The Great Cockcrow Miniature Railway

October 13, 2014

It’s not every day you get to ride on one of Britain’s most spectacular miniature railways but yesterday we did just that. Thanks to family who surprised us with a voucher for part of our tenth wedding anniversary last month.

We’d not heard of the Great Cockcroft Railway before but it’s located less than 15 miles from us in Lyne near Chertsey. Open every Sunday from May until the end of October we just made it before the season ended.

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It’s one of the only miniature railways in the country that represents a true mainline. Constructed 46 years ago, it has 30 steam engines and a system that runs on two routes in rural surroundings. The engines are beautiful and in great condition. POD enjoyed watching them pass by while we waited to board.

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Understandably once we were on the train, it was all SO exciting. Not the greatest of photographs but just look at the delight on POD’s face!

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We took the red route first which runs along the original route of the railway. The trains run from Hardwick Station through Everglades

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and over a viaduct to Cockcrow Hill Station. There we saw the engine uncoupled before being turned on the turntable. On the way back we passed through Greywood Tunnel which was dark but lots of fun! There was so much to see on the way round – from the scenery to the stations to these beautiful old signs. There were also people on the passing trains to wave at.

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The green route took us from main station Hardwick onto Cockcrow Hill

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at which point we traveled around the Millennium Loop where we spotted sheep and cows. POD also felt the need to outstretch her arms like Kate Winslet did in the film Titantic.

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The train then headed back to Hardwick via Greywood Tunnel and the Everglades Junction.

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There was so much for POD to look at from what was going on around her to the trees above.

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There was much laughing, smiling and of course concentrating!

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Even POD’s invisible friend Lucifer popped along for a little while! Here she is holding him before he darted off to explore.

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Back at Hardwick station, we got the opportunity to sit in the driver seat. POD looks like she’s surrounded by giants in this photograph but the trains really are miniature.

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The dedication from the staff really has to be admired. The Great Cockcrow Railway is maintained and operated by a team of volunteers – all of whom are enthusiasts. From the ticket office through to the drivers and the mechanics, everyone was just wonderful.

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The fun didn’t stop there either. Heading towards the cafe, POD decided to become a soldier. Apparently this is how they stand – I’m guessing minus the pout! Having devoured a hot drink and piece of cake we headed back home after what was a really fabulous experience.

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Linking up with #whatsthestory here on PODcast and #countrykids at Coombe Mil.

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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  • Coombemill October 13, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Now I have train accessory envy! Our tunnel from pig shelters and signals really don’t compare. However i can sympathise with POD’s excitement, miniature railways are such fun and look far from miniature when you are only little! What a lovely trip out.

  • Sara (@mumturnedmom) October 13, 2014 at 12:31 am

    Oh, POD with the scrunched up nose, how adorable 🙂 She really did look beside herself with excitement! Those trains look amazing, what a fun thing to do!

  • You Baby Me Mummy October 13, 2014 at 7:21 am

    She really does have the most amazing expressions! Such lovely photos x

  • suzanne3childrenandit October 13, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Aw I love all POD’s expressions – adorable! Looks like you all had a great day out. I can’t believe such tiny trains can take anyone anywhere!

  • Iona@redpeffer October 13, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    What an interesting name for an invisible friend! I love POD’s expressions, she looks like she absolutely loved it. My two would like to visit there, looks brilliant 🙂

  • Sophie Lovett October 13, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    What a fantastic place! That might just have blown all the other brilliant places you’ve visited out of the water… I love the photo of Pod surrounded by giants 🙂

  • Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) October 13, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Awww her happiness is priceless! Trains do that to kids. Its always a magical ride =) #whatsthestory

  • Hayley @hayleyfromhome October 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I love minature railways, I think they are so much for for children and you all certainly sound like you had a good day. Love the photo of her looking up! x #countrykids

  • Matthew Scrutton October 23, 2014 at 12:50 am

    thank you so much on behalf of everyone at the Great Cockcrow for your kind words. I have forwarded a link to our group email so that the membership can see. I own the little green engine in your pictures and its always great to see we’ve given someone a good day.

    • Charly Dove October 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      Pleasure Matthew, thank you for forwarding my post on. We had the most wonderful time 🙂

  • Sam October 23, 2014 at 9:16 am

    So glad you enjoyed it and love the photos. My husband volunteers there as a signaller and absolutely loves it. Do hope you visit again would be great to show pod in the signal box if we can arrange that x

    • Charly Dove October 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      It must be amazing working there, everyone seems to really love it. POD would love to see the signal box, thank you, albeit next season x

      • Jeremy February 21, 2015 at 10:31 pm

        Hi Charly. Now, signalbox(es). We have three of which two are readily accessible from the main station at Hardwick. If POD (or you!) really would like to see inside one it can probably be arranged as you have been so very complimentary to us. Yes, I know the season’s still a little way ahead but…. You will have to be accompanied of course and it will be the signalman’s prerogative to permit entry. But unless we’ve go a crisis on our hands, and it does sometimes happen, I doubt you’d be refuse if you ask. I’d suggest that request is made either to the stationmaster or the Controller and tell them I have advised you to do that. Like Sam’s husband I’m a signalman and have been for the last forty years, driver too though I don’t now. See you in May or after.

  • jeremy October 23, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Hallo Pod. I’m really glad you enjoyed your visit. But daddy has made one slight mistake: the railway has about thirty engines though, of course, you would not see them all running at once. Some will be in the workshop because they need regular maintenance and repair while others are resting quietly in the engine shed. I do hope you will pay us another visit next year – we start the season on the first Sunday in May – and perhaps bring some of your friends to see us too. Bye.

    • Charly Dove October 25, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      Thank you Jeremy, I’ve amended the post to 30. We will of course be back next season, it turns out you are local to us so probably a few times! We had the most amazing time and the engines are wonderful 🙂