The DLR was setup in 1925, by the Headmaster of the Downs School, to broaden the education provided by the school in tune with the pupils of the day. The aim was to provide a practical environment that the children could apply the teachings from conventional academic subjects. The DLR survived the second world war, but after a change of ownership of the school soon became derelict. A twenty year restoration started in the 1970s, but was interrupted by the school who failed to fully appreciate it. As a consequence, the DLR Trust was formed in 1983 to independently own and manage the interests of the railway, and to protect the assets.