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Full steam ahead for railway's upkeep

Monday, 14 October 2013

The 'Watercress Line in Hampshire has received backing from the County Council, recognising its huge contribution to the countys tourism economy and Britains railway heritage.

Council Leader Roy Perry awarded the £75,000 boost that will assist the Mid Hants Railway in the maintenance of the railway, which is enjoyed by over 125,000 visitors every year.

The Mid Hants Railway is a not for profit organisation and is the largest tourist attraction in East Hampshire. The Railway's day to day operating costs are covered by ticket income, but it has to find other means to support major capital projects.

The County Council's grant will cover maintenance of the Boyneswood Road Bridge, a road-over-railway bridge in Four Marks, Alton. The arch brickwork has suffered damage over many years and the total cost of the repairs is estimated to be around £100,000.

Cllr Perry said: "It's good Hampshire County Council is in a position to be able to support the Watercress Line, which I am ready to do given its unique place in Hampshire's cultural heritage. As well as supporting and maintaining a vibrant tourism economy for the county it plays an important role in discovery and learning for all ages and I trust our contribution to the maintenance will help ensure this much loved piece of Hampshire's 1940-1970s heritage will be here with us for many generations to come."

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