For a brief period before the opening of the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch, the Ravenglass and Eskdale could claim to be “The Smallest Ralway in the World. It used the trackbed of a 2 foot 9 in. gauge railway which operated from 1876 to 1912. In 1915, it was taken over by Narrow Gauge Railways Ltd. A company involving R. Proctor Mitchell, W.J. Bassett Lowke and Henry Greenly, and relaid to 15” gauge during 1915/7. Quite how these gentlemen managed to do this during wartime conditions, and why they were not doing something more useful for the war effort, instead of building a tourist railway, I have never quite understood.
The RER was noteworthy in 1923 for having two scale model “Pacific” locomotives, “Colossus” and “Sir Aubrey Brocklebank” designed by Greenly, at a time when the GNR and NER were just beginning to use that wheel arrangement. The Greenly Pacifics have a definite “Raven “ look to them, and it may be significant that Greenly could have come into contact on the Sand Hutton Light Railway with H.A. Watson, General Supt. of the NER who had an interest in the 15” gauge Yorkshire line.
This is a very attractive booklet, worth having for the drawings alone.
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