Snailbeach District Railway

Gauge: 2ft 4in (710mm)


Collection Objects

The Snailbeach District Railway, opened in 1877, was a 3½ miles long, 2ft 4in narrow gauge mineral railway built to serve lead mines and limestone quarries in the Stiperstones hills of Shropshire, providing a connection to the GWR and LNWR at Pontesbury.

Along with the decline of the lead-mining industry traffic gradually declined and the line became moribund. In 1923, however, Col. H.F. Stephens became interested and, with others, took over the line. With himself as Engineer the intention was to revive the line. It was initially reinvigorated by stone traffic for Shropshire County Council, but this was not enough. Only the lease of the railway to the county council in 1947 enabled it to survive. Even so, all three steam locomotives failed within a matter of months of each other. Traffic continued with loaded wagons being run down twice a week by gravity and then hauled back to the stone quarry using a Fordson tractor.

The line closed in 1961 and after the majority of the railway line was lifted, the track bed was converted into a private road and the company continued to make money from lorries driven directly up to the quarry.


Fern Hill of 1875; 0-6-0 saddle tank. Sent to Glyn Valley Railway 1915
Belmont Hughes of 1873; 0-4-2 saddle tank. Sent to Glyn Valley Railway 1915
Dennis W.G. Bagnall of 1910; 0-6-0 tank. Withdrawn 1923. Broken up 1937-38
2 Kerr, Stuart & Co. No. 802 of 1901; 0-4-2 tank. Ex. Admiralty. Scrapped 1950
3 Baldwin Locomotive Works No. 44383 of 1916; 4-6-0 tank. Ex. WD. Scrapped 1950
4 Baldwin Locomotive Works No. 44522 of 1916; 4-6-0 tank. Ex. WD. Scrapped 1950

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