Exciting Times as Railway is Steaming Ahead to 2021!

The Scottish Railway Preservation Society (SRPS) which manages the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway and Museum of Scottish Railways, has been awarded additional funding of over £234,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund towards its Steaming Ahead project. This brings the total grant for the project to £975,800.

The project involves construction of a new engineering facility, which will be used to care for the steam locomotive collection and other rolling stock, using the space to train volunteers and apprentices. The project will also improve and expand the visitor experience, with a new level walking route to the proposed engineering facility, which will have a viewing gallery, with interpretative material to help people understand what happens in there and on to a new museum entrance. Work will start soon on the build of the engineering facility and the Museum entrance. Other elements of the project will begin in the middle of next year and the work is due to be completed by the autumn of 2021.
The project will also involve two new members of staff to oversee the training, activity and volunteer training elements of the project. Ensuring that the engineering skills needed to care for and operate steam locomotives are passed on to a new generation is one of the main motivations for the project. A training scheme that will benefit many of the Society’s 400 volunteers is one part of this, while an apprenticeship and trainee scheme will deliver other benefits. Four apprentices will train through the Modern Apprenticeship scheme. In association with Falkirk Council we will be looking to provide, over the five years of the project, up to 20 13-week trainee placements for those looking to acquire skills to help them into the workplace.
Lord Faulkner of Worcester, the Society’s President is delighted “This is excellent news. Many congratulations to the Society and the best of luck with the project as it begins to develop. I eagerly look forward to visiting Bo’ness again in 2021.”
SRPS Chairman, Steve Humphreys said “After a very bleak year this really has come as ray of sunshine, and will give us something tangible to celebrate next autumn in our 60th year when we would hope to hold an event formally to open the new engineering facility. In what has been a very difficult year for everyone, we are delighted that we can finally begin this exciting project that will bring lasting benefit to the Society. The new engineering facility and the visitor experience it will bring will tie in nicely with a journey on our steam trains and a visit to Scotland’s largest railway museum, making for a really great day out for everyone. Tourism has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and we have not been able to open to visitors so far this year. Work is ongoing to once again open our award-winning heritage railway and Museum and we look forward to welcoming visitors back again once we are ready to do so safely.”
Caroline Clark, Director Scotland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“The volunteers at the Bo’ness & Kinneil railway work tirelessly looking after Scotland’s precious fleet of locomotives to the delight of thousands of visitors who get to experience and learn about the heyday of steam travel. However, circumstances have made things incredibly challenging right now and we are grateful that, thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to help.”