CAN YOU HELP: Ffestiniog Railway launches Emergency Appeal

Linda and Blanche ready for departure on the Ffestiniog Railway
Linda and Blanche ready for departure // Credit: RailAdvent

As Coronavirus continues to affect everyone’s everyday life, a number of railways are struggling too with no income and bills still to pay.

One of those railways is the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, who have now launched an emergency appeal to the public to help.

Coronavirus has closed the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, with no trains running between Caernarfon and Porthmadog, or Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog.

In a joint letter published this week from John Prideaux, Howard Wilson and Dafydd Thomas, the railway said that “we are using this letter to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to look after your railway”.

RailAdvent is donating £5 to the Emergency Appeal
or every Victorian Weekend set sold – click here for more information.

The railway has launched a video appeal, which is viewable below:

The company has focused on two objectives during the crisis – the welfare of staff and volunteers, and also the survival of the railway.

The railway has said that it will not operate any trains until after Easter – this being the earliest that the railway currently believes it can operator, however, an even longer shutdown is possible.

The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways has stopped all unnecessary expenditure, although, the wage bill for the railway stands at £2.5m. The railway currently has a turnover of £6.5m.

So, can you help this railway to survive? If you can donate, please find out how by clicking here.

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  1. Probably but that mainly covers those who are sick. Cannot some of the staff be seconded to ambulance driving or other NHS call centre or other neccessary work where retailers or firms are having difficulties if existing staff are having to stay at home due to age or medical conditions.

  2. Asking individuals for donations is all very well but money is a big issue for many people at the moment. All the heritage railways need to get together and campaign for a help package from councils, devolved governments and central government at this difficult time, on the grounds they make a massive contribution to their local economy. There is a precedent for this. Several years ago the SVR was given millions in public funds when they suffered catastrophic flood damage they couldn’t repair from their own resources.

  3. The 80% wages paid by Government is nothing to do with being sick. It’s to help companies keep staff on board until this mess ends.

  4. As much as i love the area and its history and its scenic values its not a railway I could and would always afford to use, especially with the return ticket prices they charge, and what with the class of folks who seem to get in those flash coaches, i would’nt have thought they needed any help or handouts right now from elsewhere, in my opinion they already seem to get big amounts of grants and lotto’ money, seemingly to me anyway, a lot more so than any other such railways. Maybe If they stopped spending on new builds and new schemes all the time they would be set to last at least the next few months out. After all it’s run more like a big business these days is’nt it? Bad management in my view, so where’s all the profits gone? More chiefs than Indians to pay and support in my view?


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