|Restored Coach 5345 at Aysgarth Station|
Sir Gary Verity, knighted by the Queen in the 2015 Honours List and instrumental in leading the winning bid to bring the Grand Depart of the Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2014, officated at the official opening of a restored railway carriage on the Wensleydale Railway on 19th October 2015.
Members of the Aysgarth Station Project backed by a £5,000 grant from the Richmondshire Community Opportunities Fund and the Wensleydale Railway Trust carried out the work on coach No. 5345.
Unveiling a plaque inside the carriage, Sir Gary Verity said: "I’m delighted to unveil this wonderful railway carriage which has been painstakingly restored by a dedicated team of local volunteers and businesses.
“The carriage will be a huge asset for the Wensleydale Railway, which is one of the longest heritage railway routes in the country, and plays such an important role in tourism. There are some excellent facilities being developed at Aysgarth and I hope this will pave the way for the service’s expansion.”
As part of a scheme to restore the line up to Aysgarth station, Wensleydale volunteers rescued coach 5345 which had been parked in a siding at Redmire station and have spent months restoring it.
Project Chairman, Mr. Neil Barker said they are keen to attract new volunteers to help with the project. The 22 mile long Wensleydale railway is one of the longest heritage railways in the country operating between Northallerton, Leeming Bar and Redmire in the main season, and is considering an extension of the line from Redmire to Aysgarth Falls.
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