The Churnet Valley Railway has announced it will be operating services again from the August 1, in line with Government guidance.
The railway went into an enforced closure from the March 24, with offices and workshops being closed for three weeks.
During this time, the team at the Churnet Valley has raised funds with the support of staff, the railway’s supporting charity and suppliers.
The COVID-19 pandemic severely affected the railway, with lost income from not operating the 2020 season as planned.
“Whilst the goodwill may continue, nevertheless the current situation is not sustainable, and so we are now looking for support from the public, by people buying a ticket and travelling on our trains. Your support makes a tremendous difference and will help to secure the future of the railway,” a statement read.
Now, the Churnet Valley Railway turns its attention to welcoming passengers again from August 1.
This will be a phased reopening, with a reduced timetable and the suspension of all special events until a re-arranged Borders Explorer weekend in November. This will be followed by Santa Specials in late November and throughout all of December – all subject to Government guidance.
What safety steps will be taken before reopening?
“We will inspect our tracks, coaches and locomotives thoroughly before embarking on staff training runs.
“Whilst a lot of our staff have been involved in maintenance and security trains during the closure, we are coming back with new rules and procedures. As is common with other industries, the best way to prove these changes, is to actually run services without passengers.”
When will tickets go on sale, and how can you buy them?
Ticket sales will go live on July 14.
All tickets must be purchased in advance of travel. Passengers will be issued with an e-ticket or a booking reference number. Paper tickets will not be issued. Bookings can be made online or via the office. The railway cannot process bookings on the day.
Please have your e-ticket or booking reference number ready when you arrive at the Froghall check in point.
If you are visiting in your social bubble, please advise at the time of booking. Depending on availability, we can seat up to eight people together, either in a private compartment, on a first come, first served basis or in two groups of four, in an open coach.
All tickets will have an allocated seat number. You must sit in your allocated seat and follow our staff’s instruction for boarding and alighting from the train.Enjoy more Heritage Railway reading in the four-weekly magazine. Click here to subscribe.