Great Cockcrow Railway - Days out in Surrey
The Great Cockcrow Railway is a great place to visit if you have a young child with an interest in railways. The Great Cockcrow Railway is a 7 1/4" gauge railway in Lyne (near Chertsey), Surrey. The railway is open every Sunday afternoon between the first Sunday in May and the end of October. It is also open on Wednesday afternoons during August. Trains on the line are usually pulled by miniature steam trains. Great care is taken to make sure all the engines are as authentic as possible.
Getting to the
The railway is a little off the beaten track, so car is the best way to get there. It is not far from junction 11 of the M25.
Great Cockcrow Railway
This is a lot bigger than a typical small railway with almost two miles of track and well over 20 engines. The majority of the engines are steam driven. There are two basic routes you can take, both are very scenic. Trips take between 15 and 25 minutes so you get a fair ride for your money. There are plenty of trains with only short breaks in between rides. This helps to keep any waiting times to a minimum for eager children.
About the Trains
The maximum speed of the trains is 10 miles per hour. There are many sections where the trains travel at a more sedate pace. There is also a tunnel on route to add variety to the ride. Watch out for the animals at Jungle Halt.
Each train holds around 12 people and you sit inside the small carriages. On a Sunday the first train runs shortly after 1.30pm with the last ride at 4.45pm. On a Wednesday proceedings get underway at around 1.00pm before an earlier close at 4.00pm.
Although the Great Cockcrow Railway is run by a large army of volunteers the railway is run to a very high standard. In fact one of the reasons for the small waits between trains is due to the number of trains that can run on the track at the same time owing to the quality of the signalling system.
Food and Drink
Refreshments including teas, soft drinks cakes and ice creams are available on site, but you can also bring a picnic. You are also welcome to take photographs, but you are not permitted to walk around the track for safety reasons.
Great Cockcrow Railway History
The origins of the Great Cockcrow Railway date back over 60 years. Originally the railway was opened in 1946 at Greywood House in Walton-on-Thames. This venue closed in 1965. Three years later the railway opened its doors at the present site. Currently the oldest engine was built getting on for one hundred years ago in 1913.
All in all a visit to the Great Cockcrow Railway is a pleasant and relaxing way to spend a summer's afternoon. Although as such an open, outdoor attraction it is not seen at its best in wet weather it is worth noting the railway does not shut if it starts to rain.
There is no Santa Special at Christmas time, but some years a spooky Halloween service that runs in the dark! This is normally on the last Saturday in October.
The Great Cockcrow Railway is recommended for children under the age of nine who have an interest in railways. It is difficult to give a suggested visit time. Two to three hours is about right if your children are interested in looking at the engines as well as jumping on a ride. If you children are only interested in riding on the trains then I would suggest around an hour to an hour and a half. Children under two years old are not allowed to ride on the railway, but are welcome to visit.
Parenting.co.uk tip: It is worth checking opening times before travelling.
Further information can be found at: www.cockcrow.co.uk.