The Aln Valley Railway has announced it has been successful in the application for a grant to extend its current line.
The project will see the construction of a platform halt and run-round loop at Greenrigg, approximately half of the way towards its ultimate goal of reaching Alnmouth station. The grant awarded, together with 20% match funding from the sustainable transport charity Sustrans, amounts to £146,600.
The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) grant will cover groundwork costs, track work including buffer stops and railway points, construction material for the platform and the purchase of a coach for conversion into a café/waiting room/toilet facility.
The grant is provided through the Rural Payments Agency using funds jointly provided by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The halt at Greenrigg will provide a destination for passengers who may wish to alight for a picnic by the river, continue their journey on foot to experience the local wildlife or visit local beauty spots such as the Cawledge viaduct or the River Aln which can be crossed near this location using stepping stones.
When complete, the project will enable the AVR to offer a 1.5 mile train ride to a specific destination, more than doubling the current journey available from Lionheart Station. This should result in an increase in the number of paying passengers and increased revenue for the railway. The toilet facilities at Greenrigg will be a useful facility for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
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