A project to restore the Brighton Belle is making progress and the iconic train could return to the metals this summer.
The 5Bel Trust wants to restore a full working version of the train. The well loved express was withdrawn from service in 1972 much to the horror of local people, railway staff and passengers like Laurence Olivier.
The Brighton Belle was launched in 1933 and was reputedly the only all-electric multiple unit Pullman in the world.
Says Neil Marshall of the 5Bel Trust, ‘When we displayed it last year it literally stopped traffic. People could not believe it was there. It is very much at the heart of Brighton’s history. The project is a huge engineering challenge. Only 15 carriages were ever made. Half were bought by the Orient Express for spares.’
The project has been funded by volunteers. ‘There are a variety of backers who believe in restoring heritage for the next generation. It is quite humbling,’ says Neil. Restoration of the cars to the exacting standard of the ORR is being carried out at Barrow Hill and Derby.
For more information visit: www.brightonbelle.com