New red and white train set to run along Sunderland seafront

The Roker Rattler train.
The Roker Rattler train.
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A new land train along Sunderland's seafront could be set to bring visitors to the area.

The Roker Rattler will ferry people between Roker's Marine Walk and the rear of the Seaburn Centre, a few hundred yards away.

The Pullman Lodge train carriages are removed from Seaburn seafront.

The Pullman Lodge train carriages are removed from Seaburn seafront.

Starting this Easter, the service will operate every 20 minutes, from lunchtime until dusk on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and then seven days a week during the school holidays.

The red and white land train is one of only around 22 land trains known to be operating in the country.

The launch of the service comes just weeks after the historic Pullman Lodge carriages, which were in Seaburn for more than 30 years, were removed from the seafront to be taken to Kent.

It was manufactured at a factory north of Venice, and spent its early life as a visitor attraction at an Italian theme park.

Seaburn in Sunderland.

Seaburn in Sunderland.

The idea is the brainchild of Ian Little, who came up with the idea after seeing a land train in use at the Sunderland Illuminations.

Ian, an engineer by trade, said: "I've spent the last few years working all over the world but I've been wanting to do something closer to home for a while.

"I remember seeing a land train ferrying visitors around at the illuminations and thinking it would be ideal, particularly given the geography of the area

"It has taken a year to set this up but I've had a lot of positive feedback and now everything is ready I can't wait to get started."

Councillor John Kelly, portfolio holder for public Health, wellness and culture, said: "This is another fantastic addition to our fabulous seafront and I think it will be really popular with young and old alike.

"Sunderland is already lucky enough to have some of the best beaches in the country as well as an attractive seafront and fantastic events like the Sunderland airshow and the Illuminations.

"Attractions like this can only help to make it even more popular."