A £60,000 scheme is currently under way to ensure that more than just eggs will keep rolling this Easter at the Caledonian Railway.
The platforms at Bridge of Dun station are undergoing extensive renovation, with financial backing from Angus Council, to prepare them for the Brechin-based railway’s re-opening on Easter Sunday. Funding from the project has come from the authority’s £200,000 ‘Survive and Thrive’ fund for cultural heritage tourism and the charity-run railway was one of five organisations which successfully applied for cash.
The railway attracts more than 16,000 visitors each year and the platforms, which have been patched up annually since the railway took over from British Rail in 1981, are being rebuilt with new edging copes and tactile slabs to comply with current railway regulations. Traditional lime mortar methods are being used to repair the original platform walls which have also needed an extensive amount of work.
Volunteers have been quick to thank the council for the award which, they said, has supported projects which could otherwise have been difficult to pay for.
Volunteer Steve Pegg said that while people are happy to back with donations some aspects of the railway, other aspects can be less appealing although they are no less important.
He continued: “People prefer to donate their money to something that they can relate to. Platforms are just not interesting enough and most of our visitors are too busy having a look at the train to notice what they’re standing on. In the past five years the railway has reinvested far in excess of £100,000 on essential repairs to infrastructure that the public does not see.”
Although the railway members hope the platforms will be ready in time for their ‘Easter Eggspress’ trains this Sunday, a grand reopening ceremony is being planned for a later date. The Easter services, which begin at Bridge of Dun at 10.50am, will involve a real nostalgia trip, as the station will be linked with House of Dun by a vintage bus in addition to steam trains and activities at the railway itself.
Further information and train times can be found at www.caledonianrailway.com