The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway (C&PRR) is joining organisations from as far afield as Cornwall, Suffolk, North Wales, Northeast Scotland, and Northern Ireland* in a new nationwide campaign to raise awareness of heritage railways.
Spearheaded by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), #LoveYourRailway is a six-week summer campaign from 26 July to 5 September, which aims to shine a spotlight on not only the important work heritage railways do with regards to conservation, education, and research, but highlight how they have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of reduced capacities and income.
The C&PRR is collaborating with NYMR and over 35 other famous heritage railways, including The Bluebell Railway, Crich Tramway Village, Severn Valley Railway and Snowdon Mountain Railway.
Stanley Hart, Chairman and Volunteer at the C&PRR, said: “We are grateful to our many Members and Volunteers for the support they have shown during the previous very difficult year, and we are looking forward to returning to what we do best – taking Visitors on a heritage steam or vintage diesel ride to both delight and inform them on how a rural railway operated in yesteryear.”
“Although our capacity was cut by roundly 2/3rds during the pandemic we continued to operate steam trains when possible and to also offer our full range of attractive concessionary fares in Open-plan seating areas – these include free travel for under 5s and £3 flat fares for children up to 15 yrs, plus concessions for seniors, half-price for local-residents and Blue Light card holders, etc. These fare concessions, together with reserved seats for reassurance, will continue to be available into the future and we look forward to welcoming even more guests onto our train services this summer.”
“The C&PRR is run by Volunteers and we do all of it simply because we are passionate that this unique slice of local rural transport history is something well-worth preserving and passing on to entertain and educate future generations.”
Chris Price, General Manager at NYMR, 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 the hashtag #LoveYourRailway.”
Each week will have a different theme so please look out for our weekly #LoveYourRailway post. The six themed weeks are: Heritage, Education, Volunteers, Family, Sustainability and Future. We would love all visitors both past and present to be part of this campaign by sharing on our official Twitter and Facebook pages memories and pics of your visits to our Railway along with the #LoveYourRailway
Also, if you have visited other Heritage Railways in the UK, feel free to post on your own social media any pics of memories along with the tag please.
Accompanying image shows Driver Brian D explaining what the job entails to two potential train drivers of the future (and Mum), who are clearly entranced and enthralled by this once commonplace transport of yesteryear!
The full list of railways participating in #LoveYourRailway include: