Phase One – 2001

Land clearance and track bed construction for Phase One of the Thompson Park Railway commenced in the winter of 2000/2001. As part of the work, an area was leveled to allow for the placement of two forty-foot shipping containers to initially act as storage for tools and equipment; later to be used for the storage of rolling stock and a workshop for maintenance.

Assistance was received from the local Parks Department for the positioning of the containers and the removal of top soil – which would later be used for the landscaping of the central area. In excess of 600 metres of track was laid in Phase One alone.

Using the skills of the small group of members, steaming bays, a loading ramp, and a turntable was constructed at an early stage. A lot of back aching work had been completed – by hand – in a short space of time.

The railway was opened to the public mid-2001, with rides costing 50p for the short ride around the central area – incorporating a section of line which is now very rarely used by the public.