RUSPER MODEL RAILWAY CLUB
The new co-operation between the two lines gave rise to a new undertaking. The docks at Littlehaven which were situated beside Smallfield station, were owned by the R&H who had purchased the original dock company in 1871. For some time they had wanted to run a line into the docks but had been unable to obtain the necessary access. The R&H therefore proposed to the S&T that a joint company be formed to construct a loop line from Newdigate Road to Glovers Lane and to run parallel to the R&H up to, and terminating at, Charlwood. At the same time a line would be run from Smallfield yard into Littlehaven docks.
The carriage sidings at Tilgate were reduced and the main carriage sidings were moved to the old Jordans site. A new single line was proposed between Prestwood and Jordans to facilitate empty stock movements. In the event it was to be some 30 years before this link was built. At the same time the line from Tilgate to Prestwood was doubled.
Neither the original companies nor the amalgamated company ever designed or built any locomotives or rolling stock. Instead they leased from the other mainline companies, retaining the original liveries. When British Railways was formed in 1948 there was a delightful mixture of stock from the other regions and these still run in a variety of BR liveries, making the RR a train spotters paradise! Even today some stock can be seen in pre-nationalisation liveries.
More recently improvements have been made in track and signalling, however the lack of modern stock and locomotives has caused some criticism. Nevertheless all the locomotives and carriages are kept in superb condition by the dedicated engineering staff.
The traffic at Littlehaven Docks had ceased after the harbour silted up due to the lack of dredging during the war period. Therefore it was suggested and agreed that the dock area be incorporated into the Smallfield goods yard and the size of the station was increased to improve passenger facilities. The fishing fleet had moved to the nearby port of Muirhouse and catches after being landed and auctioned were transferred by road to the new Smallfield yard for onward transportation.