Fairlight Works

Official blog of the High Weald Light Railway (1977) Co. Ltd.

Volks Gleisbau

ideas inspiration narrow-gauge photos

I had some time to kill in Brighton earlier today, so I went down to Madeira Drive and took some pictures of the Volks Electric Railway. Although its really a “pleasure attraction” rather than a serious narrow gauge railway meant it could offer some inspiration to miniature railway modellers and, just perhaps, Fairlight could have a seafront extension inspired by this unique line.

I liked this foot crossing near to Aquarium station as it has an interesting variation of surfaces and markings and some brilliant home made looking warning lights. It would be easy to imagine this scene narrowed down to 15″ gauge or less on a “conventional” seaside railway.

A little further along is the site of a removed passing loop. You can see that the turnout blades remain in situ, as do the extended sleepers for the diverging track. I’m not sure if it’s been left this way to ease future reinstatement or just because it was easier but it’s a nice little detail that shows the semi-permanent nature of a tourist attraction railway that is prone to frequent change.

The approach to the Aquarium end of the line is as an elevated section built on quite substantial girders. The rails are simply clipped to small baseplates which are in turn bolted to the cross girders of the structure.

The elevated section has checkrails, these seem to be formed of simple metal bar. The method of fixing these to the baseplates is interesting, and I think it would be easily modellable in larger scales.

Unfortunately the railway itself wasn’t running, I assume it is out of season now or only open on the weekends. Still, it’s a great example for the “rust coloured track” file!