Private and Industrial Railways

Thanks to the recent introduction of several new models of industrial prototypes, interest in non-main line railways has boomed over the last couple of years. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES examines the world of private railways and explains how they can inspire future modelling projects.

The very first railways to be built in this country were not constructed with long-distance passenger travel in mind. They were built to move heavy goods, often for only a few miles, and might run from the likes of a colliery to a local foundry or perhaps from a quarry to a canal.

The first locomotive to run in this country did so in 1804 on the Penydarren Tramroad, a private system built to connect ironworks around Merthyr Tydfil with the Glamorganshire Canal. Stephenson’s more famous Stockton & Darlington Railway was essentially a development of the area’s colliery tramways.

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