After 16 months since the closure of the railway, the Heritage Lottery-funded renovation project is almost complete.  The Aquarium Station and Visitor Centre is operational with just a few minor issues to resolve, the new Conservation Workshop and Depot at Banjo Groyne has a few minor works to be done and the three restored cars will all be back in Brighton by the end of March 2018.

The depot has five tracks leading to it, the centre one being the running line which will continue to run through the centre of the building, just as it has done for almost 117 years. The visitor gallery will house the 1983 Centenary Model showing the railway as it was in 1933, including a superb portrayal of the gantry that supported the track over the sea from Banjo Groyne eastwards to Madeira Drive.  This gantry still exists today but is buried under the shingle.  Traces of it can still be seen.

Car 4 is currently being electrically fitted-out and should be ready for testing at the end of January. It is currently over the pit track in the depot. Car 6 is almost complete and can be seen here in the workshop of Alan Keef Ltd, Ross-on-Wye in mid-December.  Once the seat slats and doors are fitted it will have a final coat of paint before being signwritten, then delivery to Brighton.  It should be arriving at the end of January.

Car 10, our ‘toastrack’ fully-open car, is still a chassis but all the wooden parts are made and ready to be fitted.  It is planned to couple 6 and 10 together to form a ‘double’, leaving 4 to be our oldest operating car.

Author: Volks