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Heritage rail line scheme on track to boost tourism
10:00am Wednesday 18th September 2013 in News
PLANS to develop a heritage railway line linking Andover with Ludgershall have been working up a head of steam over the past week, Ludgershall town councillors heard.
Council chairman Owen White told the council that the idea had now received the enthusiastic backing of both local MPs Sir George Young and Claire Perry.
It has also been given a likely name – Mid Wessex Railway Preservation Society – and discussions have opened with South West Trains and Network Rail about the need to maintain access to Andover railway station.
The line is already in existence and currently used on an infrequent basis by military transport trains.
The potential benefits of the scheme were highlighted for Ludgershall.
“It is going to be a tourist attraction and will boost the local economy,” said Cllr Tony Pickernell.
Ludgershall is currently looking at further boosting its tourism potential and has held discussions with English Heritage about how to give prominence to its historic sites, perhaps by having a volunteer guide.
Cllr Pickernell added: “We have the castle, a 12th century church and historic market cross to interest visitors – English Heritage is certainly prepared to work with the council.”
Ludgershall Castle, which dates from the Middle Ages, was the scene of a major excavation in the 1960s – the first major dig involving local archaeologist Phil Harding.
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