John Rennie at Willow Lawn
John Rennie at Willow Lawn

A couple of weeks ago at February half term, we were lucky enough to be able to travel down to London. This meant we were able to visit the Ruislip Lido Railway, it was a cold winters day. We started the day at Willow Lawn Station, this station is well located with a vast car park and the Waters Edge Carvery Pub.

Our Loco for the day is John Rennie, one of 5 diesels the railway has. The railway also has  Mad Bess the Steam Locomotive.

Willow Lawn Station on the Ruislip Lido Railway
Willow Lawn

The Ruislip Lido Railway is a 1 mile railway that takes you around to the other side of the lido. This is a lake with a beach!

The railway doesn’t run every day, so please check your timetable before travelling.

We were lucky enough to be able to be shown around the sheds and take a few pictures of Mad Bess. The engine was being prepared for her annual boiler inspection!

A single journey takes around 15 minutes and a round trip takes around 40 minutes, but you don’t need to come straight back. With a park, outdoor gym, café and a beach, theres plenty to see and do whilst you wait for a different train.

Mad Bess in The Workshop
Mad Bess in The Workshop

Mad Bess is a 1/4 scale replica of ‘Blanche’ from the Ffestiniog Railway. It was built by the Ruislip Lido Railway between 1986 and 1998. She is oil fired to avoid the risk of fires in the woods that the railway runs through.

Last year, Mad Bess was in the workshop after breaking down at the beginning of last year. The first time she was in steam last year was at the October Open Day. We covered here in a Blog Post and a Video.

Mad Bess at Woody Bay Workshop
Mad Bess at Woody Bay Workshop

The next open day is in May 2016, you can see this and other events by looking at the RailAdvent Events Calendar

I spent so long in the workshops, watching the volunteers doing what they do best, it was then time to go back for the last train of the day to Willow Lawn and the back to Woody Bay where I finished my days trips.

John Rennie on the Ruislip Lido Railway
John Rennie

It was a brilliant day, it was cold, but it was sunny, which meant it took a bit of the chill off of the day. We would like to say a massive thank you to the Ruislip Lido Railway team for having me and for letting me have a look around the workshops.

If you are ever in the Ruislip area (London Borough of Hillingdon) I really recommend this little railway for a trip on. Tickets are really in-expensive ( Just £9 for a family return)

Locomotives at Woody Bay
Locomotives at Woody Bay

There are no paid jobs at this railway. This means any money you spend at the railway is pumped straight back into making sure the line can keep running for many years to come. A video of our day will be uploaded soon!

 

 

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Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.