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5 July 2010, 06:17
A group of amusement ride enthusiasts in America have donated money to help restore the Scenic Railway in Margate after it was almost completely destroyed in a fire in 2008.
The American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) are giving $5,000 towards the restoration of the roller coaster which is the oldest in the UK.
It will eventually be the centre piece in a new theme park on the old Dreamland site in the town which will be based around historic rides and attractions.
Work on the project should start later this year and will cost £12.5million.
Chairman of the Dreamland Trust, Nick Laister, said: "I would like to thank all of the members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts for this very generous donation. This demonstrates the level of international interest in the future of the Scenic Railway, which is a remarkable and fragile survivor. We will ensure that this donation is used 100% on the restoration of this roller coaster. I look forward to welcoming the members of ACE to Dreamland Margate when the Scenic Railway reopens."
ACE was founded in 1978 as a not-for-profit, all volunteer club to foster and promote the conservation, appreciation, knowledge and enjoyment of the art of the classic wooden roller coaster and the contemporary steel coaster.
President of ACE, Mark Cole, says: “The Scenic Railway is one of very few coasters of this type in the world. Our support of the Dreamland Trust and their mission to return the coaster to operational status is similar to the work that ACE did to restore the oldest coaster in the world several years ago. Preservation is a major part of the formation and continued work of ACE. We look forward to returning to ride Scenic Railway in the not to distance future”.