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Full Steam Ahead For Community Railway Project Thanks To Airport

04 Dec 2012

A voluntary group looking to create a museum out of an old train carriage is celebrating after receiving a £10,000 donation towards the project from Stansted Airport.

The donation from the Stansted Community Fund, part of the BAA Communities Trust, will go towards The Friends of the Flitch Way’s innovative scheme to buy and restore a train carriage at Rayne Station on the former railway line between Braintree and Bishop’s Stortford.

Chairman of the Friends, Stan Davies, said the carriage project was part of the group’s long term aim to bring back the history of the former railway branch line.

"The carriage will be used to provide information on the history of the branch line and surrounding area as well as covering conservation and environmental matters linked to the Flitch Way.  It will also provide meeting facilities for the local community and our aim is to see it being used for educational purposes by schools.

"The Friends are most grateful for the support of the Stansted Community Fund. I am sure that the Fund's generous contribution gave a kick start to our fundraising efforts and encouraged other organizations to donate towards the project," said Stan.

Marcella M’Rabety, Fund member and the airport’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, said:

"The Stansted Community Fund’s panel was delighted to be able to support this fantastic project. The project will enable the whole community to get involved and allow visitors and school children to learn more about conservation and environmental matters."

The Flitch Way Country Park stretches almost 15 miles along the track of the former railway line between Braintree and Bishop’s Stortford which opened in 1869 and closed in 1971. A registered charity since 2005, The Friends of the Flitch Way is a group of volunteers who help preserve the trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders to enjoy.

The Stansted Community Fund, part of the BAA Communities Trust, supports volunteering, environment and youth projects within a 40 miles radius of Stansted Airport.  More information on how to apply for a community donation can be found by visiting the website, www.stanstedairport.com.