THOUSANDS of people have signed a petition to save Poole’s 101/4in gauge Poole Park Railway after it was closed by its local council landlord.
The 700-yard circular railway’s owner was given just a day’s notice by Poole Borough Council to remove his rolling stock from the line in Poole Park, Parkstone Road, while fresh bidders to operate it were sought.
The next operator will have to upgrade it to meet modern health and safety requirements, with new fencing around it alone costing £30,000.
The line dates back to 1949, when it was laid by a group trading as Southern Miniature Railways Ltd also ran similar lines at Stokes Bay, Bognor Regis and Southsea.
Chris, 53, who has been running the railway since 2004, and is only the third operator of the line since its inception said he would need to raise £200,000, which includes the cost of replacing the railway and its other facilities, and would like a 22-year lease.
However, a petition to save the line set up at you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-poole-park-railway received nearly 6000 signatures in its first 24 hours. A Facebook page has also been set up to help him raise the money.
Read more in Issue 225 of HR – out now!