Locomotive lovers are being asked to buy a brick to help fund a new £40,000 running shed at the world’s oldest continuously working railway.
The volunteer-led Middleton Railway Trust, based in Moor Road, Hunslet, is appealing to residents to dip into their pockets so it can better preserve its collection of historic engines.
Donations of just £2.50 will pay for a brick for the new running shed, while enthusiasts who offer £30 can have their names engraved in a brick that will help make up the new facility.
The trust has already raised around £10,000 for the project, for which plans have now been submitted, that could be completed in time for the start of its 2014 programme of events.
Andrew Gill, chair of the railway trust, said: “This is a private railway but it’s there for the community and we try and make it a community venture, it’s open to anybody.
“The railway belongs to the people of Leeds, it’s their history – support it, use it, play with it.”
He said early building work could start in the next fortnight, if plans are approved.
In a bid to cut costs, the organisation’s new shed will be constructed by its fleet of volunteers besides the roof cladding and erection of the steel frame.
Donors have started to gift unused bricks to the railway’s project already, while dozens have invested in personalised bricks in memory of loved ones or through a love of the railway.
The new shed will add to the site’s existing security and allow volunteers to prepare engines for use under cover. It will also aid light maintenance work.
Mr Gill said: “This is all part of the history of the city of Leeds.”
Built to transport coal from Middleton Colliery to Leeds’ factories, Middleton Railway was established in 1758. It has been run by volunteers since 1960.
Visit www.middletonrailway.org.uk or call 0113 2710320.