THE Foxfield Railway-based North Staffordshire Railway Rolling Stock Restoration Trust has been awarded £89,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for its accessible brake coach project.
The £150,000 project involves the restoration of the remains of a unique 1880s North Staffordshire Railway four-wheeled brake third coach, built locally in Stoke-on-Trent.
It will provide additional seating for the popular Knotty Heritage Train of two restored NSR coaches and allow access to passengers with mobility and other impairments.
The award to the trust, also known as the Knotty Coach Trust, together with £15,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation, allows the group to start the £150,000 project immediately. The work will be carried out by accomplished carriage renovator Stanegate Restorations, at Haltwhistle, in Northumberland.
Professor Peter Worsley previously donated £10,000 in memory of his late father Leonard, and the £35,000 balance of the funding will come from the trust’s own fundraising activities, which include the publication of a children’s storybook Bel and the Kittens, about the adventures of two local children from Dilhorne on the Foxfield Railway, to be published in time for Christmas.
The project will appoint an apprentice to learn traditional restoration skills, and will also include a filming project – The Stairs at Stoke Station – to provide interpretation of early rail travel for young people, and an informative smartphone app for passengers.
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