- Andrew P.M. Wright
Swanage Carriage Shed Appeal Launched
The Swanage Railway Trust has launched an appeal to raise funds towards the building of a new shed for the storage and protection of its carriage fleet – including the Trust’s 1930s Maunsell and 1940s Bulleid heritage carriages.
A first for the Swanage Railway – and urgently required to reduce the costs of the maintenance and overhaul of carriages currently stored outside in all weathers – the new shed will be the biggest structure ever built on the heritage railway.
The new Carriage Shed Appeal hopes to raise £32,000 towards the total construction costs of £220,000 for the shed which is being constructed over the sidings east of Herston Halt on the outskirts of Swanage.
Due to the restricted size of the site – next to the running line – the new shed will cover two tracks, one track accommodating six carriages and the second track accommodating four carriages. With the new shed being 131 metres long, 6.55 metres high and 9.26 metres wide, the covered area of the new structure will be almost 1,000 square metres. Work on site will begin in January, 2020.
The new carriage shed will have full sides on its south side – to protect carriages from the ravages of sun, wind and rain – while the north side of the new shed will have a half-height wall down from the roof with the lower half being open.
This cost-saving design is being adopted to ensure clearances, for staff safety, as well as light and ventilation. The west and east ends of the shed will be open, to allow ease of access, while the roof of the new carriage shed will have air vents and skylights.
The new carriage shed will ensure that our customers are able to ride in carriages that are in the best possible condition – adding to the quality of the Swanage Railway visitor experience.
It is hoped to have the construction of the new carriage shed completed by May, 2020, with the fitting out of the new structure being completed by the Autumn.
The Herston carriage shed project is being managed by Nick Coram, a Swanage Railway volunteer in its operations department and a trustee of the Swanage Railway Trust, with additional work and advice coming from Jim Peters of Bournemouth consulting engineers Such Salinger Peters.
The Swanage Railway Trust has allocated £153,000 towards the £220,000 Herston carriage shed project while the Trust’s fundraising group is applying for grants totaling £35,000 – leaving £32,000 to be raised from donations.