Last weekend I visited the Eastleigh Lakeside Railway.
The ELR started in 1992 on temporary track. After securing a long lease from the council the line expanded and two stations were built. The line is dual gauge allowing 7¼” gauge locos to run on the 10¼” gauge railway.
The overall journey is 1.25 miles (2 km) long. It has a great track plan, runs through an attractive park with lakes, and even has a tunnel (which was much longer and darker than I’d expected).
The main station, Parkway, has a canopied platform, plenty of sidings, a turntable and a multi-lane traverser. Part of the station is inside the main building which doubles as a storage area.
There were lots of interesting locos in store. It was a bit difficult to see them clearly in the low light and I’d have loved a miniature railway expert to tell me what each loco was and it’s history. Miniature railway engines often have complex and interesting back stories!
The cafe in the station building is a real find. The staff are friendly and efficient, the cakes are great and I can totally recommend ‘The Full Monty’ breakfast. If I lived closer I’d be a regular visitor!
I’m pleased the Wessex Narrow Gauge Modellers advertised the ERL alongside their Narrow Gauge South exhibition, I’d never have found it without their publicity and the line is well worth a visit.