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Wat Tyler Country Park: Miniature Railway


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Wat Tyler Country Park - Pitsea Wat Tyler Country Park - Pitsea Wat Tyler Country Park - Pitsea
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Location: Wat Tyler Country Park
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 10/04/2008
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: St. Albans Comet prepares to go on the turntable.
Location: Wat Tyler Country Park
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 10/04/2008
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: On the turntable.
Location: Wat Tyler Country Park
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 10/04/2008
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: Rear view of St. Albans Comet on the run around loop.
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Wat Tyler Country Park - Pitsea Wat Tyler Country Park - Pitsea Wat Tyler Country Park - Pitsea
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Location: Wat Tyler Country Park
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 19/08/2013
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: The Wat Tyler Railway meanders through the wood en route to the marina.
Location: Wat Tyler Country Park
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 19/08/2013
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: The Goyle pulling into the marina station.
Location: Wat Tyler Country Park
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 19/08/2013
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: The Goyle bound for the run around loop.
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The miniture gauge railway opened in 1988 and runs for a length of approximately 1 mile (1.2 km) having recently been extended in 2012 almost to the park's entrance. Its original length was 1200 yards.

It is diesel operated, the train running on 10.25" gauge rails. The train is called The Goyle and numbered 31327.

In the early years of operation the train used was called St. Albans Comet, manufactured in 1969 and in use at Verulamium Park, St. Albans until the late 1970s when it was acquired for use at Basildon Zoo. When the zoo closed it was transferred to Wat Tyler and renamed Western Courier until around 2005 when it reverted to its original name.

The line runs from the rear of the Motorboat Museum (since closed and now the Green Centre) where the station is called Grand Central, crossing the main vehicle access road and continuing to the rear of Holly Cottage to the Marina station terminus adjacent to Holehaven Creek. There is a small turntable and run-around loop here.

The railway closed in July 2005 when the original driver and operator passed away. It was re-opened briefly the following year by the owner of Pool Park Miniature Railway before re-opening again in July 2007 and has remained open ever since.

In July 2008 a 500 metre extension was approved by Basildon Council to run from Grand Central Station to the park gates, where the line loops to a station thereby alleviating the need for a turntable or uncoupling of the locomotive.

The railway is run by private company Go Bonkers who took over in June 2007.

Page added: 2013
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Text researched and written by William Cox, 2013.
Copyright © 2013, B. Cox - Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.

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