CUTE BUT HARD WORKING NARROW GAUGE!
The Bicton Gardens near Budleigh Salterton, England were designed in 1735 by André Le Nôtre who had been a gardener to king Louis XIV at Versailles, France. In the early 1960s the owner of Bicton Gardens wanted to open them to the public and decided to build a miniature railway as an additional attraction for the visitors. A very reasonable decision!
The owner soon realised that acquiring a miniature 15 inch gauge locomotive would be too expensive. However, an 18 inch gauge locomotive ‘Woolwich’, formerly of the Royal Arsenal Railway at Woolwich, was available and in 1962 she was acquired for the line.
Track laying started in May 1962 and proceeded quickly because by August 1,359 yards of track had been laid and the line was complete. Metal frames and bogies were acquired from the Royal Arsenal and used to create open and semi-open coaches.
This rapid activity created what…
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