Steam railway enthusiasts have submitted plans for a station as their 40- year project to reopen a track draws to a close.

Organisers behind the Bluebell Railway have submitted plans to Mid Sussex District Council for a ticket office, travel centre and toilet facilities for customers.

They are also seeking permission to permanently park a 32-seater railway
carriage as a shop to sell refreshments.

The plans mark the culmination of a historic year in the 40-year dream of railway enthusiasts to reconnect Sheffield Park to East Grinstead.

Organisers have raised £6 million, including more than £600,000 in the last year alone and are now just £200,000 and a mile of track away from completing the laying of the new line.

In October the railway’s founder, Bernard Holden, died aged 104 and was given a special send-off in a moving ceremony along the line.

The line from Kingscote across the Imberhorne Viaduct to East Grinstead is due to reopen in the spring.

Mid Sussex District Council granted permission for a new station at East Grinstead in 2007 but that permission has now expired.

The new station facilities would be accessible from East Grinstead’s main line station via a path.

The application also states that the new travel centre would allow customers to make advance bookings for the railway’s special steam services.

The ticket office is proposed to be an ex-British Railways wooden mobile ticket office with a cast iron canopy built around it.