Seaton Tramway to be honoured by naming

It has been announced that Seaton Tramway’s name is to be carried on a South West Trains class 159 DMU. The name will be unveiled in a ceremony at Axminster railway station on Sunday 9 June after the arrival of a service from London Waterloo at 1121. This service will have 300 guests on board who will be on their way to the Classic Car Show taking place at Seaton on this day.

The naming ceremony will be undertaken by regular visitor to Seaton, Nicholas Owen, the BBC newsreader, who will then make his way to the Classic Car Show where he will be making the trophy presentations at the end of the day.

Although many preserved railways have had the honour of a main line railway vehicle carrying their name this is believed to be the first time that a tramway has done so. The Seaton Tramway, of course, runs on the former trackbed of the railway line between Colyton and Seaton which was abandoned as part of the Beeching cuts in the 1960s.

Jenny Nunn, the Managing Director of Seaton Tramway, said: “Whenever the ‘Seaton Tramway’ train travels from London Waterloo to the South West passengers and passers-by will be reminded of us here. For more than 40 years our trams have been operating along most of the former Seaton branch line, which was closed by British Rail in 1966 and visitors have had the amazing opportunity to explore the stunning scenery from the top deck of a tram. Nicholas Owen, is the perfect person to perform the train naming as, apart from being a BBC newsreader and radio broadcaster, he is a lifelong train and tram enthusiast.”

The Classic Car Show will take place at the Underfleet car park in Seaton between 1000 and 1700 on Sunday 9 June. As well as the car show there will be an enhanced tram service, depot visits, Driver’s Eye Experience and photographic opportunities. The previous day – Saturday 8 June – will see the first of several Eastbourne running days this year when the timetable will be operated by members of the fleet that also operated in Eastbourne before the tramway moved to Devon.

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