Nocton Estates Light Railway, Lincolnshire

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 7 images on this webpage are copyright Museum of English Rural Life at Reading University and used with their permission.


View of the sidings and the engine shed at Nocton seen from the mill. There are 3 WW1 ambulance vans on left and some
bogie open wagons on right next to the standard gauge siding.



The mill showing the standard gauge loading platform where sacks of potatoes were transferred from the narrow gauge
wagons that had come in from the fields.



Two men are emptying an ex WW1 class D bogie wagon of its potato sacks and loading them onto standard gauge wagons.


Sugar beet, direct from the fields, being unloaded from modified WD class E wagons onto a conveyor which would take
them straight to the Bardney sugar factory on the opposite side of the River Witham.


Riddling with hand riddles, weighing and bagging potatoes. Two narrow gauge ambulance vans in background.


A train in the fields, consisting of simplex locomotive with 3 class D bogie wagons, is being loaded
with sacks of potatoes. Bardney Sugar Factory can be seen in the distance.


Now fully loaded the train takes its crop to the standard gauge transhipment siding for onward movement.

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