Heritage carriage arrives for railway’s new season

The carriage shortly after arrival at Lionheart station.  Picture by Pat Murphy.
The carriage shortly after arrival at Lionheart station. Picture by Pat Murphy.

Volunteers working on the Aln Valley Railway have taken

delivery of a heritage

carriage, which will be the first to carry passengers at the attraction.

The coach, which includes a compartment for the guard, was built in 1957 and has been donated to the railway by member Gordon Hall.

The acquisition represents a big step forward for those involved with the project, which aims to reopen the branchline between Alnwick and Alnmouth.

Roger Jermy, the railway’s press officer, said: “The carriage has been fully restored and is in pristine condition.

“It will be the first carriage to carry passengers on the railway’s trains and is a big boost for when we reopen at the Alnwick site from Easter.

“It will eventually be paired with the railway’s other Mk 1 carriage which is under restoration and will hopefully be completed in 2014, allowing trains of two coaches to be operated.

“This represents a large upward step from the engine-plus-guards van, or inspection trolley trains, which we operated in 2013.”

After being withdrawn by British Railways, the coach has been operated on two heritage railways, firstly as part of the Paignton and Dartmouth Railway’s Riviera Belle dining set and later, in the North East, on the Weardale Railway.

○ Mr Jermy is presenting a talk on the railway tomorrow at the Costello Centre, Alnwick, from 7pm. Entry is £1.50, including refreshments. Money raised will go to the local Parkinson’s support group and Parkinson’s UK.