Miniature railways are ground-level, large scale model railroads (railways) that haul passengers and use locomotives that are models of full sized railway locomotives, powered by diesel or gasoline engines, live steam engines or electric motors.
Typically they have a track gauge between 10 and 18 inches (254 to 458mm), though both larger and smaller gauges are used. In the USA the terms "riding railroad" and "grand scale railroad" are commonly used to describe this type of railway.
These large model railroads are most often seen in municipal parks or in commercial settings, such as amusement park rides.
The major distinction between a miniature railway and a narrow gauge railway is that miniature lines use models of full-sized prototypes. There are miniature railways that run on gauges as wide as 2 ft., for example the Wicksteed Park railway. There are also narrow gauge railways running on extremely narrow track as small as 15 inch gauge, for example the Perrygrove Railway and the Eaton Hall Railway: these are known as "minimum gauge railways".
Typically in the UK miniature lines are operated as public heritage railways, though many private lines also exist, especially in the USA.
List of miniature railways
- Audley End Railway
- Bure Valley Railway
- C&H Railroad, 12" gauge, USA website
- Cedar Rock Railroad, 16" gauge, USA website
- Collegeville and Southern Railway, 18" gauge, USA website
- Conwy Valley Railway
- Dobwalls, Forest Railroad
- Evesham Vale Light Railway, 15" gauge, UK website
- Fairbourne & Barmouth Steam Railway
- Frimley Lodge Park Railway
- Gorse Blossom Farm Railway
- Great Cockrow Railway
- Kirklees Light Railway, 15" gauge, UK supporters' website
- Lappa Valley Steam Railway
- Meadows and Lake Kathleen Railroad, 18" gauge, USA website
- Moors Valley Country Park
- Poole Park Railway
- Railroad Museum of South Florida Train Village, 7.5" gauge, USA website
- Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, 15" gauge, UK
- Rhyl Miniature Railway
- Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway
- Royal Victoria Country Park
- Wells and Walsingham Railway
- Weston Park Railway
- Wickstead Park railway
- Malden District Society of Model Engineers
- Grand Scales Quarterly the US magazine of grand scale railroading