The new season of railway journeys has been launched at the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway.
Mayor of Leighton-Linslade, Cllr Ray Berry, Mrs Val Berry and Town Crier Peter Hailes were welcomed by vice president Tony Tomkins to flag off the first train, on Saturday, March 26.
Tony said: “Last year we hoped to welcome him to our new station by this time. While not finished, the building is well under way and we look forward to him joining us again when the building is officially opened.”
The 2016 season promises to be busier than ever with family favourites such as Teddy Bears on May 1 and 2.
For the railway enthusiast there will be special events to mark the centenary of the Simplex locomotive. Vintage vehicles, motorcycles, real ale events and lots more will ensure that there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
The Railway’s Museum Gateway Project appeal has now raised over £300,000 towards the new station. With the final bill now likely to top £385,000, a new ‘Please Mind The Gap’ appeal has been launched to raise £85,000 by the scheduled completion date of June.
Tony said: “Please help us to deal with the gap between what we have and what we need. We have had a fantastic response so far, but we need a last push to ensure that we can get the building properly finished.”
One of the Mayor’s charities for the year, Cllr Berry was keen to emphasise his support for the railway. He said: “This project does more than provide the railway with a station and one that the town can be proud of, it also provides the local community with meeting facilities. It is right that the town should support the railway in this way.”
Town Crier Peter Hailes also lent his support with a specially written ‘cry’ highlighting what the railway has to offer. In thanking the Mayor for the donation, Tony added: “We very much hope that the community rooms will be extensively used by local people and that they will discover what else the railway has to offer.”
Donations to the ‘Please Mind The Gap’ appeal can be made via the railway’s website at www.buzzrail.co.uk or to the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway Society Limited, Pages Park Station, Billington Road, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 4TN.