Barnards Miniature Railway

Today delightful daughter and I visited Barnards Miniature Railway in Essex. A ride on a miniature railway seemed an ideal way to blow away a few cobwebs 🙂

The line has a very modern, very attractive covered terminus.

There’s plenty of room for two trains and a loco escape lane.

Rostered locos included ‘Bernarda von Bernards’ an Exmoor loco…

… ‘Doris Hilburn’ another loco built by Exmoor…

… a Mardyke Railways Class 47 ‘The Silcock Express’ …

… and ‘Uncle John’ a beautiful Mardyke Railways Hymek.

The 7 ¼” (184mm) gauge line travels through a 21 Hectare (50 acre) sculpture park with mature trees, lakes and some charming intermediate stations.

To help the team manage the Covid-19 restrictions only about half of the line is open at the moment. The trains were running non-stop from Burtonshaw to a baloon loop and back again.

Hopefully, the full 1.5 km (0.9 mile) line will be reopened soon and trains will be operating to Angel Green. This would be a great station for a micro layout.

After a ride on the line we walked through the gardens and snuck into the yard.

(OK, to be honest we asked if we could visit. We’re not shed bashers!).

The shed facilities are impressive with lots of space to store and service stock.

In one of the sheds were these semi-open coaches. (I feel I recognise these, but I can’t think where I’ve seen them before. Any suggestions?)

In the other shed there was… well, there’s so much interesting stock here I’m not even going to try to describe it!

Out in the yard was the ‘leaf blower’. There’s a fantastic video of this in action on the line’s Facebook page. It looks a lot of fun.

Barnards Miniature Railway is well worth a visit.

It’s open every Thursday in the school holidays (Thursday 22nd June – Thursday 26th August) and September 5th. If you want to visit you pay to enter the gardens via the National Gardens Scheme website (a scheme that donates the proceeds to nursing and health charities). Then you pay £5 to ride the railway as many times as you like.

I will definitely be heading back – I want to ride the whole line 🙂

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