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Is this end of the line for miniature railway?

PUBLISHED: 11:57 04 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:14 25 August 2010

Bexley
02-09-08
Welling & District Model Engineering Society
Will have to move from their current site because National Grid want to put in some new underground cables
Picture by: Simon Hildrew
l/r, Bob Underwood, Reg Hawes, Alan Philpot

Bexley 02-09-08 Welling & District Model Engineering Society Will have to move from their current site because National Grid want to put in some new underground cables Picture by: Simon Hildrew l/r, Bob Underwood, Reg Hawes, Alan Philpot

A MINIATURE railway that has been in existence for 63 years is being shut down to make way for electricity cables.

A MINIATURE railway that has been in existence for 63 years is being shut down to make way for electricity cables.

Welling and District Model Engineering Society's miniature railway in Rochester Way has to move due to essential work to be carried out by the National Grid.

Because of the Electricity Act (1989) the club cannot appeal the decision and has to look for a new home.

Chairman Alan Philpot, 75, said: "To be honest there is nothing we can do about.

"The National Grid are being as helpful as they can be.

"It will be a bit of a wrench to close. We will miss the site at Falconwood because it is fenced off and monitored by cameras.

"We anticipate we will have to move in early spring. But we will all be a bit long in the tooth now."

A spokesperson for the National Grid said they working with Bexley council and the club's landlord EDF Energy to help the pensioners look for another site.

The spokesperson added: "We don't want to leave them out in the cold.

"We need to build an electricity cable tunnel between the sub-stations at Bexley and Eltham.

"The work is vital and essential to provide a safe and reliable electrical transmission system to meet future demands.

"The work includes a tunnel shaft and head-house which is a permanent building for access and safety requirements. We have already had meetings with the club and we held a public exhibition about 10 days ago. We are keen to find them a new home if it is possible."

The National Grid plan to submit their planning application to Bexley council next month.

Preparatory work is expected to start next year, with the main work starting in 2010.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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