Plans still on track for new local railway line

Kerr's Miniature Railway in Arbroath.

One of the best-loved tourist attractions in Angus has steamed into the 2017 season with plans still firmly on track for a new era just a little way down the line.

For more than 80 years, Kerr’s miniature railway has been welcoming passengers to the platform at West Links in Arbroath and decent weather helped draw the crowds for the opening weekend of the year.

The railway was planned and built by Matthew Kerr Sr, whose grandson John now leads the operation of the volunteer-run attraction — dividing his time between Arbroath and the Cleethorpes Coast light railway which he took in 2014.

The half-mile Angus track expects to welcome about 5,000 visitors this year, but sights are set on a major extension to bring back passenger numbers which took a big hit a few years ago.

Improvements to the nearby West Links playpark to make it more attractive for families had the unwelcome knock-on of halving visitor numbers at the railway.

“The railway is ticking over, but we need to complete an extension which will take us much closer to the playpark,” said 21-year-old Mr Kerr.

“Fencing has gone up and we have track and sleepers in storage. People still love coming to the railway, but since the playpark opened our numbers have been decimated, as people stay along there.”