Hayling Island railway hoping for a better year ahead

MOVING Volunteers in the steam locomotive 'Wendy'
MOVING Volunteers in the steam locomotive 'Wendy'

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VOLUNTEERS running one of Hayling’s most popular tourist attractions are looking forward to a brighter year after a worry-filled 2013.

But they say the search is still on to find a permanent new home for the Hayling Island Seaside Railway.

As reported, the railway, which is based at Funland Amusement Park, was given until the end of 2014 to find a location for its new depot.

Volunteers had initially been told they had to leave at the end of last year.

Several sites were considered, but some residents were opposed to a new depot at a site at Bound Lane over fears about it becoming a blot on the landscape.

Ian Edwards, volunteer public relations officer, said: ‘We can now look forward to planning our 2014 programme with some degree of certainty.

‘Beyond that, however, the future of the Hayling Seaside Railway still remains far from secure.

‘For the moment negotiations continue with Havant Borough Council, the landlords of the rest of the line to Eastoke Corner, and of all of the potential alternative depot locations.

‘It is hoped that good will ultimately prevail in these long-running talks, and that a permanent resolution to this ongoing problem emerges.’

The railway runs from Beachlands to Eastoke, with services re-opening on Boxing Day after the severe weather.