A little bit of Poland… in Bedfordshire


Motor Rail Simplex locomotives and Hudson hoppers on the Leighton Buzzard Railway, 1st October 2011.
Photo Roger Marks. 
Some rights reserved.

(Click image to see original on flickr.)

I have a spot for the Leighton Buzzard Light Railway every since I came across it by accident in 1967 during a cycle ride from Ealing to Leamington Spa. It was one of a handful of industrial narrow gauge lines which I had the pleasure of discovering when they were still working. Two were nominally ‘2ft’ gauge: The Pike Bros. Fayle and Co Tramway, in the Isle of Purbeck, was the first line I came across, the Leighton Buzzard was the second; two 2ft 3in lines serving the slate quarries at Braig Goch and Aberllefeni (at the head of the Corris Railway) followed in quick succession; and the last was the Sittingborne and Kemsley Light Railway, which I visited in its last full year of pre-preservation operation.

The full story of the LBLR deserves to be explored in some depth on the pages of our sister website, EnglishRail, suffice it to say that the step-by-step development of – the railway, its support society, and the strong links between the Society and the local community – are all an excellent example of railway heritage ‘best practice’.

Leighton Buzzard Railway coach 8, with PKP shield, 31st May 2009.
Photo Roger Marks.
Some rights reserved.

(Click image to see original on flickr.)

This coach started life in 1958, as a standard-gauge 4-wheeled diesel railcar, built by Baguley for the Ministry of Defence, who used it on their extensive railway system at their depot in at Bicester, Oxfordshire. It was rebuilt an unpowered bogie passenger coach by Alan Keef Ltd, and mounted on ex PKP 600 mm gauge bogies. When and where it acquired its PKP steam locomotive Eagle badge is yet to be discovered!


The two photographs that we used today are from the extensive collection of picture by Roger Marks hosted on flickr. Roger has photographed an eclectic choice of subjects. By generously making his photographs available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (2.0) licence, he helps non-commercial users like BTWT and gets his work more widely known. Roger’s entire portfolio on flickr may be seen by clicking on this link: R~P~M. Please note all our own photographs (marked Photo BTWT) appearing in this blog may be used on exactly the same basis.


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