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COLYTON:Trams moved to Colyton as repairs continue on storm-battered track

Thursday, 27 February 2014

TRAMS have been moved from Seaton to Colyton to run a reduced service on the popular Seaton Tramway line, which has been severely damaged by storms.
Two trams - numbers 6 and 8 - were lifted from the tracks and transported by lorry to the other end of the line in Colyton on Friday, where they are running to and from Colyford only while repair work is carried out to the storm-battered track, a section of which has been left suspended in mid-air.
Following its winter break, the popular tourist attraction was set to open the morning after the Valentine’s Day storms for February half term, but staff had to qucikly change their plans after surveying the damage.
A half-mile section of the track near Axmouth was left hanging in mid-air after the trackbed underneath was washed away. Trees were also uprooted along the track, the overhead power supply disrupted and offices flooded at the riverside depot. It is thought the repair work will take four to six weeks.
Staff at Seaton Tramway said they have been “overwhelmed” by the huge amount of support received since discovering the damage. Contractors carrying out the repair work are being assisted by volunteer manpower and equipment from the South Devon Railway, which itself has only just been reopened having been hit by a landslide in the recent storms. A display on Seaton Tramway has also be set up at the South Devon Railway outlining the significant repairs having to be carried out to reopen the line fully.
The damaged tramline has also been visited by Neil Parish MP and Seaton and East Devon councillors.
Mr Parish, shocked by the extent of the storm damage, said: “We need to be fully supportive of the urgent repair work required at Seaton Tramway as this is an important tourist attraction which contributes hugely to the local economy. As government grant monies become available, I will be supporting local tourism businesses including Seaton Tramway in their bids.”
The storm-battered tramline has featured on local news programmes over the past week, in which managing director Jenny Nunn has highlighted the plight of hers and other local tourism-based businesses during the persistent bad weather.
Speaking on the support received from the local community, Mrs Nunn said: “We would like to send out a massive thank you to all who have sent their best wishes and who have kindly volunteered their time to help with the clear up! Today (February 19th) has witnessed some fantastic progress by staff and volunteers who have been busy collecting debris and retrieving washed away ballast. Thank you so much.”
Tram services from Colyton to Colyford will continue to run until the repairs are completed, with a special Rainbow Ticket costing £5 for adults and £2.50 for children, allowing for a round trip on the day of purchase and a free return visit before Easter in order for the tramway to kick-start its season.


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