Watford Miniature Railway: 'Cultural institution' turns 60
A miniature railway that has become a "cultural institution" in a council-run park is celebrating its 60th year.
The Watford Miniature Railway, in Cassiobury Park, Hertfordshire, opened at Easter 1959 and sees passengers taken on a five-minute woodland ride.
Operators Southern Miniature Railways said it was "a simple pleasure, something all generations can enjoy".
It hopes to replace the near 50-year-old carriages, saying they are a "little small for today's customers".
Charles O'Mahoney, from the company, said: "It's now a bit of a cultural institution.
"We get people saying they went on it as a child and now bring their children and grandchildren."
Watford Miniature Railway
- Built by local engineer Charles Reed, who had operated portable railways in the Watford area from the late 1940s, and wanted a permanent location
- It was initially as a short "out and back" line but was gradually extended to a 300-yard long circuit
- In 1968, it was sold to George Webb, before Jeff Price bought it in 1979 and introduced more locomotives to meet increased visitor demand
- It was sold to the current operators in July 2017
The town's Liberal Democrat mayor, Peter Taylor, said: "The railway is held in really high regard by residents.
"It's a very impressive length of time to be running such an attraction."
To mark the anniversary, events will be held in the park later and on Sunday, including an exhibition about the railway's history.
Cassiobury Park has recently undergone about £6m of improvements, with grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund.