Yesterday my family wanted to go shopping in Saffron Walden. I didn’t fancy being stuck in the shops so I visited the Audley End Miniature Railway.
The 10¼ gauge line runs for 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) in the woods, through two tunnels and over the rivers Cam and Fulfen. It’s a lovely ride through spectacular scenery.
The AER was the brain child of Lord Braybrooke, in close collaboration with loco builder David Curwen, and the original line opened in 1964. Following Lord Braybrooke death in 2017, several locos were sold to “secure the railway’s future”.
I’m pleased to say it was successful.
Passenger numbers are increasing, they have reconstructed parts of the line to ease the curves and gradients, and purchased of two sets of seven carriages designed and built by Alan Keef. The coaches looked great in their red and cream livery and gave a very comfortable ride. They even have LED strip lighting – good in the tunnels and for the Santa Specials in the winter !
Rostered loco was ‘Lord Braybrooke’, a 2-6-2 based on a Sandy River & Rangely Lakes Railroad prototype, built by David Curwen in 1991 and originally named ‘Bruce’. It has a lovely engine note and must be very powerful, it hardly broke a sweat as it hauled the train.
Here are a selection of snaps. Click on the photos for a gallery of larger images.