Narrow gauge on tap at Twyford

ONE of Britain’s lesser-known heritage railway venues, Twyford Waterworks near Winchester, held a narrow gauge gala on June 3.

Volunteers at the Edwardian clean water pumping station have recently returned one of their three Babcock & Wilcox water tube boilers to steam to power the 1914 Hathorn Davey triple expansion steam pumping engine.

Motor Rail No. 7374 20/28HP design of 1939 Ayala worked for Leighton Buzzard Sand Quarries where all the locomotives were named after Grand National winners. JAMES HAMILTON

The waterworks had a small narrow gauge railway system that was used to transport quarried chalk to kilns for conversion to quicklime which was used in the water softening process, via an incline railway on which the wagons were hauled by hydraulic winch.

Coal was also transported by wagon to the boiler house, the wagons being manually moved.

On the left of the above picture can be seen Lister SR2 No. 42494 of 1956, which worked up until 1983 for Eclipse Peat Co. Ltd, Somerset. On the right is Lister No. 3916 single cylinder JAP 6HP petrol engine, purchased by Tarmac Ltd, Wolverhampton before going to Dorothea Slate Quarry in the Nantlle Valley, Snowdonia. The structure behind is the lime kilns and hydraulic engine shed for the incline railway, which volunteers are looking at restoring. JAMES HAMILTON

In 1985, the Twyford Waterworks Trust was formed and volunteers extended the 2ft gauge railway system so that their collection of diesel, petrol and electric locomotives could be demonstrated on the public open days.

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