AFTER securing almost £2 million in funding, work is well and truly underway in preparing the Colne Valley Railway site for the construction of three new buildings.

The Colne Valley Railway Preservation Society were granted £1.757 million of Heritage Lottery Funding in December last year.

Following fears that the site may close, the money will fund the All Aboard: Developing the Colne Valley Railway project, providing long term sustainability for the railway.

The buildings will be the Cubitt Skills Centre, a workshop which will become a centre of excellence for the overhaul and restoration of historic railway carriages, and the Brewster Interpretation Centre, which will tell the story of the railway and the community, as well as a new reception stroke shop.

Sally Glen said: “You can now see the work has begun, and things are moving forward which is exciting to see on a day-to-day basis.

“After the battle we went through, it is hugely positive to know the railway is ours and see the progression on the site. For all of us here at the railway it is a very exciting time.”

The landscape of the site has already changed drastically, the toilet block has been demolished, and the ground has been cleared and prepared for the excavation of the foundations for the new interpretation building and extension to the existing museum.

The excavation areas have been fenced off and this means that platform 1 can also continue in use along with the footbridge that links platforms 1 and 2.

The upper loop from the mini-rail has been removed and some land clearance has taken place where the new Engineering work shop will be located.

Fencing work has begun on the new entrance field and a temporary ramp has been constructed linking this field to the existing site for works access. This field will eventually be the new public entrance and car park, with a new Reception/Shop building being constructed on the upper area of this field.

The work carried out so far has been done by volunteers, who will be doing much of the site and track work, contractors will be responsible for the construction of the various buildings, though much of their fit out will also be the work of volunteers.

Considerable work has been carried out on the track, points and other infrastructure items to ensure the continued smooth operation of the railway during the coming season.