Swanage Railway has been in a financial crisis since the beginning of lockdown after having to close, put staff on furlough and still cover £46,000 per month in expenses such as rent, insurance and salaries – even after major cost-cutting measures.
After the Swanage Railway Trust launched a public appeal under the “Save Our Service” campaign, the trust fundraised more than £228,625 of their £360,000 goal, giving locals and businesses hope that the attraction won’t be lost.
Closure of the railway was hugely alarming, as it’s thought that the heritage railway brings in an estimated £15 million to the local area and carries more than 200,000 passengers every year.
Despite having some additional cash security, the railway wants to open as soon as it’s safe to do so, as it mainly relies on income from train fares, and recent donations have slowed down.
Swanage Railway is reopening
In a new statement on their website, the Swanage Railway Trust posted:
We can’t wait to welcome you back!
From Saturday, 11 July, 2020, we will be running our re-opening Swanage to Norden and return train service that will be different from what we would normally operate.Swanage Railway
Under the limited service, the railway will be departing four times a day from their Swanage station, at 10:30am, 12pm, 1pm and 3pm.
It will not be possible to board or get off the train at platforms such Corfe Castle, Norden, Harman’s Cross or Herston Hall, but you can still enjoy a safe ride and beautiful views, while supporting this wonderful and much-needed piece of history.
Although more businesses and attractions are reopening, social distancing rules are still in place. As a result, Swanage Railway will be running at reduced capacity with limited seating available.
If you would like to book a ride online, you must do so online, through the Swanage Railway website.
‘Save Our Service’
The campaign for donations is still open, and the railway needs YOUR help.
You can learn more about the trust’s struggles and how you can help on their Giving page.
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