Sheffield's parks on track for novelty attraction return this summer

Some of Sheffield’s biggest parks are on track to welcome the return of land trains, miniature engine-powered trains popular with families and children sadly removed during the pandemic.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 11:24 am
The council hopes the land trains will be operating by summer.

Land trains, miniature trains with an engine and carriages, have a tradition of being popular with children and families at seaside resorts across the UK.

This idea was then taken up by Sheffield City Council and implemented in Hillsborough, Graves and Endcliffe parks for a number of years, until the Coronavirus pandemic meant outdoor attractions were banned, and the miniature railways were removed from the parks.

Now, the council has put out a tender for a private firm to take over running the land trains, and it is hoped they could be back as early as summer.

Abbeydale Miniature Railway.

Sheffield City Council parks manager Andy Phillips said: “It is nothing new, we have we have land trains operating in Endcliffe, Graves and Hillsborough over the past few years.

“They are children’s rides, and the only difference this time is it will be going out to tender to get the best service.

"Last year was different, so what we are trying to do is get things back to normal in a safe manner. It is great for people to enjoy parks, and if we can get the trains operating that will be great.”

The land train will be run by a private business and there will be a small fee for usage in the parks.

Despite plans for it to run in Endcliffe park, recent ‘people pressures’ mean that it will be constantly reviewed.

"Our aim is to make parks better, get more things in parks that are attractive to the user and this is just part of this process,” Andy said.

"The trains are a family activity that can be enjoyed by lots of people. We are hoping the tender will be out some time in May, so the trains will be operating in summer.

“They wont be operating when there are large events, and Endcliffe Park we will review every day so if it is too busy it won’t operate because there’s been some people pressures in Endcliffe.

“We are starting what we used to do and hopefully getting back to some normality.”