Train-crazy couple convert their Haywards Heath garden into a station

Railway fans Phil Payne and Kim Lo have come up with an engine-ous way of celebrating their love of trains.

Friday, 17th May 2019, 5:00 pm
Phil Payne inhis 'station' garden. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-190514-182200008

The pair have converted the front garden of their home in Haywards Heath into a realistic-looking station - complete with rail track, crossing gates, signal and signs.

The project has proved a four-year labour of love for Phil - and a real head-turner for passers-by. “The amount of people who stop and look and take pictures is crazy,” said Phil, who works as a postmaster at Ardingly.

Both Phil and Kim - keen runners who met while members of Haywards Heath Harriers - have walked every closed old railway track in Sussex. “This was how I got my idea for doing a railway in the garden, and basically just kept adding to it,” said Phil.

Phil Payne and partner Kim Lo pictured along a disused railway overlooking an old tunnel SUS-190517-155116001

He sourced parts from a number of places and acquired some of his old railway sleepers from the Bluebell Railway.

Phil admits his ambition is to add a miniature railway to go round the garden, although Kim, who works in Haywards Heath as a chartered accountant, is not keen.

Now, instead, he is thinking of getting an old railway carriage and converting it into a little guest room.

But the ‘station’ is not the only quirky part of Phil and Kim’s garden - another section has been transformed into a spooky-looking ‘graveyard’ - complete with coffin, ‘headstones’ and skeletons.

Part of the 'railway' garden SUS-190517-155126001

“I just liked the idea of it and have seen alot of designs in America when they do Halloween nights and it just went from there really,” said Phil.

“My dad made the coffin and I got the skeletons for the ‘graveyard’ of friends who had Halloween parties. There are rubber snakes and even a crow in the trees.”

DM1952257a.jpg. Phil Payne in the garden of his home in Haywards Heath which he has turned into a railway station. Another part of his garden. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-190514-182149008