Bristol

Avon Valley Railway bid to link to park-and-ride

Railway Image copyright Nigel Thompson, Geograph
Image caption Avon Valley Railway Heritage Trust is dedicated to restoring steam to the Avon Valley

A heritage steam railway says a new 65-year lease could help it undertake more ambitious projects including linking to a park-and-ride.

The Avon Valley Railway Heritage Trust has been running since the 1970s but in recent times its lease had run yearly.

Chairman Roger Eynon said this meant it was unable to apply for lottery grants for "high-end expenditure".

He said the trust had previously had to hold fire on grant applications because of a lack of long-term stability.

"Now nothing is impossible and we need to discuss future projects in earnest for our bright new future."

He added these included a new covered maintenance area, a small museum to chart the history of the line, to extend buffet facilities, and provide better offices for the trust.

Mr Eynon added the trust would now be in a better position to talk to Bath and North East Somerset Council about extending the line to Newbridge and potentially linking up with the park-and-ride there.

"As we are a charity any money would be ploughed back into the railway and used to improve the visitor experience and for the volunteers working here."

Avon Valley Railway Heritage Trust is dedicated to restoring steam to the Avon Valley and has relaid three miles of track and restored a locomotive and carriages - attracting some 80,000 visitors a year.

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