October 2004
Contact: Susan Robinson
530-527-0141 or mainline@sunset.net

American Railfans Spend Two Weeks Exploring UKs Miniature Railways

In September of 2004 a select group of American travelers joined Greg Robinson, editor of the Grand Scales Quarterly magazine, and Simon Townsend of Wales, on a two-week tour of many of the UKs well-known miniature railways.
"This is the second time that the Grand Scales Quarterly has hosted a tour of UK railways and it was a real joy to return" noted Greg Robinson. Many of the British railways are well-known throughout the United Sates. Robinson was also able to include several private railways in the tour, such as the 15" gauge Wotton Light Railway, the 15" gauge Rhiw Valley Railway and the 12 ¼" gauge Exmoor Steam Railway, which is now closed to the public.
A few of the well-known railways that the friendly group of railroad owners and railfans visited include the Ruislip Lido, the Audley End Railway, Bressingham Steam Museum & Gardens, the Bure Valley Railway, the Sherwood Forest Railway, the Perrygrove Railway, Weston Park Railway, Windmill Animal Farm, Rhyl Miniature Railway and the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway. Of course, no visit to UK sites would be complete without a tour of the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch and the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railways. In all, the group visited no less then twenty-six railways, plus the National Railway Museum in York and other fine sites.
The guests were pleased with the insight provided by Simon Townsend, who is well-known in England and Wales for his involvement with miniature railroads. He was able to share with us a wealth of information regarding the countryside and the various railways we visited.
Although the tour involved a bit of coach traveling, the tour was quite enjoyable. "The people of Britain and Wales are very friendly" notes Robinson. "All of the railways really went out of their way for us. Many opened early or especially for us. Many provided refreshments, champagne, and more for our guests. And all made us feel welcome. We really can't say enough about the owners, crews, and volunteers we met. We look forward to future tours."
For more information on the railways visited, as well as other railways of similar size found around the world, please take a look at our website: www.grandscales.com.

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