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It was all aboard the electric train today as 50 local pre-school children were treated to a special visit on Southend’s iconic pier.
Local children from Cockleshell Nursery, Stepping Stones Nursery, Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery and Elim Church Day Nursery, plus some children attending with their childminders, were invited to enjoy a ride on the new state-of-the-art and eco-friendly electric Pier train.
The heritage cream and green eco-friendly train was formally named in honour of Sir David Amess by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall as part of their visit to Southend-on-Sea to confer City status.
Heritage cream and green pier trains previously ran on the pier from 1949 to 1978 and the vintage design was agreed for the new trains following a public vote on social media in 2020.
Scott Dolling, director of tourism at Southend-on-Sea City Council, said: “I am delighted that these children were among the first to enjoy a ride on our new train which is part of a £3m package that will transport our pier into a bold, modern era that supports our city’s net zero ambitions.”
Louisa Titman, deputy manager, Cockleshell Nursery, said: “The children absolutely loved riding the new train. Because of COVID, this has been our first real trip out in over two years.”
Tanya Sturge, from Elim Church Day Nursery, added: “It’s the first time some of our children have ever been on a train.”
The electric train is available for the public to ride on over the Easter holidays and beyond. For more information, including special events, tickets prices and opening times, visit www.southendpier.co.uk