The current COVID-19 virus has brought a halt to the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway (C&PRR), operating trains for the first time in a quarter of a century.
Before the previous train running season in 2019, the C&PRR, operated 100% by volunteers, carried out an emergency train evacuation exercise to test safety procedures and to train newer volunteers.
The C&PRR has emergency plans and safety systems in place - as with any professional railway operation. In fact, many volunteers have enjoyed a career in the rail industry and bring their skills to volunteers from outside industry.
In March last year, we operated a special test train and only the driver, guard and Duty Manager were made aware of the location chosen for the emergency to take place. Volunteers doubled up as passengers who were not told of the plans in advance.
The train was stopped at the designated location by the guard using the emergency brake in his guard's compartment on a steeply graded section of track alongside a woods and embankment.
Emergency line protection was carried out as Rules demand while train stewards evacuated passengers who included young children and elderly pensioners thus representing normal passengers.
They had to use a ladder which was secured to the train by ropes for security with assistance provided from the ground. The procedures worked well with few modifications made to the plans afterwards.
The Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway needs your financial support in these challenging and uncertain times. The Railway costs £6000 a month irrespective of running trains or not. No matter how large or small, every donation will be welcomed and will not only help us maintain the Railway, but to reopen it as soon as we are allowed, and the safety checks have been completed. You can donate any sum from £5 upwards at our General Fund page. We look forward to welcoming you with open arms when the Railway begins running again and thank you for your support.