Fewer opportunities for families to ride Eaton Park miniature railway - because members want to enjoy it themselves

 A busy Eaton Park on Sunday, where the Eaton Park Miniature Railway was in full swing. Photo : Stev

A busy Eaton Park on Sunday, where the Eaton Park Miniature Railway was in full swing. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

It is one of the region's most charming – and popular – children's attractions.

But families are to have fewer opportunities to ride the Eaton Park miniature railway – because the enthusiasts who run it want more time to enjoy it themselves.

The Norwich and District Society of Model Engineers has decided to limit the number of days the public can go on the railway following pressure from its members.

The change – which comes into effect this weekend – will see the track closed off to families on the last Sunday of every month until October to allow for members to use it more freely.

However, the move has not been universally popular in the group.

John Peterson, chairman of the society, said he did not agree with the decision – which could cost it about 25pc of its earnings – which he believed had been made in haste. 'There has been a certain amount of pressure to do this and it was a majority decision. But that did not include me.

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'My own personal view is that a reduction in the hours would achieve the same effect and would still allow it to run on every Sunday. But some members wanted to use it themselves. There is a general desire to have more time on the track at the weekend and they don't think Saturday is good enough because some people have to work.'

The society is to put up notices informing people about the changes, which come into effect this weekend.

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Mr Peterson said the closure will allow members to pull other types of carriage and also train other drivers. He explained that members often found it difficult to use the track on other days due to other commitments.

Helen Mitchell, from the Friends of Eaton Park, said: 'This bank holiday weekend there will be hundreds of people turning up. They will be expecting it to be running and kids will be disappointed. People come along loyally because they love it. It would have been good to talk to people about the changes.'

In a statement, the society added: 'The NDSME regrets the inconvenience to park visitors for this change in public schedules. Train rides will continue to be offered to the public on other Sundays, and at special events.'

Do you have an unusual story about a local attraction? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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