VOLUNTEERS have produced a new video explaining why they are battling to raise money so that work can resume on building a much-needed £240,000 carriage storage shed for the Swanage Railway.

Keeping railway carriages, especially the historic ones under cover, and protected from the ravages of the weather, is important because it reduces the costs of maintaining, repairing and overhauling the vehicles.

It is hoped to have the remaining £65,000 raised by the end of June, so that the steel structure of the building can be ordered before being delivered to the site and constructed in November.

The launch of the eight minute video for the Swanage Railway’s YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media channels comes as the Herston Carriage Shed Appeal passes the £19,000 mark after being launched in early March, 2021.

Work on the new carriage shed – located east of Herston Halt, on the outskirts of Swanage, and capable of storing ten carriages – began in January, 2020, but had to stop with the first national Covid-19 lockdown.

Before the work had to stop last year, contractors had managed to complete the foundations for the steel structure that will span two tracks.

Swanage Railway fundraising chairman Randy Coldham said: “The new fundraising video is part of our push to raise £65,000 by the end of June so that we can resume work on the carriage shed.”

Swanage Railway engineering director Nathan Au explained: “The building of our first carriage storage shed is a critical project because it will protect our historically important heritage carriages – the oldest of which date from the 1920s – from the ravages of the weather while also reducing the costs of repairing, maintaining and overhauling the vehicles.”

Built with the permission of Dorset Council, the new Herston carriage shed will be 131 metres long, have a height of 6.5 metres, a width of 9.2 metres and cover an area of more than 1,000 square metres.

Early 2020 saw £30,000 raised in an initial appeal so that preparation and foundation work could be carried out.

Randy Coldham explained: “Fundraising work for the carriage shed was paused in March, 2020, as the Swanage Railway battled the economic challenge of surviving the Coronavirus pandemic through the Save Our Service fundraising appeal.

“That means that we can now return to the Herston carriage shed project."

The new Herston Carriage Shed Appeal video can be seen on the Dorset Echo website.

To make a donation to the Herston Carriage Shed Appeal, go to www.swanagerailwaytrust.org/carriage-shed-appeal.