top field light railway goods train

About

Welcome to the Top Field Light Railway, we hope you enjoy your visit to our wonderful little railway.

We are a 7 1/4 inch gauge miniature railway located on the Top Field Campsite adjacent to the Whitwell & Reepham Station, set in the heart of rural Norfolk. Construction began in 2016, and the railway has continuously been maintained and operated by members of the Whitwell & Reepham Model Engineering Club.

The Idea of the Top Field Light Railway

Idea of having a miniature railway somewhere on the Whitwell & Reepham Station site emerged during 2011. It was a direct result of the museum site acquiring a collection of 3 1/2 inch gauge locomotives. The idea was to get the locomotives into working order and construct a raised level track to run alongside the standard gauge railway.

Locomotive acquired

In 2012 a further locomotive was acquired, this time in the form of a 5-inch gauge petrol-electric diesel. Unfortunately, with other projects taking priority, the proposed raised railway never materialised. The project suffered a minor setback when two of the locomotives in the original collection got damaged in a fire. So the idea of a miniature railway was shelved, until one day in early 2016.

Whitwell & Reepham Steam Rally

Opportunity to borrow not only a friend’s 7 1/4 inch gauge steam locomotive but also a coach to carry fare-paying passengers. Aim was to have the locomotive run with the coach up and down the main platform during the station site’s August steam rally.

Portable Track

There was one problem, we had nothing for it to run on. So over the following months, a handful of members from the model railway club rose to the challenge. Within a 3 / 4 month period, a suitable length of ‘Portable’ track was constructed. A small brake van was made in time for the event, with the paint still tacky.

Miniature Railway Success

The event was a great success and brought in much-needed attention from both visitors and staff alike. It also reintroduced the idea of having a club to build, maintain and operate a 7 1/4 inch gauge miniature railway. With this in mind, a draft Constitution was written and presented those who would be interested in setting up a club.
top field light railway k2 rob

The Start of the Top Field Light Railway

In the weeks that followed, the new site was found upon the Top Field Campsite. A mutual agreement was formulated between the new organisation and the owner of the campsite.

First Section Laid

In late August the first section of permanent railway was laid through the avenue of trees. The railway’s P-Way bike had the honours of testing the new the railway for the first time.

First Official Club Meeting

In October 2016 the first official meeting was held at the station site to create and officially form the club. A club name was found, along with a name for the railway. It’s aims and objectives. The positions of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer were created and filled. A management committee was also created and filled by interested members.

Operated for the First time

December 2016 was a moment in history when the railway operated its first official public running day. The Treasurer’s K2, which had first visited during the steam rally, did the honours of hauling the first public service up and down the short section of track.

our railway line

Our little railway is an 7 1/4 inch gauge line which runs for about ____. We hope to expand this line with donations we are given as well as build on to what we’ve currently got. We have two stations mill lane, which is the main terminus station with a yard and current locomotive facilities, a yard and a small signal box.

Mill Lane Station

Often when your train arrives in “Mill Lane”, you can see the standard gauge railway down the bottom as well other items of rolling stock or work being carried out. Then further down the line, you spot the loading ramp where the trains get off the trailers and on to the railway.

Musn't Grumble Station

Then we move onto “Musn’t Grumble” which is a small station halt opposite the cattle dock slope you probably went up to get to us. Then at the end of the line is a steep gradient which challenges the locomotive.
top field light railway at Whitwell and reepham rally feldbahn 2019