It’s been a frighteningly fast few years, and a lot of hard work and support by local businesses, organisations, and the general public, but the extension is finally in it’s last stages of construction.
Track has been laid on the new concrete beams across the field. To achieve this, huge embankments have had to be formed with hundreds of tons of earth, a wooden bridge across a natural drainage ditch, a brick built single span bridge to enable access under the track, and a long viaduct with brick pillars, concrete base and blocks, metal RSJ supports for the track, and ornate wooden sides for protection. Not to mention retaining walls, and wooden line-side fencing which is being completed at the time of writing.
Our last hurdle is the reforming of the station platform area. Re-positioning and realignment of the platform and track itself, as well as allowing for access to the steaming bays for locomotives – obviously very important, as this will enable us to run trains for Easter!
Phase two of the extension is the total rebuilding and reconfiguring of the steaming bays themselves. This will probably be completed next winter. This is not expected to disrupt public services during the 2018 running season.
Running dates and fares of the 2018 running season are yet to be confirmed at this early stage. But we are planning a full timetable and list of events throughout the year, including our popular Santa Specials next December. We apologise that “Santas” were not possible for 2017.