Demolition work on Pullman Lodge set to begin
Work to demolish the Pullman Lodge is to begin next week as council chiefs confirmed its carriages will be heading south.
The site of the former hotel and restaurant on Seaburn’s seafront will be levelled after Sunderland City Council approved a demolition order.
It owns the plot, which is earmarked as part of Siglion’s plans to regenerate the Whitburn Road land and neighbouring area.
It could become home to cafes, restaurants, a leisure centre, hotel and shops as well as housing.
The council has said there was no interest in keeping the carriages - Padua, Rosalind and Sapphire - in the region.
They once carried passengers on the world-famous Orient Express and date back as far as 1912.
They are set to head to a developer in Kent on the weekend of March 11 and 12.
Cabinet secretary, Coun Mel Speding, said the work will begin on site following consultation with ward councillors and others.
He added: “The council has always been aware of the historical importance of the carriages and has been working with members of the railway preservation community to secure their future.
“While there was no interest in the North East, the council has secured an offer that will see the carriages taken to a site in Kent.
“The carriages are understood by experts to be similar to ones drawn by famous trains such as the Golden Arrow night ferry express which once ran through Kent, between London and Dover.
“Therefore they have a strong link to the south east region’s railway heritage.
“Since acquiring the site in 2012, the council has always been looking towards the longer-term development of the seafront and this is exactly what is happening.
“The council has invested more than £10million in improving the seafront in the last five years and these works have won several awards and attracted private sector investment.
“The Pullman site is set to be another stage of these updates and investments to our much-loved seafront.”