Duck's Branch Line

The "Little Western" is a coastal branch line operating between Tidmouth and Arlesburgh. It is nicknamed so because the line is decorated in Great Western Railway colours and is worked by Duck and Oliver, two Great Western engines.


The branch was at first a one-line extension of the North Western Railway built after a Government order in 1916. It was intended to reach Harwick; however, by the time Arlesburgh was reached, there was no longer need for further extension. Material from the Arlesdale mines was needed for the war effort, but when the mines closed in 1947 there was not enough traffic. Permission was requested to close the line, but this was refused and thus a minimal service was operated.

In 1964 need for a new harbour arose and the line was reinstated. It was given to Duck, as he knew the Arlesdale Railway engines and had done excellent work in the yards. Oliver, Donald and Douglas also came to help.

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