VOLUNTEERS running a popular South Hams tourist attraction are aiming to raise £3million as part of a share issue campaign to safeguard its long term future. 

South Devon Railway announced the campaign in a bid to secure the seven mile heritage line.

The share issue gives individuals, businesses and railway enthusiasts the chance to contribute to ongoing conservation efforts and play a vital role in its future.

Planned projects include new visitor facilities and an upgraded museum at Buckfastleigh, station improvement, locomotive restorations, a new building for carriage repairs, construction of phase 2 of the running and maintenance shed and initiatives to reduce environmental impacts.

In buying shares, investors will be stakeholders in the preservation project and become part of a community dedicated to upholding the legacy of steam travel. 

Shareholders will receive a number of benefits including two return tickets each year and

regular newsletters.

Jon Morton, chairman, explained: ‘Our heritage railway holds immense historical and cultural significance and it is our collective responsibility to ensure its preservation.

‘The share issue will enable us to undertake crucial restoration works, ensuring future generations can continue to enjoy the magic of steam travel.’

The minimum subscription is 250 £1of shares and the maximum is 100,000 £1 of shares.

The multi-award-winning railway is one of Devon’s and the West Country’s best loved tourist attractions and is the longest established steam railway in the south west, celebrating over 50 years in preservation.

Built in 1872, seven mile former Great Western Railway branch line runs between Buckfastleigh and Totnes.