Wales News

Corona Virus & the Welshpool & Llanfair Railway

There will be no trains running in the Banwy Valley for now.

Management and volunteers at the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway have been working hard to get everything ready for the opening of our main season on 4th April and to help visitors celebrate Easter behind a steam locomotive.  We have also built up plans for special cleaning, extra carriages to spread visitors out, limited catering and other protections for both our staff and our visitors. 

Government advice has, however, been very strong on isolation, on social distancing and on avoiding unnecessary travel.  We and our volunteers support and want to implement this advice, and we have decided with great regret that the Coronavirus situation, with its effect on staff, volunteers, suppliers and other partners, makes it impossible to run a public train service at the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway for now. 

We are therefore suspending the opening of our season until at least 11th April, and possibly longer.

 We will arrange for those individuals or groups with advance bookings for trains or events over the Easter season to have their tickets honoured later when things return to normal. Anyone with questions about bookings, or to request a refund if they prefer, is invited to contact the office on info@wllr.org.uk or on 01938 810441, but please bear with us – we are going to be pretty busy! 

 We will post information about future plans when we are able on our website www.wllr.org.uk and on our social media pages www.facebook.com/welshpoolsteamrailway on Facebook and @LlanfairLine on Twitter.

 Similar decisions are being taken by other members of the Great Little Trains of Wales group and indeed by heritage railways throughout the UK. These closures will be a heavy burden for all of us. As a vital sector of the tourist industry and of British culture, we look forward to the support of enthusiasts and the broader public when we are able to reopen safely.

 We don’t know when we will be able to open to the public again. Until then, we have unavoidable expenses and no operating income and any donation you can spare will help us through these difficult times.

 If you are in a position to help us, the easiest way to give is on our donations website at https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/9557#!/DonationDetails  If you are able to make a really generous donation, a cheque to the Railway, payable to W&LLR Preservation Co. Ltd, and posted to the railway at the Station, Llanfair Caereinion SY21 0SF, will be cheaper to process. By either route, if you are a UK Income Tax payer, ticking the Gift Aid box will add 25% to the donation we receive.  

Meanwhile, we will continue work behind the scenes as much as we can to preserve the heritage of our railway and make sure it is again available for public enjoyment and education.  We also ask all of our friends and neighbours to stay safe in these difficult times.

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