A CONTRACT to replace the track for the Poole Park Railway is again being advertised by BCP Council ahead of its planned reopening later this year.

The council is seeking companies to have the track relaid and engine shed replacement build to enable the attraction to return to operation for the first time in three years.

It follows the decision to allocate £350,000 for the project earlier this year after last year’s reopening plan was abandoned.

The railway was initially suspended in 2018 after a series of issues, including derailments and staff shortages.

In 2019, planning permission was granted for the demolition and replacement of its engine shed while the 640m track also needs to be relaid.

A tender for this work was advertised in a bid to have the work completed by last summer but the scheme was put on hold.

Then cabinet member councillor Felicity Rice said the decision had been made because “market forces had changed”.

But earlier this year the council announced it had been resurrected, with an aim for the attraction to be back open this autumn. A budget of £350,000 was set aside for the work.

"We recognise this facility means a lot to local people which is why we have included this as part of our Vision for our Future and Big Plan commitment, rejuvenating Poole and bringing vibrant and attractive green spaces to the heart of Poole,” councillor Mark Anderson, the cabinet member for environment said in February.

"Restoring this iconic local attraction will help us work towards this aspiration and I am delighted that as part of our proposed budget-setting we are able to prioritise moving forward these plans to bring the Poole Park Railway back into operation.”

And now the council has reissued a tender for a company to take on the preparatory work required.

It is advertising for a “suitably experienced supplier” to lay a new track and for the replacement engine shed which will be used to house railway equipment.

The council has estimated this work will cost just under £250,000 but is now estimating it will not be complete until early December.