About Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway
The Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway has been one of the go-to attractions on Lincolnshire coast.
Established as a 10 and a quarter inch gauge railway, passengers were first carried on July 16th 1948. In 1949, a year later, the line was re-laid and featured a double track layout.
1954 saw a new change of ownership as the railway was handed over to Mr Clethro, his five-year stint in charge ended in 1959 when Cleethorpes Borough Council purchased the line.
In the 1960s, the line used battery locomotives and in 1972 saw the line being extended in both directions and regauged to 14 and a quarter inches. On being regauged, two Rio Grande steam outline locomotives built by Severn Lamb were used. Since being taken into private ownership, a variety of steam and diesel locomotives have been used followed by petrol-driven engines with a steam outline.
The railway had become very rundown and on the brink of closure. The previous owner Chris Shaw purchased the railway from the council in 1991 and re-gauged the line to 15 inches and purchased steam locomotives and carriages.
In 2002, a National Lottery grant enabled the railway to acquire stock from the long-dismantled Sutton Miniature Railway from Sutton Coldfield, this included ‘Sutton Belle’, ‘Sutton Flyer’, No. 4 and Bassett-Lowke Class 10 Little Giant ‘Mighty Atom’. The station canopy and engine sheds moved to Lakeside as a museum.
In 2007, saw an extension to the line towards Buck Beck formerly named as ‘North Sea Lane’, close to the Meridian Line, Pleasure Island Family Theme Park and the Haven Holiday complexes. This brought the total current running length to 2 miles (3.2 km).
In May 2014, the railway was sold to new owners.
Cleethorpes has been the home of a range of historic and well known 15 inch gauge locomotives, and below are the details of locomotives you are most likely to find in service on a visit to the railway
2-6-2 built by Fairbourne Railway in 1990
Built originally as a 12 ¼” gauge locomotive for the Fairbourne Railway in North Wales, No.24 is a replica of the USA equivalent.
After initial trials in Wales, No.24 was sold to the then newly formed Bure Valley Railway and Kirklees Light Railway, before coming a permanent resident at Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway in 1997.
The main workhorse of our fleet, she is capable of pulling the heaviest of our trains and has a very distinctive whistle – on a clear day, it can be heard for miles.
0-4-2 Kerr Stuart 1901
Bonnie Dundee began life at Dundee Gas Commissioners in Scotland, built to 2 foot gauge and used for freight haulage over a fourty year period.
The late Ian Fraser of Arbroath purchased her for preservation, and she was transferred to the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway in 1976 where restoration began. As part of this process, she was regauged to 15 inch gauge and side tanks were added.
In 1996, the locomotive was rebuilt in its current tender form, and on long term loan from Ravenglass, she is currently under overhaul.
0-4-0T+T Great Northen Steam 1999
This replica locomotive is based on the first built by renowned miniature railway figure Sir Arthur Heywood. At 7 foot long and with a footplate just about big enough for a driver, the original Effie built in 1875, ran for over 3000 miles in its first six years of service.
This replica was built using only photos to base its construction on and since completion, Effie has visited railways including the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway and the Eaton Hall Railway. More recently a tender has been built designed around a Heywood wagon.
The railway is also home to a select number of privately owned locomotives, such as 4-4-0 Yvette and LNER 04 Class No.6284.
Our diesel fleet includes DA1 a diesel shunter originating from the Bush Mills Railway and 1944 Lister built tram No.7.
The railway is also the base of the Sutton Miniature Railway collection, which consists of three locomotives, ten coaches and a variety of artifacts from the now closed Sutton Miniature Railway. Further history of the railway can be found in the dedicated book available for sale on our Ebay Store.