‘Lilliput’ trains plan for St Albans

VISITORS to St Albans would benefit from the services of a small road train to carry them down historic narrow lanes to local tourist attractions, according to a transport group.

Paul Spelzini, of the Potters Bar and St Albans Transport User Group, said members were keen to broach the idea with St Albans district council and residents to gauge interest.

He explained that the introduction of a mini-train service, dubbed the “Lilliput train,” could serve historic parts of the city, similar to many European centres.

Paul said it could be a one-coach or double carriage electric or hybrid locomotive which, ideally, could run half-hourly during the day around the city at affordable prices, through narrow streets and Verulamium Park.

He added: “This could be a tourist attraction in itself and could be commercially operated, with advertising or sponsorship at lower costs and provide better accessibility than a conventional bus.”

Paul said the train route would be a matter for local authorities and whoever operated the vehicle, which could also provide a service for special events such as the CAMRA beer festival and late night Christmas shopping.

He said a mini-train could run in a one-way loop transporting people to the likes of Market Place, Abbey station, the new Westminster Lodge, historic pubs, Abbey Mill Lane, Fishpool Street, St Michaels and local museums.

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Paul said he was seeking support for the idea before trying to progress the proposal further with the council.

He said that if it succeeded, it would add “novelty value” to the city and would be a worthwhile service if it could be offered by a firm keen to turn it into a tourist venture.

Paul is seeking comments from the public about the idea via website www.pbandsaug.btck.co.uk

The council’s portfolio holder for community engagement, Cllr Beric Read, said: “It’s a nice idea, but it is a case of, ‘can we make it happen?’”