IT’S been six months since the Hengistbury Head land train was suspended – and yet it’s still not known when the service will resume.

Now frustrated visitors, staff and beach hut owners are demanding to know, “what the hell is going on?”.

The popular attraction, unofficially known as the Noddy Train, has been out of action since October 29 following an incident involving a cyclist, a woman in her 60s. She was injured after two carriages broke loose from the land train and collided with her.

Dorset Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident, along with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Beach hut owner Sarah Chaplin: “Why is it taking so long? That’s what everyone wants to know. We can’t start the summer season without the Noddy Train. The mini bus service won’t be able to cope.”

The mini bus only seats 16 people compared to the land train which can take up to 30 people and also has a separate carriage for people’s luggage. There is also no access on the mini bus for wheelchair users.

Many visitors to the nature reserve over the Easter weekend were disappointed when they discovered the land train was still out of action.

Jenny Painter, who has two young children, from Bournemouth, said: “It’s the main reason we come here because it makes it more of an experience. We just assumed it would be up and running by now because it’s been ages. No one knows when it will be back.”

Nine-year-old Rebecca Butcher said it was her “favourite train in the whole world” and Roz Scammell, President of Bournemouth Rotary, had brought along one of their eldest members, 96-year-old Doug Temple, especially to ride on the land train.

“We are just so disappointed. We were both really looking forward to it. Sitting on a mini bus isn’t the same experience,” she said.

A volunteer worker at the Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre, who didn’t want to be named, said: “It’s beyond a joke now. People keep asking us what the hell is going on? The problem is we don’t have any answers.”

Ed Alexander, Planning and Contract Manager at BCP Council said: “The Health & Safety Executive are still investigating an incident with the land train last October, unfortunately this is taking some time. As part of the investigation the council agreed to withdraw all of its trains at Hengistbury Head until the outcome of the investigation is complete.

“As we are moving to the busier time of year we have introduced a temporary minibus service to help with the most urgent needs while we look at options, where we hope to be able to introduce a more suitable interim service for the summer.

“We are planning to trial a small seafront style train this week, with a view to using it as a temporary service until the investigation is complete. Ideally, we’d like to bring the original trains back into use, but must wait for the HSE report and legal findings.

“Our Land Rover service will be back in place by the middle of the week for beach hut owners and holiday makers wishing to take luggage down to less accessible beach huts.”

Yesterday, tributes were still flooding in for the former owner of the train Joyce Faris, who died last week. The 93-year-old ran the service for 50 years.