Keen volunteers have started to decommission Leighton Buzzard Railway in preparation for its demolition later this month.
Overseeing the removal of the entrance arch from the old building, chairman Terry Bendall said: “It’s an historic day for the Railway.
“But we’ve raised more than £300,000 so now it’s time to give the Railway the station it deserves and I’d like to thank everyone who has made this possible.”
The new station will have all the necessary facilities, including office accommodation, retail and museum space and toilets.
Meeting rooms will also be available for community use.
More money is still needed to fit out the kitchen and complete external areas.
Although the final bill could come to as much as £385,000, the Railway is trying to minimise the amount of cash required by using its own volunteers to complete as much of the work as possible.
It is also appealing for local companies to assist by donating materials.
Terry said they’d be delighted to hear from anyone who might be able to help and added: “While we don’t want to spoil the ship for a halfpenny-worth of tar, offers of remainder or last year’s stock of kitchen units, shop fittings, sanitary ware, paint or anything we are likely to need would be very welcome.”
Completion is scheduled for June so the new facility will be available for the summer season.
The Leighton Buzzard Railway is an accredited museum with a history linked to the sand quarrying industry arund the town.
It is based at Page’s Park, site of the new station. The line runs to Stonehenge Works, adjacent to the sand quarries which the original industrial railway was built to serve.
In addition to equipment from that era, it has built up a significant collection of World War One vintage narrow guage exhibits, including a German Krauss Brigadelok 0-8-OT.
> For more information visit www.buzzrail.co.uk