In News

Heritage railways all over the country from as far afield as Cornwall, Suffolk, North Wales, North East, Scotland and Northern Ireland are joining together in a new nationwide campaign to raise greater awareness of Britain’s heritage rail sector.

Spearheaded by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the Love Your Railway campaign launched on 26th July and will run until 5th September 2021. The campaign aims to shine a spotlight, not only on the important work historic railways do with regards to conservation, education and research, but will also highlight how the nation’s heritage railways have all been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of reduced capacities and income which have threatened their very existence.

Across the UK, 35 heritage railways are collaborating on the project, including South Devon Railway. Jon Morton, Chairman of South Devon Railway, said: “We’re delighted to support the laudable Love Your Railway campaign to highlight the work that heritage lines all over the country do to conserve, protect, promote, entertain and educate people about Britain’s rich 200 year railway history and culture.

“Heritage railways in the South West and across the country have all had a rotten time during the Covid 19 pandemic with restricted operations and mounting financial losses, so we need people to visit us now like never before just to survive and keep the wheels turning.”

Chirs Price, General Manager at North Yorkshire Moors Railway, said: “We’re optimistic and excited about the summer ahead, but the last 12 months have been like no other year, with lockdowns, reduced capacities due to social distancing and staff and volunteers falling victim to the virus.

“There are more than 150 operational heritage railways, running trains over nearly 600 miles of track which protect, conserve and bring to life part of the nation’s rich cultural heritage, giving enjoyment and learning to thousands of people every year. We want to do all we can to raise awareness of every heritage railway across the country and the challenges we face, all the participating railways will be posting their own social content across the six themed weeks, but we also want to encourage the public to get involved by sharing their favourite memories and inspiring imagery from their visits, using #LoveYourRailways.

The themes for the campaign are Heritage, Education, Volunteers, Family, Sustainability and Future.
For the first week, historic railways all over the country have been celebrating their heritage. At South Devon Railway, located in Buckfastleigh, Devon, the team have been celebrating the hard work of their volunteers to keep the heritage trains running during the various lockdowns. One way they have been doing this is by changing tyres on the steam trains, something they have been talking about online this week as part of the Heritage campaign.




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