Churwell Woodland Railway

Busy time with 'Hugh' about to take a train out on the line

The Churwell Woodland Railway is a 7 1/4" minimum gauge railway in Morley, Leeds, West Yorkshire.

The railway has been built as a community enterprise to encourage recreational use and enjoyment of the surrounding puplic-access woodland. It is operated on a not-for-profit basis by members of the Churwell Environmetal Volunteers.

The railway is open every second & fourth Saturday in the month (May - October). We also run in conjunction with special events organised by Churwell Environmental Volunteers (usually on a Sunday) - check out the CEV Facebook pages (see links) for up-to-date information about these events.

Access to the railway is at the CEV Field Centre opposite the junction of Westwood Side/The Oaks in Churwell, and may be located using the postcode LS27 7UQ. PLEASE NOTE that there is NO car park. Limited on-road parking is available on Westwood Side, please park considerately. Better still, park further away and walk to us through our woods. See the location map.

An account of the railway's inception, construction & operation is given on the next page - scroll down the page for the latest developments.

Thanks for visiting the website - if you've not yet visited the railway, why not pop along soon?

All photos & videos (unless otherwise acknowledged) are provided by Joanna Coultous, Steve Hunter, Alan Padgett and Stephen Seale, all members of Churwell Environmental Volunteers.

Timetable 2019...

As well as our usual Saturday afternoons, April to October (shown on the poster), we have the following special event days:

Summer Woodland Event - Sunday July 21st

Hallowe'en trains - Thursday Evening October 31st*

Santa Specials - Sunday December 8th*

* Tickets are limited for these events & advance booking is essential. Tickets will be on sale two weeks prior to the event, from the CEV Field Centre (near the railway). This will be announced here and on CEV & CWR FB pages.

Latest! Watch this space for information about the latest work completed or on-going on our little railway...

Water Tower & Notice Board

Water Tower

We've built a 'water tower' containing a 25 gal water tank to provide for visiting steam engines. The internal tank is manually filled with fresh water and a secure coal store is incorporated underneath. Its position near the station entrance has allpowed us to re-site the information board. The finish is 'disappearing wood' to blend in with its surroundings.

 

 Signal Box

Our new signal box is now in place. This is a 'bespoke' wooden building has been erected on a previously prepared base outside the curve leaving the station. It houses the electrical controls for the colour-light signals. A fellow CEV volunteer, Dilys Hetherington, has kindly painted the protective window board illustrating Ted the station cat.

Railway signal boxes are strategic units placed to enable the operator to see and control train and stock movements within the area of responsibility. In some cases this 'area' incorporates many miles of track, ours is a little more modest!

 

  • New 'box with lamps

  • Ready to be used

  • Window board artwork

Visiting Locos...

Rob Flynn's 'Bridget' class loco visits us for the 'Grand Opening'

We welcome visits from owner/operators with their 7 1/4" gauge locomotives whether steam, electric or petrol or solar powered (although there's rather a lot of shade!)

Steam locos must have a current boiler certificate and ALL locos will be subject to a basic examination by our GM or deputy prior to running.

We strongly advise owners of visiting locos to arrange suitable insurance for their property as our insurance covers only our own stock and third party liability for passengers & staff.

Access is difficult and therefore the size of stock is restricted, in practical terms, to what can be reasonably handled by two people. However we have a 3' long trolley that can used to convey items down to the level crossing where they can be lifted onto the track.

The track has been laid and points built to 7 1/4" Gauge Society standards. The turntable will accommodate locos up to 6' overall length. Some curves are quite sharp and 6 wheel fixed wheel-based locos may struggle. The points are 1:4. There is a short 1:20 climb into the station, leaves and dampness here can add to the entertainment!

Our passenger stock uses bar couplings and 8mm pins, coupling jaws are approximately 5" above rail height.

We are happy to advise you on suitability and let you trial suitable locos prior to any public running. Our track may also be used for trialing locos (by prior arrangement of course).

The CWR is a short but very demanding track that will test driver & locomotive to the full!

Please contact the GM to arrange a visit.

Would you like to help us operate & maintain the railway?

Miniature Railway but 'Full-Size' Civil Engineers!

The railway is maintained & operated by members of the Churwell Environmental Volunteers, a welcoming bunch of people who always appreciative of a bit of help! We get together every Saturday afternoon from 1.30pm and run trains on two Saturdays in the month from April to October.

If you are interested in helping to operate the railway and/or maintain the infrastructure and rolling stock, then please get in touch through the contacts page. No previous skills or experience are required, just plenty of enthusiasm and a bit of reliability & commitment (if and when you decide it's for you!). So feel free to 'dip your toes in the water' - come and meet us, see what we do and how you might like to help. Whether you have a particular skill that may be of particular advantage, or want to try your hand at something different, we'll be glad to have you around. (Oh, and joining the railway team doesn't mean that you will be expected to help with any other projects that CEV have going on - although you'll be very welcome!)