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A Brief History of the Railway

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No 31 arrives at Fawley in September 1965

Construction of the Fawley Hill Railway began in 1965 with 100 metres of track being laid along the valley. This coincided with the arrival of the first locomotive, No 31.  The following year a short length of track was laid at the top of the hill and a second loco, and the first item of rolling stock, arrived.

In the late 1960s, the valley line was extended and track was laid at a 1 in 13 gradient (the steepest standard gauge adhesion railway in the country) to connect the valley to the top of the hill, where a platform was constructed. During the late 1960s, the museum building was constructed together with the engine shed and the tunnel. By 1971, Shobnall Maltings signal box was in place. 

The track on the hill was relaid in 1976 to smooth out sharp bends and the former Somersham station was built the following year.

In 1979, with the track and rolling stock being run and maintained by a small band of enthusiasts, Sir William sought assistance from the Marlow and District Railway Society and this arrangement was in place for about a year before the Fawley Museum Society was created in February 1981.

Over the next decade, major work was carried out on the valley line with the installation of additional points and a station at Bourne Again, together with the installation of a loop and a station at Inverernie. 

Since then, the work has mainly consisted of installing recovered buildings from around the country and maintaining the track and rolling stock in a satisfactory condition for public use on Invitation Days. 

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