Rail from the MoD, sleepers from The Tube ... new stretch of track at popular heritage railway unveiled

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People turned out in large numbers when a heritage railway near Skegness held its first runs of 2018, unveiling also a newly extended line.

The Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway (LCLR), in the Skegness Water Leisure Park, Ingoldmells, launched its 2018 programme on Sunday.

It brought into use a 150-metre extension to the line, completed by volunteers over the winter.

“The crowds turned out and filled the trains right from the first run over the extended line,” said LCLR spokesman John Chappell. “Of course, the first steam-hauled train of the day – pulled by our beautiful steam engine Jurassic – was full and it justified all the hard work our volunteers have put in over the winter to extend the line and install new run round facilities at the terminus at South Loop.”

Richard Shepherd, chairman of the LCLR Historic Vehicles Trust, whose members are the volunteers operating the line, added: “We had visitors from as far as London, Cheltenham and even two people from the village of Southam, in Warwickshire, who work for Cemex, the company which took over the quarries where Jurassic operated from 1903 to 1956.”

The extension has been built by volunteers using rail sourced from a Ministry of Defence depot near Carlisle.

It has been laid on former London Underground sleepers, secured with track bolts acquired from the famous Welsh narrow gauge Ffestiniog Railway.

The line is gradually being relaid with similar sleepers, heavier rail and new ballast.

* The LCLR will next operate on Saturday, June 9, with heritage diesel locomotives, offering passengers free travel as part of the Caravan Show at the Skegness Water Leisure Park. For details, see www.lclr.co.uk