The N&L.L.R

A Narrow Gauge Garden Railway in Rural Leicestershire

A Ride on the Line

1920

The 1920's saw the N&LLR's golden era, the description of the route here is pre-1922, before the N&LLR and the surrounding railways were grouped into the 'Big Four'. Working from the North of the line, here is a brief description of the route of the railway:


Aylestone

The smallest station on the line, a single platform with a run around loop. The end of the line extends to a  goods platform at goods, the majority of the traffic coming from the textile and shoe factories. West of here there is a small spur to the Fox Barrnett Quarry which contains a loop so that quarry engines may remove themselves from a train without entering the mainline. 


Enderby

Enderby station contains a single platform in a deep cutting. There is a single siding with access for farm goods which contains a cattle loading ramp and shelter. There is a loop for marshaling quarry trains from Wood Hill and Enderby Warren quarry spur that lead directly from the station.


Narborough and Littlethorpe

The largest station on the line, passenger facilities include an island platform with waiting room with two roads. The station is adjacent to the LNWR's (ex-Leicester and Birmingham) mainline Narborough station. There is a large set of transshipment sidings, the largest of which is for the movement of aggregate. This is the location of the locomotive sheds and railway workshop. The company's offices can also be found in Narborough village. The longest quarry branch runs from west of here to the large Croft quarry and the Huncote gravel and sand pits further to the north. Due to the size of these trains, Croft quarry locomotives are considered 'mainline' and have running rights up to the transshipment sidings. 


Blaby and Whetstone

A single platform with goods sidings for farm traffic. Passengers alight here for a connection with the Great Central railway. Around 2/3 of a mile west of the station is a goods branch. This was originally the end of the mainline and runs to a wharf on the Grand Union Canal (Leicester Branch). a further spur was added to more transshipment sidings, now with the GCR. As canal traffic declined the wharf was used to store rolling stock. 


Countesthorpe
One of the line's larger stations there are two platforms here, allowing trains to pass. Countesthorpe handles a large volume of farm and dairy traffic. Passengers can alight here for the Midland Counties railway, there is a small facility for transferring goods.

Peatling Magna
A single platform with shelter. There is a goods loop with shelter and cattle ramp for farm and dairy traffic. North-West of the station there is a branch to the small Willoughby pit. There is no loop here as the wagons are horse-drawn up to the mainline.

Arnesby
A single platform station with sidings to take farm, cattle and dairy traffic.

Fleckney and Saddington
Midway on the road between the two villages, contains an island platform with two roads. Multiple sidings for farm, cattle and dairy traffic. Marshling loop for quarry trains from the Saddington quarry branch. Quarry branch also use to receive farm goods directly from Saddington.

Kibworth
Between large villages of Kibworth Harcourt and Kibworth Beauchamp. The station contains a two-road island platform with headshunt. Kibworth marks the end of passenger services but the goods line continues to the large Kibworth Quarry. The N&LLR meets the Midland railway here, there are sidings for transhipment of farm traffic and quarry goods.

Maps

Below is a map of the area of Leicestershire the N&LLR ran through. The maps show the historical route of the N&LLR grafted on to modern maps. The majority of the quarries and pits the railway served have been filled in, turned into green land or built upon and are almost impossible to spot. The large Croft Quarry can still be seen and some small sand and gravel pits outside of Huncote. The Great Central mainline and the Midland Countries mainline through this part of Leicester were lifted in the 60's as part of Dr. Beeching's cuts, but their routes are still very apparent on the landscape. 


N&LLR Mainline -----

N&LLR Goods Branch -----

Great Central Railway -----

London and North Western Railway -----

Midland Railway -----

Midland Counties Railway -----

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