World’s oldest electric railway gets back on track
The city’s Volk’s Railway – the world’s oldest electric railway – is to operate a service during the half-term holiday, 14-29 October, and over the weekend of the Veteran Car Run, 4 -5 November 2017.
Visitors to Volk’s will have the first opportunity to see its new Aquarium station and visitor centre.
The new visitor centre has been designed by Hove practice ABIR architects and funded with contributions from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Brighton & Hove City Council and Volk’s Electrical Railway Association (VERA). The centre will be free to access and features interactive exhibits to bring to life the story of inventor Magnus Volk and his pioneering railway.
Work to create a conservation workshop at the site of the former train sheds will continue over the autumn. Once complete, the workshop will provide training space for volunteers as well as allowing visitors to view ongoing restoration work.
The three original carriages are being restored, with one already finished (see pic), by locomotive specialist Alan Keef, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire. The elements of the HLF funded project are expected to be finished towards the end of the year to allow a full service to be operational from Easter 2018.
Other new plans, for the Christmas period, include the Volk’s running a Santa Express service at weekends in December.
Cllr Alan Robins said: “It’s brilliant to see the Volk's being able to extend its opening times and range of activities thanks to the new visitor centre and facilities. The railway is one of the city’s oldest treasures and the funding injection it’s had means more residents and visitors will enjoy these seaside journeys for many more years to come.”
More information is available from the Volk’s Railway website: www.volksrailway.org.uk