A popular visitor attraction near Skegness has turned 10 years old and is looking ahead to anniversary celebrations this summer.
The Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway (LCLR), in the Skegness Water Leisure Park, re-opened in Walls Lane, Ingoldmells, on Sunday, May 3, 2009.
It was re-built be a handful of volunteers after moving from the site in Humberston, near Cleethorpes, where it had closed in 1985.
The original line – which opened in August 1960 – transported holidaymakers from a bus terminus to a beach and holiday camp, as the local roads were not strong enough for buses.
The re-opening was the first time rail enthusiasts had created their own public railway.
But more achievements would follow, including: an extension of the line to a new terminus; an extension of the station; the creation of a waiting room; the restoration of the line’s steam locomotive, Jurassic, and of a First World War wagon, thanks to separate grants of £43,000 each; and the running of a ‘Royal Train’ for The Princess Royal when she travelled on the line to inspect its progress and see developments in the modern holiday industry;
LCLR spokesman John Chappell, said: “It is extraordinary what has been achieved since May 2009.
“Who would have thought that we would welcome a member of the royal family to the railway?
“Who would have dared to think that Jurassic would steam again with the help of a Lottery grant or that the rusting remains of one of the old wartime wagons from 1917 – the only survivor from those built in Lincoln by Clayton & Shuttleworth - would be transformed into a disabled access carriage?
“The whole railway has been rebuilt and extended and its historical significance is now widely appreciated – and at just £1 for a return journey, it means families can enjoy the thrill of a ride on a true heritage railway”.
On Saturday, July 13, a Tenth Anniversary Gala will be held to make the milestone.
As part of the celebrations, free travel will be offered to anyone: born on Sunday, May 3 (plus an accompanying adult), with proof required; in possession of a LCLR ticket from the re-opening; or has a ticket from the original line, which opened in August 1960.
For those paying their £1 fare, special 10th anniversary tickets have been produced – likely to be in great demand by collectors, the LCLR says.