Strathaven Miniature Railway celebrates 70 years of steam

It’s been steaming round in circles for 70 years and saw off the last standard gauge steam train in its home town in 1965. Now, the 7¼in Strathaven Miniature Railway is marking seven decades of steam with the original locomotive that opened the 100ft-long railway in 1949 still at the head of its trains.

Visitors enjoy the ride behind 70-year-old Margaret. Photo: Hugh Dougherty

The SMR opened in Strathaven Park when two local model-makers, the late David Scott and Guy Hamilton, built steam 2-6-0 Margaret, and persuaded the former Fourth District Council of Lanarkshire County Council, to lay 425ft of track for it to pull ride-on coaches as an attraction.

“The line was an immediate success,” said Ian Samson, secretary of Strathaven Model Society, which runs the railway every Saturday and Sunday from Easter to the end of September.

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“The line was extended to today’s length in 1983, and, in June 2018, we celebrated the 700,000th passenger carried on the railway, and we welcome around 13,000 passengers each operating season.”

Read more and view more images in Issue 251 of HR – on sale February 15!

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