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Last Updated: Monday, 25 August, 2003, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
Steam railway wins grant
A Kent-based heritage railway has been awarded 78,000 to promote cross-Channel links and improve stations.

The Kent and East Sussex Railway (KESR) operates vintage steam engines and carriages on a 10-and-a-half mile stretch of track between Bodiam and Tenterden.

It is twinned with the Chemin de Fer de Baie de Somme (CFBS) railway in northern France, which received a parallel grant.

It is hoped the grant will help more cross-Channel events take place.

Cultural links

The money will also be used to improve the railway's three main stations, Tenterden, Northiam and Bodiam, and to develop bilingual literature for visitors.

It has been promised by Interreg, an initiative to develop economic and cultural links across Europe, which is backed by the French and English governments.

Earlier this year, members of the KESR took artefacts including a full-size steam engine to a railway fair held in France.

And in July, their French counterparts brought over an engine for the Steam and Country Fair at Northiam, in East Sussex.

Norman Brice, chairman of the Kent and East Sussex Railway, said he was delighted the railways' contribution to tourism had been recognised.

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