Model Rail (UK) - - Master Plan -

The Raven­glass & Eskdale, known as ‘La’al Ratty’, might look a bit like the Rom­ney, Hythe & Dym­church, but its ori­gins are very dif­fer­ent. The RDHR was built as a 15in gauge play­thing for two millionaires; the ‘Ratty’ opened as a 3ft gauge line in 1875 to move iron ore. The 3ft gauge line sol­diered on un­til 1913, when fi­nan­cial pres­sure and de­crepid in­fra­struc­ture forced clo­sure. Nar­row Gauge Rail­ways Ltd, formed by a group of like-minded minia­ture rail­way en­thu­si­asts, in­clud­ing Wen­man Joseph Bas­sett-lowke, bought the re­mains and con­verted it to 15in gauge as a test track for Bas­sett-lowke prod­ucts. The new-look rail­way re-opened in 1915 and still sur­vives in this form, although it has had a che­quered his­tory and was al­most sold for scrap in 1960. For­tu­nately, it be­came the first minia­ture rail­way to be pre­served, and since those early days, has gone from strength to strength.

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