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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 12 (April 1, 1928.)

A Lilliputian Line

A Lilliputian Line.

Traffic is rolling in on the most satisfactory lines on the newlyopened Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway, in Kent, England, the smallest public railway in the world. This diminutive line is toylike in its dimensions, but it is a serious commercial undertaking with a large passenger and freight traffic. Fifteen inches is the gauge of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway, and it is a double track route some 8¼ miles in length serving one of the prettiest stretches of holiday-land in south-eastern England.

This lilliputian railway possesses just eight stations, and the new Romney terminus is equipped with four passenger tracks, a commodious engine shed, an erecting and machine shop, two sheds for the storage of rolling stock and an extensive goods yard. The track consists of rails weighing 24lb. per yard, British standard flat-bottomed section, spiked to 9in. by 4in. Baltic fir creosoted sleepers, 3ft. long, placed at about 22in. centres. Especially interesting are the locomotives employed on this quaint Kentish line. There are five miniature “Pacific” type locomotives for passenger service, two being of the two-cylinder class, and three having three cylinders. These haul trains of 300 passengers at 25 miles an hour. Cylinders are 5 1/4in. by 8 1/2in., coupled wheels 25 1/2in. diameter, carrying wheels 12 in. diameter, coupled wheel-base 4ft. 8in., heating surface 19,436 sq. in., grate area 678 sq. in., total length over buffers 24ft. 8in., total height 4ft. 5 3/4in., and total weight in working order 8 tons.

Some sixty semi-open passenger carriages are owned by the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch line, and tourist specials are a feature of the summer business. The railway has the honour of having been opened by H.R.H. the Duke of York, and it is serving an especially useful purpose in the transport of both passengers and merchandise.