Heritage lines ask people to #LoveYourRailway

Heritage lines ask people to #LoveYourRailway

Heritage railways around the country have launched a new campaign aimed at attracting visitors called #LoveYourRailway.

Associate Editor Richard Watson has fond memories of his time on the footplate of 73156 on the Great Central Railway.

Spearheaded by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and running until September 5, the campaign aims to raise awareness of all the heritage railways in the UK, highlight how much work and effort it takes to operate them and demonstrate how historically important they are.

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762 & 190 Woody Bay L&BR Anthony French

There are more than 150 heritage railways in the UK, of varying sizes and gauges, some have a staff of paid employees but nearly all of them rely on a core base of volunteers giving up their spare time to help keep the wheels turning.

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52322 Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Anthony French

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78022 Keighley & Worth Valley Anthony French

The pandemic has taken a severe toll on the heritage railway sector with all railways having to close their doors in March 2020 to visitors, volunteers and staff. Many managed to reopen when restrictions eased and they could offer safe travel - but others remained closed for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. One of the larger railways that did manage to reopen still reported a fall in revenue of several million pounds.

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6412 Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway Anthony French

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34072 Swanage Railway 30742 charters 04.03.19 Anthony French

Organisers of the campaign are calling on visitors to share their experiences of visiting heritage railways this summer on social media using the hashtag #LoveYourRailway – and for the vital volunteers to share the work they’re doing too.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway website: www.nymr.co.uk/pages/category/love-your-railway

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