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National recognition for heritage railway scheme

MP Sir Alan Beith, AVR chairman Martin Robinson and  the Duke of Northumberland at the official opening of the Aln Valley Railway.

MP Sir Alan Beith, AVR chairman Martin Robinson and the Duke of Northumberland at the official opening of the Aln Valley Railway.

The Aln Valley Railway has won a national award from the Heritage Railway Association.

The railway, which aims to reopen the link between Alnmouth and Alnwick, has taken the accolade in the Small Groups section.

Work started at the Lionheart Station site, on the outskirts of the town, in spring 2012 and the award recognises the significant achievements made in the last 12 months.

National recognition is a fitting tribute to the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to reopen the branchline, since the idea was muted in the mid-1990s.

Railway press officer Roger Jermy said: “We are absolutely thrilled to bits. There have been people working on this since it was first conceived more than 15 years ago.

“To receive a national award, especially as we have been on site for less than two years, is something that we can all be very proud about.”

The railway was officially opened in Alnwick in October by the Duke of Northumberland and the aim is to have the rails laid down to Alnmouth and a service running there by 2019.

Earlier this year, the railway offered its first short rides to the public.

The award will be presented to representatives of the railway at the Heritage Railway Association’s annual general meeting, held over the weekend of February 7 to 9, at the Best Western Limpley Stoke Hotel, in Bath.

 

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