Royal opening for revamped Alston station

SEVERN Valley Railway patron Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, was scheduled to launch new workshop facilities on the South Tynedale Railway, on the day that its northern extension to Slaggyford was also officially opened.

Southern terminus: The beautifully designed Alston trainshed roof. STR

At an official engagement in the afternoon of July 24, after we closed for press, the duke was to visit Alston station for a private event for the unveiling of the new fully accessible Heritage Engineering Workshop, which has been financed by a £4.2 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant and £300,000 from the Cumbria Growth Fund.

He was also due to present the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which was recently bestowed on the 2ft gauge line.

In the morning, a separate private event to officially open Slaggyford station was set to be held, although track work remains to be completed.

Kathryn Tickell, OBE, Deputy Lieutenant of Northumberland, was due to represent the Lord Lieutenant, the Duchess of Northumberland.

Slaggyford station waiting for trains. STR

South Tynedale Society general manager Heather Palmer said: “This is an exciting time in our history when we have upgraded and added to our beautiful heritage attraction and finally reached the second of the original five stations on the old branch line.

“We are honoured and delighted to have HRH The Duke of Gloucester with us to open the new Alston station facilities. We are also delighted that Ms Tickell is with us in our new Northumberland terminus and it is fitting that a much-admired Northumbrian will open this
beautiful station.”

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