West Somerset Railway to close for three months in 2019

4160 on the West Somerset Railway
Credit: Geof Sheppard

Jonathan Jones-Pratt, the Chairman of the West Somerset Railway PLC, has announced that the railway will be closed for four months in 2019.

This announcement comes after the Office of Rail and Road, who is the governing body for the safety standards in the railway industry, attended the heritage railway for an inspection.

The railway has now received a letter from the ORR. This outlines some steps that the railway must take.

The ORR is set to publish their own statement about their visit, however, this is not public at the time of writing. However, the railway has said that they have to take a significant number of actions before their follow up inspection in March 2019.

The WSR Board has therefore taken the decision to close the railway completely from 2nd January until 1st April 2019. This means that there will be no Spring Gala or proposed ACE Event. There will also be no trains during February Half Term.

West Somerset Railway’s board has considered this closure essential to give infrastructure teams additional time to undertake maintenance but also to allow paid and volunteer staff to focus on qualifications and effective record keeping.

Nothing has been said about what the inspection and closure are about, so we must not speculate until official news has come from the ORR or the West Somerset Railway. When this is made available, we will update you.

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