News that the popular Welsh Llangollen railway has had to call in the receivers has been met with a wave of public support since it was announced. The North Wales tourist attraction had been suffering as a huge losses as a result of the Covid-19 lockdowns.
From celebrities to politicians, a huge amount of messages of support for the tourist attraction have come in from across the UK and even overseas.
A donations page was created on the steam railways website was created to try and save the establishment. Over £34,000 has been raised so far and more is hoped will be raised to save the trust.
A statement issued on the Railways website said “Llangollen Railway is a registered charity (1046614) and the railway relies heavily on the income from our visitors and events. Our 2020 season ran for a very limited time during 2020 due to Government restrictions, whilst open we also ran with a much reduced capacity due to social distancing measures. To compound this we only ran 1 of the 25 events we had scheduled for the year, including having to cancel our much loved Santa and Mince Pie Specials. This has had a devastating impact on our income and will continue to have a substantial impact on our future.”
“Following our initial shut down in March, Llangollen Railway have been very grateful to receive grant assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund and help from other streams but these do not cover all our outgoings. We have suspended services until at least April 2021 and to enable us to proceed ‘Full Steam Ahead’ we need your support.”
“We have a small skeleton staff undertaking essential tasks but the majority of our employees have been asked to take furlough on 80% of their salary which will be covered by the Government.”
“Unfortunately, as with any business, we cannot just ‘mothball it’ and reopen in April 2021. We have ongoing monetary commitments which we need to continue to pay from insurance premiums to website fees, utility bills to rental agreements. We also have ongoing essential maintenance to our infrastructure and listed buildings, including £15,000 of essential repairs to the Dee Bridge. We cannot just close.”
Thousands of people have donated on the Railway’s website page https://llangollenrailway.enthuse.com/cf/covid-19-appeal and it is hoped much more will be raised with a bleak 2021 expected also.
Many of the donors have been recalling wonderful memories of taking their families on the trains over the past decades.
The railway announced last Monday that its operating company, Llangollen Railway PLC, is insolvent to the tune of £350,000 and there is no realistic prospect of meeting their outstanding liabilities.
An indication of some of the costs needed to be met by the Railway were listed as
£20 4 Fishplates and matching bolts join the rails together
£20 It takes £20 of oil to operate an engine each day
£50 3 Sleepers – It takes 12 sleepers to make a complete track panel
£100 Length of Rail – We need two rails for a complete track panel
£100 Brake block – usually changed every couple of months
£200 Coal to run from Llangollen to Corwen return
£250 Monthly washout
£500 Complete Track Panel – Including rail, sleepers, spikes, fishplates and bolts
£500 12 firebars
£1000 Repair a broken loco spring
£2500 New boiler pressure relief valve
£5000 New live steam injector
Volunteers and supporters are hoping that enough can be raised to save the trust.