Update: Since the railway was opened on Good Friday – the track has been vanalised not once but twice. See the appeal for information to find the culprits on Facebook.
Crowborough’s Mayor Cllr Ron Reed drove the first train at the miniature railway at Goldsmiths.
The 5″ gauge, coal-fired engine, is a perfect replica of a once widely used locomotive of the Great Western Railway.
The steam engine is owned and run by Neville Watts, a founder member of the miniature railway society and the driving force behind its construction in 1989. He is also the project leader of the extension to the railway which is two years into building on land provided by the Town Council, adjacent to the existing railway.
When the extension is completed, it will more than double the length of the ride. Crowborough Locomotive Society Secretary John Wood said:
With the better weather threatening to arrive, work is now continuing after having been largely bogged down by the very wet winter. Having said that, however, work did continue during any respite in the seemingly endless rain although earth moving has been very intermittent, at some times even caterpillar tracked vehicles could not operate.
Funding continues to be as great a challenge as the construction work itself, although both can always benefit hugely from additional helpers who don’t mind donating a few pounds or losing a few by wielding a shovel.
The working group meets at the track on a Wednesday and you would be best most welcome if you can go along and help out.
John Wood added:
The more hands, the sooner Crowborough will have an attraction of which to be doubly proud.
The railway is now open to the public on every Saturday from 2 – 5pm and on all Bank Holidays through-out the Spring and Summer. The season closes on 5th November with the Grand Firework Display and train rides in the dark.
For more information about the Miniature Railway, see their website: www.crowboroughminiaturerailway.com.