Carlisle-based Cubby Construction was awarded a £400,000 contract to prepare the trackbed from the South Tynedale Railway’s present Lintley terminus to Slaggyford, 1¼ miles, ready for track laying and to build a car park there.
The 16-week project started on May 16. Opening the railway to Slaggyford, scheduled for 2017, will take the STR one-third of the way towards its target of reinstating rail services on the entirety of the 13-mile Alston branch, closed in 1976.
The project is being funded by a £4.25 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant awarded in 2014. Track laying between Lintley and Slaggyford will be subject to another contract.
The restoration of Umtwalumi Valley Estate Hunslet 0-4-2T No 1 as a biomass-burner for the STR by North Bay Railway Engineering, Scarborough, also covered by the HLF grant, is expected to be completed in September. NBRE told Steam Railway that the locomotive’s boiler will be completed during June.