Miniature passenger carrying steam locomotives are a major attraction in places like Beech Hurst Gardens. However, we need to ensure the heritage of operating steam locomotives by bringing more people of all ages into the railway because they are run mainly by an ageing community. We intend to build a dedicated Learning Centre where people can enjoy an environment of fun and enjoyment but most importantly a place with many interesting and absorbing railway-related displays. Much emphasis will be on how steam engines work. There will be static, active and interactive displays with an emphasis on 'Hands-on' components and assemblies. The Centre will also attract other organisations to bring exhibits and will participate in external exhibitions and events.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
At Beech Hurst, the miniature railway provides over 20,000 rides per annum. The operation of beautiful and fascinating steam locomotives is highly valued by the public. Twenty five years ago, virtually all trains were pulled by a steam locomotive but now it is typically only 50% and will decline even further if nothing is done. The problem, like in all Clubs and Societies operating miniature railways, is the ageing community operating these railways. New initiatives are required and the Learning Centre aims to address this problem. The idea came from a group of members of the society that operate the Beech Hurst railway. This group have come up with a range of new ideas to make the centre attractive and will be an example to other Clubs and Societies to follow.
Steps to get it done:
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