The Daily Telegraph
‘Nationalised’ miniature railway derails after ‘sabotage’
A POPULAR miniature railway “nationalised” by town hall officials who took four years to get it running again has derailed in its first week of operating.
The Poole Park Railway in Dorset was taken over by the local authority in 2018 after being successfully run by a private operator for 15 years.
But a minor derailment allegedly caused by an act of sabotage resulted in the local businessman losing the contract.
As a result, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council took over the running of the popular tourist attraction after announcing plans to lay a new 800m track to make it safer.
But it took four years – and thousands of pounds in lost revenue to the local taxpayer – for them to complete
‘As the engine came round it caused a derailment. We are still in the testing phase and have reinstated the train’
the work at a cost of £350,000. Just over a week after its much anticipated return the carriage derailed after it hit stones reportedly left on the tracks deliberately.
It had to be suspended yesterday ahead of its official launch event next weekend.
A spokesman for the Queen’s Park Conservatives suggested that someone had placed stones on the track at a bend.
A statement read: “This occurred as the train was slowing down to round the bend and because someone placed a number of stones between the main and check rail on the bend.
“As the engine came round it caused a derailment. We are still in the testing phase and have reinstated the train on the rails.
“The debris has been cleared and test runs carried out and all went well and will reopen tomorrow.”
The attraction has experienced multiple delays in reopening, prompting park users to hit out at the council for their apparent ineptitude.