The Swanage Railway Trust will be matching donations towards the Herston Carriage Shed Appeal to help raise the remaining money needed by the end of June 2021!
A key ongoing project, the construction of a brand new carriage shed for carriages and rolling stock on the Swanage Railway will bring many benefits for the heritage line.
Being undercover, carriages will be protected from the elements when not in use and servicing and maintenance will be easier and safer for staff and volunteers to carry out.
Dimensions for the new shed are as follows, 131 metres long, a height of 6.5 metres, a width of 9.2 metres, which spanning across lines of track will cover 10 carriages, with a total covered space of 1,000 square metres.
Work originally started in January 2020, with the project being managed by Nick Coram, a Swanage Railway Trustee who can be seen on the footplate of steam locomotives as a volunteer fireman or driver.
He has been working with Jim Peters of Such Salinger Peters in Bournemouth, who is the consulting engineer for the project. Unfortunately, COVID-19 and UK Government restrictions forced the projected to be halted from March 2020 to May 2021.
Work is now progressing again, but the Swanage Railway need to reach their target of £65,000 before the end of June 2021. This sum of money is required to order the steel structure of the new shed. The sooner this can be ordered, the sooner work can begin building the steel frame in the quieter time of the season.
As of Friday 25th of June 2021, only £5740 was outstanding to be raised. With the fund matching pledge by Swanage Railway Trust, only £2,870 is required to be donated by the public. Anyone wishing to donate can do so by following instructions on the Swanage Railway Trust’s website here.
Swanage Railway fund-raising chairman Randy Coldham said:“Our carriages are currently stored outside and exposed to the weather all year round. This new covered accommodation is urgently required to help protect our most historic and valuable heritage carriages, the oldest of which is more than 80 years old.
“These irreplaceable vehicles will significantly benefit from covered protection against the elements to improve their lifespan between overhauls while also reducing the time and expense associated with their maintenance.
“The largest structure ever built by the Swanage Railway – and covering two tracks in an area of more than 1000 square metres – the new carriage shed will be fully enclosed on its south side to ensure our vehicles are protected from the most extreme weather.
“Nearest the railway line, the north side of the carriage shed will have cladding halfway down from the roof to enable the natural circulation of free-flowing air for ventilation,” added Mr Coldham who is also a volunteer signalman on the Swanage Railway.
Randy Coldham explained: “Due to the carriage shed’s proximity to the running line, construction can only take place during the quieter winter months when the line between Herston Halt and Swanage is not being used.
“So far, we have raised £223,580 thanks to donations – as well as generous legacies and bequests – and we hope that our supporters will join the Swanage Railway Trust in closing the gap of £18,420 by the end of June so that the order for the steel frame, side cladding and roof can be placed and the shed be built this coming winter to protect our historic heritage coaches.
“We are hopeful that the public will help us to close the funding gap and allow the carriage shed to be completed by the start of 2022 so it can protect some of our historic carriages from the ravages of the winter weather,” added Randy.
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