Willen Lake in Milton Keynes is a great place for a family day out with loads to do for kids of all ages. Not only are there activities on the lake from pedalos and boats to an inflatable assault course, there are also plenty of places to eat and drink and also dry activities too. The new playground is vast and loved by kids, as is the nearby splash park. There is an accessible path around the whole lake which is perfect for pushchairs, wheelchairs, bikes and scooters. People who want to get up in the trees can also take on Treetop Extreme. The newly built onsite Premier Inn is perfectly situated for both the park itself and the nearby Gulliver’s Land theme park. Despite all this, there’s one tucked away part of Willen Lake that is sadly not taking visitors right now. The abandoned miniature railway.
Originally opened in 1989, and then the track re-routed when Treetop Extreme opened in 2005/6, the railway today is sadly in a state of disrepair.
As you can see from my video below, the old station is still there complete with a turntable for turning locomotives round, and interestingly all the track is all still in place. You can even see some signs still up warning pedestrians where the track crosses a path.
Off in some sidings three carriages are in a bit of a state and just left for nature (or vandals) to take over. I do also wonder if there might be a loco in the closed up shipping container that is there.
It’s such a shame to see an abandoned miniature railway like this in a place that is so popular with families. I’m sure that on a sunny day kids (big and small!) would be clamouring for a ride, but I’m guessing that the council probably isn’t interested in running it and any company or charity taking it on might struggle to make enough profit.
It may be that Covid lockdowns put an end to the railway, but I find abandoned things like this utterly fascinating and would love to know exactly what the story is behind the railway. Who owns it? And why it has been abandoned like this?
As a family we’re on a challenge to find and visit as many railways as we can around the country, I’m just hoping that the number of abandoned miniature railways stays as low as possible!
If you want to read more train related content then take a look here.