Seafront train comes to the end of the line

DOTTO TRAIN, EASTBOURNE SEAFRONT [FOR PETER]'APH31032'Dotto Train. SUS-140409-131019001
DOTTO TRAIN, EASTBOURNE SEAFRONT [FOR PETER]'APH31032'Dotto Train. SUS-140409-131019001

Dotty about Dotto? Sorry, you’ll have to wait until next year.

The steam train road-runner lookalike that gives travellers a ride along the seafront from the Wish Tower to Sovereign Harbour has retreated to its cosy siding for the winter.

It’ll be getting up steam for its 2015 season in May 2015.

The Dotto was due to retire this year, but was saved from the scrapyard after last minute intervention by local bus operators Stagecoach together with Eastbourne Borough Council.

At the time Stagecoach boss Philip Norwell said, “We are very pleased we have been able to work with the council to help save the Dotto Train. Although the season is shorter we look forward to welcoming many visitors.”

Thousands climbed aboard this summer for their £2 (£1 for children) hop-on, hop-off ride which enabled them to enjoy all of the seafront attractions such as Eastbourne Pier, Treasure Island, Fisherman’s Green, Fort Fun and the shops and restaurants of the Sovereign Centre itself. A handy roof meant people could ride back and forth during August storms and stay dry.

The season was shortened as the Dotto used to run until November.

It started in time for the 2014 May Bank Holiday and made its last parade along the prom on Sunday (August 31.)

During June it ran at weekends, but that was extended to a daily service during July and August.

It’s hugely popular with townsfolk and visitors alike.

The Dotto is wheelchair friendly thanks to a retractable ramp. And pooches can also be taken for a ride – providing they are perfectly behaved. Tickets entitle travellers to one Stagecoach bus ride so if they enjoyed a meal and a glass or two at Sovereign Harbour but missed the last train home they could hop on a bus and still get to their destination.

The first Dotto was founded by Ivo Dotto in Castelfranco Veneto, in the Treviso region of Italy, back in 1962.

Experts say Ivo Dotto possessed great creativity and was very determined so he immediately made his mark on the market. In no time at all he had become the world’s leading manufacturer of tourist trains. Ivo’s creations have been sold in more than 50 different countries spanning five continents.

For details on the Eastbourne Dotto train visit www.stagecoachbus.com/Dotto.aspx