As we didn’t produce a January WebNews we wish all our readers a Happy New Year.
Last year was good with 7,300 passengers and was rounded off with our most successful Santa trains which the volunteers enjoyed as much as the visitors. The Santa trains will be repeated this year as will the Ghost Night which is likely to be expanded to two nights – we are already getting enquiries about these but booking will not start until much nearer the time – watch this website for details.
2018 looks like being an even better year and we have set ourselves the target of 8,000 passengers for this year. You can help us achieve that by telling others about us.
On March 19th Thames Water will sign the lease for the land we need to get to Hampton. That will allow us to apply for the various permissions we need to build the line. We can’t start laying rails immediately but we can survey the route and clear the land (we will need to do that to do the survey anyway). The route we now have to follow is slightly longer than we originally thought as Thames Water insist that we go round the perimeter of the South Field rather than cutting across it. Surveying the first part is almost complete and has revealed many services which need to be crossed, most with small bridges which won’t even be seen. Surveying south of the flyover will start in earnest soon.
We are having to say Good Bye for a while to our Steam loco Darent while it has some major work done to it. It will be back for the 2019 season. However, we will not be without a steam loco as we are hiring another; just which one is a secret at the moment.
Currently, we are doing some landscaping on the Hanworth Loop moving earth banks back from the track so that there will be a grass area which is easy to keep cut and tidy. Some of the earth is being moved to finish off the patio area and some going to widen the embankment on the extension.
Remember that we start running trains again on March 17th.
In the meantime everyone can help us. We have been selected by Tesco to benefit from the Tesco Bags of Help Scheme. Funds for this come from the sale of plastic bags to customers at 5p a time. During March & April customers at the Sunbury and Staines branches will be asked to vote as to which of three projects deserve the most help. The one with the most votes will get £4,000 , the second £2,000 and the third £1,000. We are therefore guaranteed at least £1,000 which is to be used for education equipment such a TVs, video players, microphones etc for use when we have school parties etc., visiting.
You could help us win by using those Tesco branches and voting for us every time you shop. No doubt there will be instructions in the store to guide you.
Members will find more news in the “Volunteers only” part of the website.