Isfield miniature charity railway appeals for donations to secure its future

Riley with his dad, Darryl, in front of Riley's Miniature Railway based at the Lavender Line, Isfield Station
Riley with his dad, Darryl, in front of Riley's Miniature Railway based at the Lavender Line, Isfield Station

A miniature railway line, which raises funds for a children’s hospital, is currently crowdfunding to secure its future.

Riley’s has hit its crowdfunding target- read the updated article here.

Dad, Darryl, and Riley with grandad Larry driving at the back of a miniature locomotive

Dad, Darryl, and Riley with grandad Larry driving at the back of a miniature locomotive

Riley’s Miniature Railway, which is based at the Lavender Line, Isfield, donates 100 per cent of fares to the Evelina Children’s Hopsital.

A Crowdfunder, which ends tomorrow (October 26), is currently aiming to secure funds to maintain the miniature attraction.

The not-for-profit gives rides to both children and adults alike.

Graham Lelliot from Lancing, who helps run the railway, said: “We are run entirely by volunteers who give up their spare time to give pleasure to families and to raise funds for this very worthwhile charity.”

A busy station at Riley's' Evelina Junction

A busy station at Riley's' Evelina Junction

Riley’s has raised more than £10,000 since it opened. However, with all fares and donations being sent to the Evelina Children’s Hospital, Graham says they decided to set up a crowdfunder to secure the railway’s future.

“We are in need of a little financial help to assist in the maintenance of this much loved miniature railway which is now showing signs of wear and tear,” he said.

“It is essential we keep the railway safe, however we also have plans to help with the efficient running of the railway.

“The money would be spent on track work such as replacing worn rail, sleepers, ballast, a new point, and materials for a new loco shed.”

Riley’s Miniature Railway was set up to raise funds for the hospital after the birth of Riley Lewis in 2010.

He was born with six separate heart defects, which made it difficult for blood to pump around his body.

Over the years Riley has needed constant care and monitoring; he has had several operations and is still very much under the care of the Evelina Children’s Hospital.

His grandparents, Larry and Sandra Lewis from Bexhill on Sea, decided that they wanted to raise money for the hospital.

Both have an interest in model engineering, miniature railways, and railways in general, and were involved with a miniature railway at Knockhatch Adventure Park in Hailsham at the time.

This prompted them to establish Riley’s Miniature Railway at Isfield in 2011, which was welcomed with open arms by Lavendar Line management who offered a rent-free site.

Riley’s Miniature Railway’s Crowdfunding page can be found here