Groudle Steam Railway
The Groudle Glen Railway dates back to the 1890s when the true narrow gauge railway was built to cater for a holiday population whose ideals were short walks and the taking of bracing sea airs.
The railway was operating steam locomotives and proved to be hugely succesful from its opening. It had to be closed down during World War I and II, and survived by operating summer seasons up until 1962. The following years saw part of the line become unsafe, closure of the neighbouring zoo, and subsequent removal of the two steam locomotives and the coaches. The buildings were demolished and the rails removed and the line became overgrown and forgotten only to be disturbed by the occasional walker. However, in 1982 a group of volunteers started restoring the original buildings which remained as well as some of the original trains and undertook a labour of love by building a new railway.
Today, the Groudle Glen Railway is operated entirely by volunteers and owned by the 'Isle of Man Steam Railway Supporters' Association'.
The trains run from Lhen Coan to Sea Lion Rocks. Lhen Coan is the Groudle Glen Railway's main station and can be reached after a short walk through the glen. The station features a replica of the original 1896 canopy building. The platform area contains the ticket booth and a souvenir shop. The locomotive shed and work shops are also located here.
The only intermediate halt, Lime Kiln, is named after the kiln which is visible on the left hand side of the line. Passengers who wish to board must give a clear hand signal to the train and passengers wishing to alight should have given previous notice to the guard.
The re-built Sea-Lion Rocks station building serves refreshments and makes a quiet area for a pleasant picnic in the summer months. It is relaxing to sit and observe the flora, fauna and passing ships. The remains of the zoo complex can still be seen at the side of the cliff.
A variety of trains operate during the year. Steam locomotives Sea Lion and Annie, diesel locomotives Dolphin and Walrus and battery-operated Polar Bear are all operational. Trains run on Sundays from April to September, on Wednesday evenings during July and August and on Tuesday evenings in August. In addition, Santa Specials, Mince Pie Trains and the Easter Bunny Express attract huge crowds at special times throughout the year.
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