"The current COVID-19 pandemic has brought the temporary closure of this 100% volunteer operated Heritage Railway, which normally runs steam and heritage diesel services along the Chiltern foothills between Chinnor and Princes Risborough."
Railway running costs
We have just under five miles of track including sidings, several level crossings and 10 miles of lineside boundaries to maintain, irrespective if trains are running or not. The Railway is not only wholly operated by volunteers but many of them fund it as well. The Railway’s fixed unavoidable costs are £8.25 an hour, £198 a day, or £6,000 each month, and that’s before running any trains!
"Fortunately, 2019 was a good year for us, with over 63,000 passenger journeys made, plus extra income generated from filming and training contracts. This allowed us to make significant investment plans for 2020 in the Railway's infrastructure and facilities while also strengthening our reserves; but the longer this closure carries on the more we'll eat into those reserves that are earmarked for future investment".
These in turn will hinder us from offering reduced prices for families, seniors and less-able visitors, or hosting disabled and disadvantaged groups who would not normally be able to enjoy any outings from care homes etc.
We would very much appreciate your immediate support
We are now faced with a long period without any income being possible and advance bookings being refunded or moved to future dates.
Locally to us we are very grateful that iLECSYS, based in Princes Risborough, are making regular contributions to the Railway to help ease the situation.
Certain organisations, such as The Branch Line Society, have been kind enough to tell us they do not want a refund for their tickets purchased for the March gala event, but to treat the advance tickets purchased as a donation.
Some intending passengers have been equally generous, understanding as they do that the survival of the Railway for future generations to enjoy, is wholly at stake.
The longer this crisis goes on - only donations from more of our visitors and supporters will allow us to keep the Railway in good shape enabling us to reopen.
We still have legal obligations to comply with, and to ensure the Railway and boundaries remain safe, therefore inspections will continue to be carried out in line with Government health advice.
We rely on family outings and tourism which is now in crisis.
Why support the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway?
We are very aware there are many worthy causes for your cash to support. The Railway supports many volunteers, young and old. For many, it is a major part of their life, keeping them fit and socially active. In the case of younger volunteers, it helps them learn practical skills useful in the workplace, experience they would not otherwise gain.
The Railway has been here for nearly 150 years and operates in a beautiful area supporting many local businesses from B&Bs, pubs to chip shops. They and the community will suffer with us, especially in the long term if there is no Railway after this crisis to attract tens of thousands of visitors annually to the area.
If you can, please donate to help support the Railway made easy by visiting our funding page (from £5 or however much you can help, please!). This will help preserve the line which in addition to providing a ‘family’ for all volunteers, assists many to join the rail and tourism industry.
The Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway is so much more than a Heritage Railway, it is at the heart of the local community, and a vital asset.
Thank you for your support, it is really appreciated.