The completion of 30 years’ restoration work to Groudle Glen Railway was celebrated with the official opening of the refurbished Sea Lion Rocks terminus by Chief Minister Allan Bell on Sunday.
Guests, including descendants of Richard Maltby Broadbent who built the line in 1896, gathered in outside the new terminus, which features a tea room, visitor centre and museum, to be welcomed by railway chairman Trevor Nall.
Mr Nall said there had been a time when the line, once acknowledged as ‘the smallest passenger railway in the world’, had been consigned to the history books after falling into decline in the 1960s. He said refurbishing the terminus had been a six-year volunteer project completed thanks to support and sponsorship from businesses and private individuals that would provide the railway the means to realise its full potential.
The opening ceremony marked the culmination of a day of celebrations at the railway, during which visitors had been able to travel on the line at 1982 prices.
Mr Bell said that the line had once been ‘one of the jewels in the crown of the island’s tourism’.’
He praiseee the volunteers and community for working together to bring about the renovation which was testimony to the Isle of Man’s ‘strong sense of community’.