Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways
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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways in England

The list below represents the locomotive worked industrial narrow gauge railways still operating in England. If you know of any changes to the details listed, then please let me know, so the record can be kept as accurate as possible.


(2ft Gauge) Peat railway in daily use. Update: Closed from October 2000. Locomotives still on site in 2006 but owners confirm they have been purchased for use on a preserved line in the south. Update 2020: The locomotives and other railway equipment were fiinally recovered for preservation in June 2020.
(2ft Gauge) WR battery loco in daily use. Loco works to the surface. Update 2019: Reports suggest that Honister have now ceased use of underground rail operations here.


  • Florence Iron Ore Mine, Egremont
(2ft 6ins Gauge) WR battery loco used underground, a couple of days per week. Update 2007: Due to issues with the pumping arrangements underground, the workings may become flooded bringing an end to the operations here. Update July 2009: The workings have now become flooded and are abandonned.


  • William Sinclair Horticulture, Bolton Fell, Hethersgill
(2ft Gauge) Peat railway in daily use with a fleet of rebuilt Motor Rails. Update June 2014: The closure date for the railway was the 14th June 2014, and the railway is required to be removed from the site by the end of July 2014.  
See map here


  • Biwater Pipes and Castings, Clay Cross
(2ft, 3ft 0.5ins, 2ft 10.5ins gauge) V Short lines for moving pipe castings. Update: Railway ceased sometime before the end of 2000.


  • McDonald Engineering, Stores Road, Derby
(3ft Gauge) Internal line for moving metals with battery locos. Update: Railway ceased sometime in 2002.


  • Sylvasprings LTD, Doddings Farm, Bere Regis
(1ft 6ins gauge) Used for transporting watercress to packing sheds. Update: Railway rarely used now. When is use, the loco only works part of the line. Update 2003: It has been confirmed that the line is now disused and the loco sold. Update Nov 2003; IRS report suggests that part of track is still in use and that loco was not sold. Update 2007: Confirmation that the loco has been overhauled and is still used on a short section of the line. Update 2021: Confirmation received that the railway is still in use on a short section of track.


  • UK Mining Ventures, Rogerley Quarry
(2ft gauge) A single 4wBE loco is in occasional use at this fluospar specimen mine. Update 2017: The USA owners of the mine have confirmed that they will not be coming over to the UK and opening up in 2017. They have decided to cease operations. As of March 2017 they are looking for someone prepared to take the operation over. The mine is effectively closed for now. Update 2020: The mine has been taken over since 2019 and specimen extraction is taking place again. It is unconfirmed if the railway is also back in use.


  • QinetiQ (M of D Sub-Contractor), Defence Test and Evaluation, Shoeburyness
(2ft 6ins gauge) Battery locos used to transport spent amunition.


Greater Manchester
  • Joseph Metcalf LTD, Twelve Yards Road, Irlam
(2ft gauge) Currently Out of Use. Locos still on site. Update: The locos were sold to the last working peat railway in England at William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd, Bolton Fell.


  • Ministry Of Defence, Royal Naval Armament Depot, Dean Hill
(2ft 6ins gauge) Internal railway for the movement of ordnance. Update: September 2003 saw the last operations on this railway. Update: All rails now lifted. Track, locos, and wagon for sale by auction in May 2009.


  • Painter Bros Ltd, Hereford
(2ft gauge) Internal railway for the movement of materials. There are 2 battery locos on site as well as 2 Lister locos. Update: Lister locos sold in 2011.


  • Scotts Comapny LTD (formerly Levington Horticulture), Swinefleet , Goole
(3ft gauge) Extensive railway over Goole Moors. In daily use. Update 2003: Peat extraction has now finished on these moors. By May 2003 the whole line was derelict and moors handed over to English Nature. Loco transferred to Hatfield.  
See map here


  • William Blyth, Far Ings Tileries, Barton on Humber
(2ft gauge) Last claypit railway in Britain. In use several days per week. Update: Railway not used since the start of 2001, due to a problem with the Motor Rail. Railway unlikely to be used again. Update 2002: Railway now confirmed disused with Motor Rail still on site locked in the shed. Update 2020: Confirmed that the Motor Rail is still on site.


  • Wansford Trout Farm, Driffield
(2ft gauge) Small railway used to distribute fish feed. Update 2003: Visitors were previously not welcome at this site and the owner stated that the railway had not been used for several years. Update 2006: The railway has been confirmed to be in occasional use.


  • Department of the Environment, Lydd Gun Ranges, Romney Marsh
(600mm gauge) Target railway. Locos used for maintenance trains. Update: June 2014: Bing mapping suggests all rail inside the yard has all been removed, but unclear if the railway is completely closed down.


  • Royal Mail Letters LTD, Mount Pleasant
(2ft gauge) Underground mail delivery system. Update 2003; system due to be closed down by the Post Office. Update: The railway officially closed on the 30th May 2003.


  • Ayle Colliery LTD, Ayle East Drift, Alston
(2ft gauge) Locos used underground, and work to surface.


  • UK Coal PLC, Berwick Drift Stockyard, Lynemouth
(3ft gauge) Stockyard worked by battery locos. In daily use. Update: Site now closed.


  • UK Coal PLC, Ellington Colliery, Ellington
(3ft gauge) Locos work underground. Update: Due to severe underground flooding this colliery closed in Jan 2005.


  • Department of the Environment, Reesdale Ranges
(2ft 6ins gauge) Military target railway.


  • UK Coal PLC, Clipstone Colliery, New Clipstone
(400mm Becorite system) Locos work underground. Update April 2004: IRS Bulletin confirms that shafts capped and locos abandonned underground by Feb 2004.


  • UK Coal PLC, Harworth Colliery, Bircotes

(2ft 6ins gauge) Locos work underground.


  • UK Coal PLC, Thoresby Colliery, Edwinstowe
(3ft gauge) Locos work underground. Update: The closure date of this mine is reported as 10/07/2015.


  • UK Coal PLC, Welbeck Colliery, Welbeck Colliery Village
(2ft 4ins gauge) Locos work underground. Update: Colliery closed on 11th May 2010.


North Yorkshire
  • UK Coal PLC, Gascoine Wood, South Milford
(2ft 6ins gauge) Locos used underground, plus battery loco on surface for use in stockyard.


  • UK Coal PLC, Kellingley Colliery, Kellingley
(2ft 6ins gauge) Locos used underground.


  • UK Coal PLC, Kellingley Training Centre
(2ft 6ins gauge) Locos used for driver training.


  • UK Coal PLC, Riccall Colliery, Riccall
(2ft 6ins gauge) Locos used underground. Update: Colliery closed on 26th October 2004.


  • UK Coal PLC, Stillingfleet Colliery
(2ft 6ins gauge) Locos used underground.


  • UK Coal PLC, Wistow Colliery, Wistow
(2ft 6ins gauge) Locos used underground.


  • Cleveland Potash Ltd, Boulby Mine, Loftus
(1ft 6ins gauge) Loco used underground.


South Yorkshire
  • National Grid PLC, Woodhead Cable Tunnel, Dunford Bridge and Woodhead
(2ft gauge) Maintenance railway occasionally in use.


  • Scotts Company LTD (formerly Levington Horticulture), Hatfield Moss, Doncaster
(3ft gauge) Extensive peat railway, In use daily. Update 2003: Peat extraction has now finished on these moors. However the railway is still to be used for another couple of years to transport the peat stockpiled on the moors. Update 2007: Confirmed that the railway finished operations in 2006, and by March 2007 most track had been taken up.  
See map here


  • UK Coal PLC, Prince of Wales Colliery, Pontefract
(2ft 6ins gauge) Locos used underground. Update: Mine ceased production August 2002


  • UK Coal PLC, Rossington Colliery, Rossington
(2ft gauge) Locos used underground. Update: Coal production ceased at Rossington in March 2006.


  • UK Coal PLC, Maltby Colliery, Maltby
(2ft 6ins gauge) Locos used underground.


  • Coalpower Ltd, Hatfield Colliery, Stainforth
(2ft gauge) Locos used underground. Update: Reopened under new owners Coalpower. Update: The decision to close the colliery on Tuesday 30th July 2015 was due to lack of orders and stocks of coal on hand.


  • North Surrey Water Company, Walton-on-Thames
(3ft 6ins gauge) Single loco used occasionally on 400 yards of track. Update: The concept of the railway was not successful and became out of use in recent years. Loco seen in a scrap yard in 2011.


  • UK Coal PLC, Daw Mill Colliery, Over Whitacre
(3ft gauge) Locos used underground.Update: Colliery closed prematurely in March 2013 due to underground fire. All railway materials abandoned below ground.


  • Rare Stone Company, Treffont, Chilmark
(2ft gauge) Short line across a public road for the movement of stone blocks for cutting. In use daily. Update: Railway confirmed still in use by August 2009, and the operating company now named Wessex Dimensional Stone Ltd. Update 2011: Railway ceased and MR loco was moved back to Alan Keef by the end of 2011.


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Steve Thomason 2014
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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways