Over the last couple of months, the Office of Road & Rail and Heritage Railways Association have been working with Heritage Railways to determine ways in which the railways may safely start running again. As part of this we’ve had to consider how (or if) we can reopen the railway to the public whilst safeguarding both our volunteers and visitors, and still cover all our running costs.
It’s with huge regret and much soul searching that the GCRN Directors have come to the decision that, as we depend entirely on volunteers and a huge proportion of our volunteer base fall into the groups still most at risk, together with the social distancing measures involved, we’ve decided that we won’t be operating any further services during 2020. Unfortunately, as it’s unlikely we could cover costs, this also means our highly popular Santa Special services will not operate this year.
Phil Stanway, GCRN’s Commercial Director, said: “Whilst this is not a good situation to be in, we have to put the safety of our visitors and volunteers before anything else. We fully appreciate that this decision will cause some disappointment amongst potential visitors and, as we receive no external funding, will hit us hard financially over what would be our busiest periods of the year. The decision has not been taken lightly and we look forward to seeing you all on our trains again during 2021.”
However, it’s not all gloom and doom. We’ve now reopened various sections of our site to the public, at weekends, only as of Saturday 15th August. This includes our Café, Model Railways and Road Transport sections, but for the time being won’t include the Miniature Railway operated by the Nottingham Society of Model & Experimental Engineers.
In the meantime, we’ll still be here working behind the scenes on lots of improvements in many areas of the railway by socially distanced volunteer workers, in preparation for welcoming you all back on the trains in time for Easter 2021.
We thank you for your continued support.