Environment

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Description

The Aln Valley Railway Trust is a volunteer-run charity with the principal aim of re-opening the former branch line from Lionheart station in Alnwick to the East Coast Main Line station in Alnmouth as a tourist attraction for visitors and local people. Since it first opened its doors to the public in August 2012, the Aln Valley Railway has established itself as an important Northumbrian tourist destination.

Currently, the railway successfully operates steam and heritage diesel trains along approximately one kilometer of track from Lionheart Station in Alnwick towards Alnmouth. In July 2018, the AVR received an EU grant for the construction of a halt at Greenrigg, approximately half way between Alnwick and Alnmouth. Work is due to commence in October 2018 and will last for 7 months.

When complete, the halt will provide a destination for visitors travelling from Alnwick. Passengers will be able to alight from the train and visit the AVR café and toilets which will be located next to the platform in a former British Rail carriage. They will also be able walk along various permissive pathways towards Lesbury or Alnmouth or along the cycle path/footpath that Northumberland County Council is constructing to run alongside the rail track.

Although the AVR have sufficient funds to lay rail track and construct a platform at the halt, we would appreciate further funding to replace hedges, flowering plants and fences damaged or removed in the construction of the halt as well as improving the drainage of the site in order to restore and enhance the natural beauty of the location. Earlier this year the AVR won an award from the Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom in the ‘Thriving’ category. The replanting of the site at Greenrigg would contribute to our chances of obtaining an award in 2019.

Establishment of the halt at Greenrigg will open up the countryside to many people who are unaware of this beautiful, but hidden, part of Northumberland. All AVR trains have wheelchair access which allows people with limited mobility to visit this part of the county.

In 2017, the AVR welcomed 9,000 visitors. This number will be exceeded in 2018 and the creation of a destination in 2019 is expected to further boost visitor numbers. The café and toilet facilities in the coach will also be open to walkers and cyclist so encouraging more people to experience a new part of the county.

We believe that people will vote for our project as it is set to become a major north Northumberland tourist attraction contributing to the economy of the region as well as providing a range of outdoor lesure opportunities for local residents.

Project Video

Aln Valley Railway Trust

Moment of Pride

I am proud to be associated with the Aln Valley Railway as it is a completely volunteer-run organization with a tremendous community spirit which encourages people of all ages and from all walks of life to volunteer to help make Northumberland a better place to live and visit.

Location: Alnwick, Alnwick, UK