After the First World War surplus army narrow
gauge railway equipment was bought by farmers in Lincolnshire and the Fens
for use in their fields to bring the crops, particularly potatoes, to a depot or a std gauge railhead for onward transhipment.
One such system was the Nocton Estates Light Railway at Nocton south of Lincoln. It eventually had almost 23 miles
of single track, with 5 new Simplex locos hauling ex army wagons & vans. The Estate was bought by its main
customer Smith`s Potato Crisps in 1936 and in the 1950`s they began to improve the farm roads so lorries could
access the fields meaning that the crop was not double-handled. By 1960 it had virtually closed.
Fortunately railway enthusiasts in North Lincolnshire managed to aquire a quantity of rail
and stock from the system and built the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway:
See: Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway
All images copyright Museum of English Rural Life at Reading University and used with their permission.