Bridge View Light Railway

Baginton (nr Coventry)

Your story

Bridge View Light Railway (BVLR) is an exciting new, volunteer run, community project with aims of building and operating a heritage themed miniature railway along the beautiful riverbank of the Sowe in Baginton Village.

Group introduction

The project, originally started back in January 2018, was inspired by a small group of enthusiasts, engineers and local community leaders who saw an opportunity to save an existing miniature railway from closure, and use it to build the foundations of a unique community project for all ages to enjoy.

Since earlier this year, the project has attracted over 25 members from all walks of life, including juniors under 16 years old, working professionals, and many of whom who are retired. We currently meet weekly on a Monday evening, with further meets at weekends. Interest in membership is growing and we have planned a series of ‘open events’ to generate further interest.

So far the project has relied heavily on the generosity of Russells Garden Centre, who to date have offered the land to site the railway, and assisted in the ground works. In addition, we have acquired a number of containers and cabins to re-purpose from the closure of the previous railway site. Further limited funding is provided by members through occasional donation and the loan of their own tools and equipment during meets. Later this year the railway will open to the public on planned running days and will draw a modest revenue from train rides and shop sales, whilst the site develops.

The building of the railway itself provides the backbone of the community group, with the ultimate running of the railway providing a unique asset to the wider community.

The members to date have been very busy clearing, relocating and shaping up the buildings and others items, and are now about to embark on the daunting task of track building and laying. One member James (13 years old) said “this is way better than my PlayStation, I’ll be able to drive trains for real”. So far James and his parents have cleared six tonne of ballast, fitted new lighting to the proposed workshop building, started to create a ‘station’ building from a tired old porta cabin, and made cakes for members to enjoy after a hard day’s work!

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

Everybody loves a miniature railway, so why not be a part of one! Your funding could go a long way to supporting this great project in areas such as:

- Tracks, signalling and infrastructure
- Buildings and landscaping
- Engines and Rolling stock
- Engineering workshop
- Training and upskilling members
- Juniors Locomotive project
- Community events for non-members
- Cake making optional!

We want to provide a continuous experience for the members and families involved, and provide a valuable asset to the local and wider communities that they can be proud of and enjoy through generations. With Coventry becoming City of Culture 2021, the timing of this project is perfect, and with your funding we could have a fully functioning railway in no time.

"“This group has achieved so much in such a short time, and is going from strength to strength each time we meet. We have a very diverse workforce and skill set, and everyone is happy to help and mentor each other. I genuinely look forward to every meeting” Rob Richmond (Group Tresurer)"

For more information visit:

www.bvlrail.btck.co.uk

www.facebook.com/BVLRail

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