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Heritage Railway Issue 266

Heritage Railway is the definitive news source for the UK heritage railway scene. With its extensive network of contacts, Heritage Railway brings you amazing exclusives every month - along with features, stunning imagery, gala reports and much more.

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United Kingdom
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
$4.57(Incl. tax)
$53.21(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
we must beat this crisis together

NEVER in my worst nightmare did I dream for a second that the 21st anniversary edition of the magazine would be overshadowed by the worst crisis in the 70-year history of the heritage railway movement – one in which every line and museum venue big and small has had to close down, seemingly indefinitely, because of a killer medieval-type plague. The closure is essential to save lives, and cannot be avoided. However, there is the risk that it could cause lasting damage to the sector which has been built up through raw enthusiasm and sheer hard graft over the decades, and which is now a plank in the prosperity of local tourist economies. “Everything we have worked for is now at risk, but the solution is in our hands. I have always…

1 min.
glorious talyllyn spring cut short – the last charter before shutdown

THE Talyllyn Railway (TR) is renowned for its colourful spring photographic charters, run by David Williams for the past 21 years, with all proceeds going to the heritage line. Mid-March this year was no different – until all activities were suspended on the last day of the charters due to coronavirus. Thus it became the last charter to run in the heritage sector before the shutdown. The original programme was to see Barclay No. 6 D ouglas in its RAF livery working on the first day, but the 0-4-0WT developed problems shortly prior to the event which required the wheels to be lifted. Barclay 0-4-2T No. 7 Tom Rolt then was pressed into service to work a mixed train. Other days saw former Corris Railway locomotives No. 3 Sir Haydn and No. 4…

5 min.
the greatest threat to heritage railways in 70 years

ON JANUARY 31, two members of a family of Chinese nationals staying in a hotel in York became the first confirmed cases of Covid-19 or coronavirus in the UK. Two months later, the country was in lockdown as the virus spread, with the daily death toll having reached into the hundreds. In a bid to slow the spread of the killer virus, Government guidelines severely restricting the movement of people with the sole aim of saving life have quickly impacted on every aspect of everyday life, in a manner not experienced in living memory. It has been said that the impact of coronavirus on our society will be felt for years to come. In our sector, heritage railways – a bastion of the nation’s tourist economies – have been brought to a standstill, as…

3 min.
three chairmen appeal to cover ff&whr costs

A TRIPLE SOS has been sounded by the chairmen of three organisations involved in the running of the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, in a bid to cover the deficit from not being able to run trains. Late March saw the railways cease the limited early spring service and immediately close all cafes and bars in accordance with Government guidance. The closure led to 40 seasonal staff set to start work this week not being able to do so, while the majority of the permanent staff were sent home under furlough arrangements. Furthermore, all volunteer work has been suspended until Government restrictions are lifted. A limited number of engineering staff spent several days ensuring that railway worksites were made safe before being asked to stay at home. In particular, care is being taken…

6 min.
virus impact: “six months before life returns to normal”

AS we closed for press, the entire heritage railway sector in the British Isles had ground to an unprecedented halt because of the virus – leaving lines with no idea as to when they would be able to start running trains again. On March 29, England’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said it could be six months before life in the UK returns to “normal”. Speaking at the Government’s daily coronavirus briefing, as the number of people in the UK to have died from Covid-19 reached 1228, she said that they had to be “responsible” in its actions and reduce social distancing measures “gradually”. However, she added:“This is not to say we would be in complete lockdown for six months. “Probably over the next six months, we will have a three-week…

2 min.
moorsline’s ‘very existence’ at risk from coronavirus pandemic closure

THE survival of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway – Britain’s most popular heritage line in terms of passenger numbers, could be jeopardised because of the closure due to Covid-19. Officials said that the line, which closed on March 19, could potentially lose up to £1 million over the coming weeks – and have launched an SOS appeal in a desperate bid to make up the deficit. An appeal letter from the railway said: “While there have been no reported cases of coronavirus at the railway, the well-being of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our absolute priority. Matters of health and safety have our complete attention, which has led to this closure. “The NYMR is a registered charity and without operating this would have a substantial impact on its future. Please help by…