All aboard ... Dotto train returns to Eastbourne seafront

Hugely popular ... the Dotto train is a highlight of the Eastbourne tourist season
Hugely popular ... the Dotto train is a highlight of the Eastbourne tourist season

Eastbourne’s much loved mini-train will return to the seafront promenade in time for the Bank Holiday weekend. Dotto resumes its traditional route between Holywell Retreat and Sovereign Harbour from Saturday, May 27.

The hugely popular road train has become a key highlight of the town’s tourist season.

Travellers can take a ride along any part of the prom and hop on or off at the key attractions such as Wish Tower Slopes, Eastbourne Pier, Fisherman’s Green, Fort Fun and the Sovereign Centre.

The iconic mini-train came close to being scrapped in 2014 after Eastbourne Borough Council failed to find an operator to take it on. Stagecoach stepped in with a plan to run Dotto on a commercial basis with cheaper fares.

Back then, Stagecoach introduced a simple £2 a ride fixed fare (£1 for children) and a £5 hop-on hop-off day ticket. This week it announced that the fares will remain the same for the third year in a row.

Stagecoach said that more than 32,000 passengers climbed aboard Dotto last season – 10 per cent more than in 2014.

“We’re looking forward to another fantastic season,” said Philip Norwell, managing director of Stagecoach South East. “Dotto isn’t just about getting from place to place – it’s about having fun and enjoying the seaside experience. As well as a must-do for visitors and tourists, it’s loved and supported by local people. Our staff have a real affection for Dotto too.”

The first Dotto train was created back in 1962 by Ivo Dotto in Castelfranco Veneto, in the Treviso region of Italy. The Dotto family has been manufacturing tourist trains ever since and with their self-steering carriages they’ve become the Rolls Royce of their kind.

Dotto will operate on Saturdays and Sundays from May 27 to June 25, and then every day from July 1 to September 3. Dotto will also run on Bank Holiday Monday (May 29).

More information can be found on the Stagecoach website at stagecoachbus.com/dotto