Vintage Trains are now the custodians of the Sutton Miniature Railway Collection. This historically popular 15” railway ran locally in Sutton Park until the railway closed in 1962. The collection went into storage for around 40 years until 2000 when a £299,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund allowed the stock to be acquired and operated by the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway. After being a popular attraction at Cleethorpes, the heavy running schedule and the seaside elements took their toll on the collection and it went back into storage and out of the public eye until now.
Although a departure from Vintage Trains’ mainline activities, the project has big plans for this little railway. Fundraising has already started to overhaul both Atlantic Steam locomotives (Sutton Flyer and Sutton Belle), the petrol railcar and the 10 coaches. Over time it is hoped to develop a demonstration track at Tyseley as well as taking the collection to other 15” railways around the UK.
The potential for volunteer involvement with this project is huge. Work has already started on the carriage refurbishment and Sutton Belle’s major overhaul has started; volunteers are now being actively sought to join the small and enthusiastic team. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in this new and exciting venture for Vintage Trains including:
- Metal work and Woodwork
- Painting and Lining
- Seat Upholstery
- Drivers and Guards
- A Permanent Way Team
- Youth Group Leaders
- Marketing and Fundraising
To keep up-to-date with this project please follow the project’s Facebook page. If you want to offer financial support to this project, you can by making donations through the project’s JustGiving fundraising page.