Latest page update - Tuesday 21st February 2017


Woodyard Narrow Gauge Railway in East Grinstead, Sussex
A previously unreported line in London Road

Two pictures of the area possibly taken in the 1970s and reproduced here by kind permission of John Crossman
The railway bridge carries the line to the goods yard with East Grinstead station out of sight on the left.
The wood yard is directly ahead and the building now owned by Mid-Sussex Timber. The "chalet bungalow" was at the other end.

This is a very basic web page to introduce a narrow gauge railway that we have not seen mentioned anywhere else on the internet. It was located at a large saw mill and woodyard in East Grinstead Sussex called we believe "Stennings" and later "Stenwood" (the only present entry that can be found for this name is nowhere near East Grinstead). There was a retail shop which was styled like a wooden Swiss chalet bungalow right beside the main line railway bridge on London Road, now called Beeching Way. Behind this was a huge wood yard and saw mill with tree trunks cut into planks of drying hardwood, and the works behind. The whole area was later concreted over.

Their narrow gauge rail network was very near the present railway station, ran parallel with and was served by a standard gauge siding off the East Grinstead high level station. The area of part of the works has been completely altered and nothing is left to see but there is now a multi-storey car park in the area and the approach road has been immortalised by calling it "Wood Street".

So how do we know about this railway? As a child one of your webmasters used to live in Maypole Road, East Grinstead, and on Saturday afternoons the shop used to sell somewhat warped wood off cuts cheaply. When we say cheaply we mean it, a 6 foot long 12 inch wide plank cost just 6d or 1/- which is 5p in new money! Many the rabbit hutch that was built with these pieces of timber dragged home scraping the pavement.

Afterwards we used to play on the railway - which was approximately 2' gauge and ran the entire length of the sawmill with several points and sidings. We pushed each other on one of the small 4 wheel wagons. As it was a weekend no locomotives were running and we did not see them. During the week access was impossible but we would guess that it was battery electric powered to save the chance of fire. There were a number of large transformers of the type used to recharge electric milk carts and the rails ran into the first "bay" on the left directly behind the retail shop.

With thanks to Cliff Pester we now have a copy of the 1955 OS map of the area showing the extent of the lines.
Click the map for a larger copy.

The lower part of the yard is all that remains, located to the left of the building marked Depot, and is now operated by Mid-Sussex Timber.

We hope this very basic page will at least put this previously unreported railway on the internet map. If you have any more details or perhaps more pictures or a map then please do get in touch with the webmaster who will no doubt pass them on to us. His email address is webmaster -at- horsted keynes dot com (no spaces and an @)!




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