Major fund-raising appeal gathers pace but still a way to go

The Aln Valley Railway.
The Aln Valley Railway.

A £60,000 cash appeal which has been launched by a heritage railway group has sparked an encouraging response, but more money is still needed.

In October, those involved in the Aln Valley Railway (AVR) project made a rallying cry to the public to help raise the five-figure sum, to purchase more than two miles of discount-priced track.

The ambitious AVR scheme is to reopen most of the branchline between Alnwick and Alnmouth Station. Securing the materials at a reduced cost would save the volunteers around £25,000.

It would also allow the railway to expand from its current site at Lionheart, in Alnwick, almost to Branch End – the point where the line meets the East Coast main line, alongside which it runs into Alnmouth Station.

As a result of the appeal, the total currently stands at just over £30,000, thanks to donations and pledges.

However, with around half of the amount still required, the volunteers are encouraging as many people as possible to contribute to the cause.

People can donate in a number of ways. To find out how, visit alnvalleyrailway.co.uk or call Tom Spence on 01665 572028.

The railway is also looking for more volunteers to help build, restore and run it.

Previous experience is not necessary and support is welcome in all areas, from gardening and engineering to general labouring and administrative tasks.

For more information, call Peter Black on 01429 863750.

A training day for volunteers is taking place on Saturday, March 14, from 10.30am. Anyone who is interested in attending should call Mark Hayton on 07754 765632 by Tuesday, March 10.