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GAZETEER OF NARROW GAUGE RAILWAYS IN EAST SUSSEX

Originally compiled by Kevin Payne, 23 Sandy Close, Great Linford, MK14 5EE.
"See map" links to the National Library of Scotland online OS 1:25000 maps. The line is not necessarily actually shown on the map, but shows the location. OS Grid references are given for some sites.

Operator Location Gauge Type (1) Traction (2) Notes References
ABCO Petroleum Rye Harbour TQ931997 24" SF IC Transport of waste oil, closed c5/1970 See map (New window) TNG130, TNG133 (photo) SNG (map/photo) TNG135
Sir P C Allen Crowhurst Road, Battle 600mm Storage S Storage of eponymous locomotive before transfer to Leighton Buzzard IRS Handbook EL 1970
Army Belle Tout, Seven Sisters ? SF IC Target practice. Rope worked by 'winch' (rear wheel of car used to pull canvas tank outline). East of Belle Tout. See map (New window) Tyrell's List (WWII sites).
Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers Asham/Rodmell, Lewes 24" SF S, IC Extensive clay pit operation, closed c1975 See map (New window) INGRB (photo) SNG (photo/map).* More…
Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers Asham/Rodmell, Lewes 24" SF H? Experimental lime kiln, demolished c.1990, site under refuse tip.See map (New window) More…
Bexhill Corporation Unknown 24" SF IC Locomotives for sale following main drainage contract The Contract Journal 12/08/1931
British Gypsum Ltd Mountfield Mines 24" 18.5" SF SF (?) H, B Large drift mine extracting gypsum. Early system used shafts and 24" gauge lines, from 1945 became drift mine with cable-hauled 18" gauge lines. Narrow gauge (BEV?) locomotives not used after c1966. See map (New window) IRSE (photo) SNG (photo)
Borough Surveyor Brighton Kemp Town and possibly others 24" SF IC Believed temporary lines used on housing estate construction  
British Portland Cement Manufacturers South Heighton, Newhaven 24" SF H Chalk pit/cement works. Formerly rail-served (STD). See map (New window)  
Canadian Army/Air Force? Seaford Head 24" EF H? 2nd World War target practice line. Several bogie wagons & turntables.
Ran from South Hill Barn. Length c. 1 mile. Some "cuttings" remain. See map (New window)
Similar line at Balsdean Farm nr. Woodingdean
 "Barrack to Bunkers" Peter Longstaff-Tyrrell Sutton Publishing 2002
Cuckmere Brick Company Berwick Station 24" SF IC Clay pit, closed c1956. See map (New window)  
Drusilla's Zoo Park Berwick TQ525045 24" SP IC Pleasure railway opened 1946 and still working SNG (photo)
East Sussex County Council Various works contract sites 24" SF IC Locomotive supplier records are main clue, but locomotives offered for sale The Contract Journal 20/03/1940
East Sussex Transport and Trading Exceat Cuckmere Haven TV517978 TV518995 24" EF S(?), IC Carrying shingle from near beach to main road, closed c1964. See map (New window) IRSE (photo) TNG133 (photo) SNG (map/photo)
Freshfield Lane Brickworks (may not be correct title) Danehill TQ385262 24" SF Unknown Remnants of kiln cars and track found in 1980, may also have served clay pit  
Guestling Brick Works Guestling 24" SF H, IC Clay pit, hand and cable worked until just before closure in c1973  
Gosden Pierce Jervis, Breeders Ltd Horam 24" SF H Presumed agricultural railway, offered for sale The Contract Journal 26/12/1945
Grimsdick's Nurseries Haywards Heath 16" SF H Advertisement seeking additional track material The Contract Journal 06/01/1909
Hall & Company Crumbles Eastbourne 24" EF IC Shingle extraction, closed c1964. Show Map (New window) NGN37/8 IRSE (photo) SNG (map/photo)
Hall & Company Rye Harbour 24" EF IC Shingle extraction, also serving various concrete product works, closed c1946 (?) TNG120 TNG124 TNG130
County Borough of Hastings Brede Valley 18" EF S To carry building materials and coal from river wharf to pumping station, 1899 to 1935. See map (New window)
TNG52 Brede Waterworks Tramway, Brian Clarke SNG (maps/photos) 18" Gauge Steam Railways, Mark Smithers
County Borough of Hastings Crowhurst (Adam's Farm) 18" SF H To carry building materials and coal from road wharf to pumping station, closed c1950. Some track in situ (2000). See map (New window) "Brede Waterworks Tramway" Brian Clarke TNG163 Photos…
County Borough of Hastings Powdermill Reservoir, Pebsham Aerodrome, Darwell Hole Reservoir and St.Helen's Road* 24" EF S, IC Reservoir construction c1927 to c1933.
* Road construction
Locomotives for sale Contract Journal 29/03/33
County Borough of Hastings Unknown job for Water Engineer 24" SF IC   Locomotives for sale Contract Journal 12/04/1950
Hove Corporation Destructor Works Hove 24" SF H, IC Locomotive traction ceased 1966  
Great Bush Railway Tinkers Park Hadlow Down TQ538241 24" SP S, IC, B Preservation site, possibly preceded by agricultural use from c1946, still in use TNG
Hamsey Brick Company South Common, Chailey TQ390176 24" SF ? Clay pit line, possibly locomotive worked  
G T Jennings Camber Circa. TQ939199 24" SF IC Shingle extraction, rail traffic ceased 1955 The Rye and Camber Tramway, L A Cooksey (photos)
W Claude Johnson Broadstone Farm, Forest Row TQ330435 TQ333434 Unknown SP E or B(?) Two short tramways in use c1908 to c1928, owner was director of a large electrical equipment manufacturer. Lines used for pleasure, possibly also experiment.  
Kent & East Sussex Railway Various 18" SF H Horse hauled 18" gauge line used at Tenterden in 1903, similar probably also used on Rother Valley section in Sussex Branch Line to Tenterden, V Mitchell & K Smith
Kidbrooke Farm Forest Row 18" SF H Line serving cow sheds Sussex Industrial History No.25 NGN224
Lavender Line Preservation Society Isfield Station TQ452171 24" Storage IC Preservation site IRS Handbook 12EL, amendment list No.6
Ludlay Brick and Tile Company Berwick 24" SF IC Clay pit line and kiln car system, closed c1966. See map (New window) IRSE (photo) SNG (photo)
Maidenhead Brick and Tile Burgess Hill 24" 18" SF/ SF IC/ IC Two separate clay pit lines, rail traffic ceased 1965  
Mid Sussex Timber Company Vert Wood, Laughton, East Hoathly Circa. TQ520140 24" EF H,IC(?) Forestry systems using WWI surplus material  
Miller Construction Warrior Square, Hastings 750mm SF IC Bathing water contract, underground tunnels c1990 IRS Handbook 12EL
Mount Caburn Chalk Pits (may not be correct title) Mount Caburn, Lewes TQ447088 TQ457087 Probably standard, consider deletion EF H Chalk pit system descending by rope incline, crossing river and terminating at lime kilns at Glynde LBSCR station western end. Closed 1927 See map: top left (New window) Railway World 10/1977.
Navy South Heighton (Newhaven) 24" SF H Construction of H.M.S. Forward 1941
Underground command centre. See map(New window
"Barrack to Bunkers"
Peter Longstaff-Tyrrell Sutton Publishing 2002.)
Newington & Company Glynde Station 24" SF IC Lime works system closed c1960, probably preceded by hand / horse worked system, possibly of different gauge. See map: bottom right (New window)
Offham Chalk Pit Offham, nr. Lewes TQ401115 44"? SF H Incline to river from chalk pit. Bridge under A275 still extant. Possibly the oldest railway in Sussex.
(Opened March 1809) See map (New window)
SRM (photo) **
Peacehaven
Eatate Co.
Peacehaven 24" SF H Temporary line used during construction of Peacehaven Hotel 1922 more…
Redland Bricks Ltd Jarvis Brook, Crowborough 24" SF IC, B Kiln supply system closed c4/1980. Earlier clay pit line of unknown gauge. See map (New window) IRSE (photo) SNG (map/photo)
Redland Bricks Ltd Baxter's, Bexhill 24" SF IC Clay pit line, closed c1969. See map (New window) IRSE (photo) SNG (photo)
Robertsbridge Sawmill (probably not correct title) Robertsbridge Station TQ734234 24" (?) SF H System derelict in 1984  
Ross (?) Limeworks London Road Newtimber, Hassocks 24" SF IC Rail traffic ceased before 1978  
Rother Iron Works Rye 3'? SF ? Works which supplied stock for the Rye & Camber Tramway, also advertised to hire locomotive. Short line to jetty (not NG) Machinery Market 01/04/1885
Rother and Jury's Gut Catchment Board Various sites on east and west of the Rother estuary 24" EF IC River and coastal defence works TNG120 TNG124 TNG130 SNG (map/photo)
Rugby Portland Cement Manufacturers Lewes Quarry 18"
(SG only?)
SF IC(?) Chalk pit, short narrow gauge system out of use post WWII. Main system SG IRSE (photo - SG loco)
Rugby Portland Cement Manufacturers Piddinghoe Quarry 24" SF IC Clay pit system, out of use post 1939. Jubilee turnout found on site 1967, did line work later than assumed?  
Rye Town (location owners not known) On the southern side of Rye town on the banks of the River Brede, which flows into the Rother near the fish quay TR209199 ?   SF H All associated with shipyards/ timber importers. Rails were still present in 2005 at Sea Cruisers' Chandlers (near the Rye Harbour turning off the A259) more…
Rye Harbour (location owners not known) Line running along the "south" side of Rye Harbour houses. 24" F IC On the opposite side from the "William the Conqueror" PH. several flat wagons & Simplex loco. Small engine shed. Aerial photo…
(new window) You need to register (free) to enlarge images.
Rye & Camber Tramway Rye to Camber Sands (nearly!) 36" EF S, IC Passenger and freight carrying railway. Some track in situ at Rye Harbour (east side) The Rye and Camber Tramway, L A Cooksey (photos) SNG (map/photo)
Scrap Dealer
(South Wales)
Birling Gap 24"(?) SF H Temporary track laid on beach in 1928 to remove remains of S.S. Ushla - ran aground Nov. 1916 under Bailey's Brow west of Birling Gap "Barrack to Bunkers"
Peter Longstaff-Tyrrell Sutton Publishing 2002
Sheffield Park Sawmills (wrong title) Sheffield Park Station TQ403236 24" SF H See map (New window) TNG
Sussex Brick & Tile Crowhurst 539500/147500 24" F H Probably hand worked, photo 1931 BGS P205284
Sussex River Authority Plant depot at Coast Road, Pevensey. 24" SF IC Portable system used on river defence works, certainly at Hamsey Weir, Lewes c1958  
Sussex Tileries Horam TQ590159 24'? SF IC Brickworks line. Loco at now at Tinkers' Park SNG
Taylor Woodrow Brighton sea front 900mm SF IC, B(?) Sewer and storm drain construction contract NGN209
S M Tidy Brighton 24" SF IC Locomotives offered for sale, possibly associated with East Sussex County or Brighton Borough Council The Contract Journal 15/05/1946
Timber Supply Department West Dean (Friston Forest) 24" or 36" ? SF ? Timber extraction lines in place during 1920, possibly locomotive worked, but wording of source ambiguous The Kerry Tramway & Other Timber Light Railways, Cox & Krupa
Benjamin Ware Sussex Pottery Ridgewood, Uckfield 20" SF IC Clay pit line, locomotive worked 1945 to closure in 1967, probably horse hauled before that. See map (New window)  
Unknown, public authority d.l.o. Brighton 24" SF IC Sea defence contract The Surveyor 18/08/1977
Volks Electric Railway Brighton seafront cTQ326035 Initial section 24", then 825mm EP E Passenger carrying seafront railway Volk's Railways Brighton, Alan A Jackson.   SNG (map/photo)
George Wimpey & Company Newhaven 24" SF S Sea defence contract 1924-25 - east of R. Ouse ***  ***
Woodgate Dairy Sheffield Park Station TQ403236 24" SF H See map (New window) TNG
George Young Seaford 3'6" SF S Contract at Seaford c1897-99  

Notes:

(1)
S = a short line confined within relatively small site, track length a less than about 1/4 mile
E = an extensive line, typically linking more than one site with track length greater than 1/4 mile
P = passenger carrying railway
F = freight carrying only

(2)

H = hand, horse or cable
S = steam locomotive/s
IC = internal combustion locomotive/s
E = electric traction, current collection
B = electric traction, batteries

TNG = The Narrow Gauge
NGN = Narrow Gauge News
BGS = British Geological Survey: Geoscenic Photos IRR = Industrial railway record
IRSE = Industrial Railways of the South East, (Chalk Pits Museum)
INGRB = Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways in Britain, Peter Nicholson
SNG = Sussex Narrow Gauge, Mitchell & Smith (Middleton)
SRM = Sussex Railways Remembered, L. Oppitz (Countryside Press)

* N.B. the map in the book shows an older system. Photo shows the line NW of B2109/A26 which survived until closure. The "See map" link shows the line pictured in the book.
** shown on 1878ish OS map; also maps in "Kent & East Sussex Waterways", P. Vine (Middleton) - also has maps & photos of Brede Tramway
*** A photo appears to show skips with a ramp to tip into standard gauge wagons. 2' gauge skips were present in 1937. "Sand" was transported by rail to South Heighton Cement Works from this area — but this works had closed in 1914, and was used for ammunition storage during WWI
There was also a line on the west side of the river Ouse — possibly short-lived — in connection with the extension of Newhaven Fort in WWII - the line was used to carry shingle to the foot of a hoist to the cliff top not far from the start of the breakwater. There was an earlier line in the 1860s, probably NG, to another hoist below the eastern end of the fort during a previous reconstruction.

BROCKHOUSE "ROAD TRAIN" —

This was an "0" gauge guided "road train" demonstration line at/near Mayfield (1950s) more…
(Location needed).

There were also brickworks' lines at Aldrington TQ274053; Hailsham - nr. station TQ589091; and Ringmer TQ476141.
(from "Brickworks in Sussex" (Middleton)

Plashett Wood near Isfield was worked by German POWs in WWI — did this have a railway?

Email further details of any of the above or unlisted lines

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