Alderney Railway

Alderney Railway
Engine Shed
Mannez Quarry
Château à L'Étoc
Eclipse Halt
Newtown Road
Braye Road
Inner Harbour
Fort Doyle (Crabby Bay)
line onto breakwater
Vulcan Drewry 0-4-0 diesel locomotive Elizabeth and former London Underground 1959 Stock cars

The Alderney Railway on Alderney is the only railway in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, and the only working railway in the Channel Islands. (There is a standard gauge railway at the Pallot Heritage Steam Museum in Jersey, but this provides no actual transport link, only pleasure rides.) The Alderney Railway opened in 1847 and runs for about 2 miles (3.2 km), mostly following a coastal route, from Braye Road to Mannez Quarry and Lighthouse.

The railway is run by volunteers and usually operates during summer weekends and bank holidays.


Rolling stock


The current stock is:

Molly II is currently awaiting modification to her coupler system, so she can haul the London Underground stock. However, this cannot happen at the moment[when?] because she is not yet owned by the Alderney Railway company.[citation needed]

Sheds to house the engines and railway stock were built at Mannez quarry in 1997 and 2008[3]


British Admiralty (1854-1923)

(The railway was, presumably, owned by some other department of the British Government from 1847 to 1854)

Name Date built Builder Works No. Wheels Cylinders Notes Withdrawn
Veteran 1847 ? ? 0-6-0 Inside arr. 1847 ?
Fairfield 1847 ? ? 0-6-0 Inside arr. 1847 ?
Waverley ? Henry Hughes of Loughborough[4] ? 0-4-0ST Outside - 1889
Bee ? ? ? 0-6-0T ? - ?
Spider ? ? ? 0-6-0T ? - ?
Gillingham ? Aveling and Porter ? 0-6-0TG ? arr. 1893 1893
No.1 1880 Hunslet Engine Company 231 0-6-0ST Inside arr. 1893 1923
No.2 1898 Peckett and Sons 696 0-4-0ST Outside arr. 1904 1923

Channel Islands Granite Co Ltd (1923-1940)

This company took over the railway in 1923, together with locomotives No.1 and No.2. No.1 was returned to England and replaced by Manning Wardle 0-6-0ST Nitro.

German occupation (1940-1945)

No.2 and Nitro were commandeered by the Germans and are believed to have been shipped to Cherbourg in 1943 or 1944. The Germans lifted part of the standard gauge line and replaced it with a 600 mm gauge line,[5] worked by two Feldbahn 0-4-0 diesel locomotives.

British Home Office (1945-?)

The line was restored to standard gauge in 1947–1949 and the following stock was used:

  • Sentinel 4wVBT Molly, in service from 1947, withdrawn 1958. May have been converted to a mobile sand-blaster, which was still extant in 1980.[6]
  • Cowans Sheldon steam crane
  • Ruston & Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel Molly II
  • Wickhams Type 27A trolleys

Alderney Railway Co Ltd (1980-present)



The railway was built by the British Government in the 1840s and opened in 1847. Its original purpose was to carry stone from the eastern end of the island to build the breakwater and the Victorian era forts.

There were three Royal visits by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to Alderney. On the first on 8 August 1854, the Royal couple rode on the railway, a horse-drawn tender.

See also


  1. ^ "Enthusiasts visit Alderney Railway". The Railway Magazine (1290): 80. October 2008. ISSN 0033-8923.
  2. ^ From Morden to Mannez Rail issue 597 30 July 2008 page 75
  3. ^ a b c d "Alderney Railway Society". Alderney Railway Society. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  4. ^ "Alderney Breakwater". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Railway History". Alderney Railway. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  6. ^ "(Photo) Sentinel 4wVBT converted to a mobile sand-blaster (1980)". Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2017.


  • Railways of the Channel Islands, A Pictorial Survey compiled by C Judge, published by The Oakwood Press 1992, ISBN 0-85361-432-6

External links

  • Alderney Railway official website
  • A fan's website
  • Photographs of Channel Islands railways (including Alderney)
  • Rail 608 31 December 2008 magazine pages 68–69 feature on the Alderney Railway
  • The Alderney Breakwater by M. Swift a detailed account in THE INDUSTRIAL RAILWAY RECORD No. 52 – pages 170–173 FEBRUARY 1974 issue
  • The Tube Train That Runs In the Channel Islands Video of a journey on the line in 2021

Coordinates: 49°43′05″N 2°12′00″W / 49.718°N 2.200°W / 49.718; -2.200

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