Full steam ahead for land train: July arrival planned

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It’s full steam ahead for the long-awaited land train which finally looks set to be chugging its way through Stonehaven by July.

Stonehaven Town Partnership are behind the scheme to introduce the land train to the town, in the hope that it will boost tourism.

It will ferry tourists from Dunnottar Castle, down the Bervie Braes and through Stonehaven, making its way to the harbour area, to the Market Square and along to the open air pool.

There have been several hold ups with the initiative, which has been financed by a grant from the coastal communities fund. Problems included worries over the vehicle travelling down the weight-restricted Bervie Braes

STP Chairman Douglas Samways told the Leader and Observer: “Everything seems to be in line for the train to be here in July.

“It is manufactured in Italy so it will need to be shipped over to Scotland.

“Dunnottar Castle receives over 70,000 visitors a year. The idea is that the land train will encourage more of them to come down into Stonehaven and see what is on offer. Most people are behind the idea, and we are hopeful it will give a boost to local businesses.”

Mr Samways added that the group are hopeful a bus stop, which was introduced for a trial period at the Market Square last summer, will be reinstated in time for the train’s arrival as it is intended to be the main stopping point in the town centre.

It’s expected to run eight times a day, seven days a week, while the Braes remain open. The vehicle cost £95,000, and the rest of the grant will cover running costs, insurance and staff salaries for the next two years.