Originally built by G.V. Llewellyn in 1911 the Southport lakeside miniature railway has been operating for nearly 100 years on the site alongside the marine lake in Southport. The first train ran on the 25th may 1911 when the railway was called Llewellyn’s miniature railway after the builder and creator, this was later renamed to the Southport lakeside miniature railway as it’s known today.
The original route was a straight line which was extended in 1938 to add a sharp turn under the pier into the second station on the line the Marine Parade Station. The original station at this end of the line was called Princess Park which was closed when the extension and Marine Parade stations were built.
The materials for the line were supplied by Bassett-lowke a toy company based in Northampton who was established in 1899, the bassett-lowke brand name was bought by the famous model company Corgi in 1996 and railway locomotive products were relaunched by Corgi in 1999 at which point Bassett-lowke would have been 100 years old.
I have lots of memories of this railway as a family we would visit Southport every summer and spend a few hours on Pleasureland and take a trip on the miniature railway.
Lets take a look at how the railway is looking today
The main station as viewed from Pleasureland. I can remember back to when you bought tickets for the railway from the turnstile on the right hand side, this has been closed for a number of years now and these days tickets for the railway are purchased on the train. The fare for 2009 is £1.50 one way and £2 return.
On the platform looking back at the entrance way above.
Today the signage around the area is looking a bit washed out.
The main platform. I haven’t seen the line on the left operate for some time, can anyone confirm if this is still used, it certainly doesn’t look overgrown.
Looking back to the entrance from the top of the platform.
One of the storage sheds on the left hand side.
The Southport Miniature railway also operate a second engine, which I can only assume runs when the Miniature railway is busy. The shots below were taken on a busy day for the railway the passenger carriages were extended to almost double the previous size.
Train in the second station
The Marine Parade Station.
A view from the roadside looking at the station.
Again another shot from the second station
A look down at the second station
This shot is taken from a footbridge over the track.
A shot taken from above showing the track going of toward the main station.
Bridge just before pulling into the Marine Parade station – which can be seen in the distance.
A longer range shot of the bridge above adorned with graffiti
A view from the train this time, going under the bridge shown in the above photographs.
I seem to have an obsession with this bridge.
At this point the train has cleared the bridge above and its in the distance of the shot below just around the corner.
Moving quickly toward the main station, this is a shot from the rear of the train.
Southport Marine left is on the right hand side of the shot below.
Coming into the main Pleasureland station.
A view from the Pleasureland station showing the trains maintenance areas on the left hand side.
One of the maintenance areas.
And the second.
I would recomend this railway to anyone who has some spare time while visting Southport as it really is a gem. If you would like to contribute to this article or have any amendments you feel are factually correct then please get in touch via the contact form I would love to hear from you. Im not a railway enthusiast so any additional information is more than welcome.
Thanks for reading