THE Mount Hooley Band played Bring Me Sunshine and the weather obliged as the first paying passengers since 1976 were carried into the South Tynedale Railway’s Slaggyford station behind the 110-year-old former Harrogate gasworks 0-6-2T Barber.
On Saturday, June 9, the first passengers over the line’s 1¼-mile extension were treated to refreshments provided by the Crossing Cafe and a souvenir fridge magnet.
The Lintley to Slaggyford extension had already been officially opened by Deputy Lieutenant of Northumberland Kathryn Tickell OBE, who cut a ribbon in a private ceremony on July 24 last year. That event marked the completion of the project backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund with a £4,276,000 grant, the first step towards the complete restoration of a 13-mile rail service from Alston to Haltwhistle by the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society.
Chairman Richard Graham said: “It was an historic weekend for the society, one of whose main aims is to recreate a community railway linking Alston Moor, South Tynedale and the wider North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the national railway network at Haltwhistle.
Read more in Issue 243 of HR – on sale now!