to create the railway at Weston Park.
On this occasion, a number of visiting steam locos would be
present and in action - after neglecting the line for far too long,
I felt a visit was required - here are the results...
The plan for the day seemed to be based around the operation
of a public passenger service, hauled by the red 0-4-2T "Gillian"
and "Peggy", the resident 2-4-2. The pair would haul a lengthy
rake of passenger stock, followed at a decent interval by three
other locos - 2-8-0 "Old Rube", another American-outline visitor,
then ""Kanchenjunga", a fine model based on the Darjeeling
Himalayan Railway prototypes, and lastly "Gloin", clearly
modelled on the Hunslet quarry locomotives of the North Wales
slate industry. The long out-and-back
layout, with passing loop halfway,
permitted another train to run -
consisting of a pair of north American-
style diesels and a number of (passenger
carrying!) freight vehicles.
I'm not sure how long the line is - I'd
guess at around ¾mile from end to end -
certainly a fair walk through the
attractive grounds to take the "out in the
sticks" pictures. Visiting the railway requires admission
to the grounds of Weston Park - a reasonable £3.50, with
plenty to interest those members of the party who
might need a little persuading if a visit is intended...
The old Hilton Valley Railway
The new Hilton Valley Railway
Passing trains, mostly steam, out on the Weston
Riding the line
Edited highlights... A ride around the Weston Park
Railway in the company of Gillian and Peggy