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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 March, 2005, 09:09 GMT
Railway wants to buy lighthouse
The lighthouse in Dungeness
The lighthouse has six floors and more than 150 steps
The operators of a miniature railway in Kent have expressed an interest in buying an historic lighthouse.

Dungeness Lighthouse, which has over 150 steps and is run as a small private museum, was recently put on the market.

The Grade II listed building was built about 100 years ago and warned ships of dangers until 1960.

The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway wants the lighthouse to be bought by local tourist operators to ensure it remains open to the public.

We just want something that people can still do down there (in Dungeness) that they will remember
Danny Martin, Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway
The rail line has been running between Hythe and Dungeness since 1928, with more than half of its customers visiting the lighthouse.

General manager Danny Martin said he wanted to hear from as many people as possible who might be interested in running the lighthouse.

He said: "People who are local, people who care about this area, people who would like to see the lighthouse stay available for everyone to visit."

He said he did not anticipate any major changes to the lighthouse, but it might need to offer more information in order to attract more visitors.

'100,000' price tag

When the lighthouse was put on the market last month it did not have an asking price.

It has since attracted a lot of interest around the world, with a price tag of 100,000 rumoured.

Mr Martin said hundreds of people were needed to form a trust to buy the landmark building and they needed to move "fairly quickly".

"We just want something that people can still do down there (in Dungeness) that they will remember," he said.

Anyone interested in forming a trust is asked to contact the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway within the next week.

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