Just a month after its launch in mid-March when the heritage West Somerset Railway (WSR) was forced to close before the 2020 season had even started, the WSR’s emergency coronavirus funding appeal has raised just over £50,000 by 17 April. The WSR has asked railway enthusiasts, supporters of the railway, local people and the public alike to dig deep into their pockets to support the appeal because it says:
Without this help, we may not have a railway in West Somerset for people of all ages to enjoy again in the future.
It reckons the current closure period, which is estimated might now extend until half way through its main running season in July, will lead to a ‘huge and potentially unsustainable financial hit, and which couldn’t have come at a worse time for the railway following the expensive and extended closed winter maintenance period.’
West Somerset Railway Plc Chairman Jonathan Jones-Pratt commented:
All of the money raised will go towards safeguarding the WSR and helping us get through the Covid-19 crisis. We are facing a huge and potentially unsustainable financial hit which couldn’t have come at a worse time for the railway following the expensive and extended closed winter maintenance period. We will need the cash to keep flowing in because the railway simply has no income at present and our insurances do not cover for this type of loss. So, please keep the donations coming if you can, no matter how small, it all helps!
West Somerset Railway Association Chairman Mike Sherwood added:
The Association wishes to thank all those supporters of the railway who have donated money to assist, in whatever way, over the last few weeks. Your help is greatly appreciated at this very difficult time.