Keyword Search: 
Part No. Search: 
OO Scale N Scale G Scale Z Scale HO Scale Slot Cars & R⁄C
  ON THIS SITE  
  SHOPPING BASKET  

Your shopping basket is empty.  To add an item, click the "Buy" button

  YOUR ACCOUNT  
  GAUGEMASTER  
prodigy advance
Gaugemaster Controllers
O Scale Wargaming Architectural Narrow Gauge Tools+
Right Lines e-Zine

The Smaller Gauges

Part 2: Hastings

Martin Lovell

In the second article in the series, MARTIN LOVELL looks at this miniature railway in East Sussex.

Hastings Miniature Railway

Click for larger version.

For the second part of this article, we travel East - well, to East Sussex to be precise, to the town of Hastings.

Living as I did on an estate in "Sarf East Lunden" a visit to the seaside was always a treat, and when my parents bought a large static caravan on a site near Hastings, this meant my teens(1967 onwards) were mostly spent in or around the area, especially during weekends and school holidays.

Hastings Miniature Railway

Click for larger version.

The miniature railway was always a "must see" as was the East and West Hill Cliff railways, all based at the eastern end of the town by the old town and the net shops, and these delights are still there and thriving today.

The Miniature Railway was opened in 1948, being relocated from a short line at St Leonards-on-Sea in 1947 which was built by the well known miniature railway enthusiast Capt. J.E.P.Howey, who, of course is best remembered for the building of the legendary Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway further along the coast. In 1948 the Hastings line was sold to Ian Allen and Jim Hughes, and has continued till this day.

Hastings Miniature Railway

Click for larger version.

Originally there were 3 stations; Rock-a-Nore, East Beach Street, and Marine Parade.

Rock-a-Nore is the station at the east end of the line. This was always the headquarters of the line, with a station building, engine shed, carriage sheds and sidings. A turntable was also in place from 1960 till 1980, and this has since been replaced.

Hastings Miniature Railway

Click for larger version.

The halfway station, East Beach Street, was the western terminus until 1959, with 2 platforms and a station building. When the line was extended it was equipped with signals to allow through train operation. The station closed around 1970 and became a passing place, until 1990, when the passing loop was removed. This loop has now been replaced, and once again trains pass at this spot, although passengers no longer join or alight here.

The last station is Marine Parade, by the boating lake, and became the western terminus in 1959. It comprises of a single platform and run round loop, a station building and ticket office. A short siding was also added in 2012.

Hastings Miniature Railway

Click for larger version.

The line was originally operated by steam locomotives. "Firefly" was an 0-6-0 tender locomotive, rebuilt in 1945 by RH&DR engineers from an 0-6-0 pannier tank built by H.Bullock, a well known maker of Miniature locomotives. Joining it was "Royal Scot", a 4-6-0 model of the Royal Scot class built by Bassett-Lowke, another well known maker.

Other locomotives arrived later. "Hampton Court" (a 4-4-2 built by Twinings in 1939) ran at Dudley Zoo, Cleethorpes, Lowestoft and Hunstanton, before arriving in Hastings in 1958. "Uncle Jim" a 4-4w DM diesel locomotive, was built on site in 1968 and ran till 1993. Following its sale, it moved to Knebworth until 2012, and then after a full overhaul returned to Hastings and still runs today.

Hastings Miniature Railway

Click for larger version.

"Western Meteor" was another diesel, which ran from 1979 to 1982, and finally "Mis-Nat" a centre cab locomotive. It was known as the Meccano engine due to its strange proportions, and ran from 1984 till 1990, when it went to Basildon. It was moved back to Hastings in 2013, when it acquired a steam outline profile.

During the 1980s the line was allowed to run down, the buildings became unkempt, sidings were neglected or lifted, the passing loop at East Beach was removed. Two-train operation ended, the remaining locomotives were sold but a new locomotive "Princess Swee’ Pea" was bought from Alan Keef Engineering.

Hastings Miniature Railway

Click for larger version.

The line changed hands again in 2010, and a new lease was granted, providing that a lot of changes were made. So in August of that year, the line was reopened, two new locomotives were added to the fleet, the passing loop at East Beach was restored, and a new workshop and turntable added at Rock-a-Nore.

When I took the chance to re-visit the line in April this year, it certainly was a trip down memory lane. The staff there were chatty and helpful, and the line, stock and buildings were well kept, all in all a pleasant line to visit. Currently there are at least seven locomotives on site, with a couple more undergoing rebuilding.

Also in Hastings there are two cliff railways, which on a clear day give fine views across the town, more of these anon.

Hastings Miniature Railway

Click for larger version.



Hastings Miniature Railway

Click for larger version.

Happy Modelling.

Martin

  POPULAR BRANDS  
Gaugemaster
Fordhampton Kits
Hornby
Atlas
myWorld
Walthers
Kato
Fleischmann
Noch
Preiser
Piko
Peco
Roco
Bachmann
Graham Farish
Oxford Diecast
Dapol
Viessmann
Faller
Marklin
LGB
Trix
Deluxe Materials
Revell Paints
Humbrol Paints
Train Tech
DCC Concepts
Seuthe
Find Us On Facebook
Follow Gaugemaster on Twitter

We are always looking to make improvements to our website to try and improve the quality of your visit.  We would welcome your feedback and suggestions, so please do not hesitate to e-mail our webmaster with your comments.  Alternatively call us on 01903 884488.

Home  Cookies  Privacy Statement  Terms & Conditions  Site Map  Site Guide
WEEE Regulations  Glossary  Careers & Jobs

Tel –  +44 (0) 1903 884488  Fax –  +44 (0) 1903 884377  E-Mail us –  click here

Gaugemaster.com is a trading name of Gaugemaster Controls Ltd.
Registered in England No. 2714470, Registered office:
Gaugemaster House, Ford Road
Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0BN, United Kingdom

VAT Reg. No. 587 8089 71

Copyright © 2003-2014 Gaugemaster Controls Ltd. All Rights Reserved.