MINIATURE RAILWAY BACK ON TRACK THANKS TO MANX LOTTERY TRUST
A much-loved Island attraction for all ages is ready to delight locals and visitors alike after a key part of the facility was rebuilt.
The Orchid Line Railway, which is based at the Curragh’s Wildlife Park in Ballaugh, has benefited from a Community Award, courtesy of the Manx Lottery Trust.
The grant of £1,370 will allow the Manx Steam and Model Engineering Club to demolish, remove and rebuild the railway’s old ticket office.
It had been originally built 20 years ago, together with two signal boxes which are used to house the electronic control equipment for the railway’s signalling system.
However, renovation or replacement was essential with the Manx Lottery Trust funding allowing the club, which comprises a group of local model engineers, to get to work.
Ian Beech, Chairman, said: ‘For many decades now, members of the club have been building and running the Orchid Line and its popularity has soared. To be able to carry out this work makes such a difference when we welcome passengers.
‘The two signal boxes were actually demolished and replaced by club members during the winter closure of 2019/20 but we knew we needed to replace the ticket office to provide a safe environment for volunteers and to continue to provide passengers with ticket purchasing facilities, with work to complete this is due to begin later this year.
‘This new structure also houses the station control panel without which the railway cannot operate so a sincere thank you to the Manx Lottery Trust.’
Each year, the club gives part of the money raised from train rides on the miniature railway to an Island charity. It operates every Sunday and Bank Holiday throughout the season.
Sarah Kelly, Chairman of the Manx Lottery Trust, added: ‘The dedicated volunteers of the Manx Steam and Model Engineering Club give up so much of their time to provide enjoyment for locals and visitors to the Island. We felt it was time they had something back to allow them to continue their services and we are delighted this Community Award does just that.
To find out more about the Manx Lottery Trust’s Community Awards programme, please visit: www.mlt.org.im/grant-programmes