Recognising the importance of Crowborough Miniature Railway’s contribution to the social and economic life of the town, Crowborough & District Lions Club donated £5,000 to their ambitious extension programme.
Extending the track and landscaping the area is Phase I of the planned improvements. Phase II is the re-modelling of the steaming bays and Phase III is to improve the clubhouse and its facilities.
Following the succesful purchase of a strip of land in the neighbouring field by the Town Council, planning permission was granted for the miniature railway to extend its track. Once completed, the railway will more than double in length. This will allow and encourage the growth of the Society, and permit more locomotives to operate at the same time.
Founder member and Project Manager of the extension, Neville Watts explained:
Ever since the club was formed back in 1989 and the original track laid, it has been our ambition to extend the track at some time in the future to give a longer and more varied ride.
Now, after a 25 year wait, the land has been acquired, planning permission granted and work has begun. When completed the new track will be more than double the length of the existing line and should make for a very interesting ride.
Chairman of the Society, Malcolm Place added:
The Lion’s contribution will go a long way to oiling the wheels of completion.Our next phase will be to screed the top surface of the concrete beams to fine tune the levels and then to construct walk ways to compliment the new bridge structure.We still have to find the money for the actual track components and signals before we connect the extended track to the existing one. The event where we join the two tracks will take a lot of work and planning and may even require us to finish early in the season.In real terms, we are looking at another two years before we can see completion and we then have plans to reconfigure the station, steaming bay and possibly add the ground level circuit around the outside.