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Lavender Line to mark 50th anniversary of last train
February 23 - February 24
The Lavender Line at Isfield will be holding a special event over the weekend of February 23 and 24 to mark the 50th anniversary of the last train to leave the station.
The British Railways DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) 1316 service train has its own place in history having made that last journey on Sunday, February 23, 1969.
And you will be able to see the heritage line’s own DEMU trains, 1118, and 1133, in service coupled together, looking very similar to the 1316.
After the 1316 left the station 50 years ago the line was closed, track lifted, and tracks, stations and railway land sold, all in an effort to cut costs and save money.
Then, thanks to dedicated and keen volunteers the railway was partly relaid as a heritage line which proves popular with visitors to this day.
The standard gauge railway carries preserved steam and diesel locomotives/units and offers a two-mile round trip from the Victorian station, at Isfield, to Worth Halt, in Little Horsted.
The railway was once part of the national network, branching off at Lewes to the north east, passing through Barcombe Mills, Isfield, and then onto Uckfield, where the national network terminates today.
If you visit during the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, February 23, and 24, you will find a gift shop, meals and refreshments in the old station building, and you will be able to go into the original Victorian signal box to see the levers and other equipment used by signalmen in years gone by.
Other original features can be seen too, including the station’s goods yard crane, cattle dock, coal office, goods yard, water tower, level crossing – and the old type of crossing gates.
There is also a children’s play area and Riley’s Miniature Railway, a fun, not for profit, five inch gauge miniature railway where all the fares and donations are sent to the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London.
The Lavender Line will be open from 10am to 5pm on both days and a classic Southdown bus will provide a free shuttle service operating from Uckfield Station to the Lavender Line each day too.
More details can be found on The Lavender Line’s website, the Lavender Line Facebook page and the Facebook page for Riley’s Miniature Railway (where details will be shared on which miniature locomotives will be operating on their little line).