Wensleydale Railway appeals for funding amid warning of fight to survive due to coronavirus

A train on the Wensleydale

The Wensleydale Railway has appealed for donations as bosses warn they are facing a fight to survive due to the coronavirus.

Like other tourist attractions, the line has closed due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

Bosses at the heritage line, which had already launched a funding appeal before the crisis, said the lose of income from passengers meant the company had a bleak future unless further funding could be found.

In an appeal to supporters, director Guy Loveridge said: “As I am sure you are aware, the PLC is facing a tough time.

“We were all supremely optimistic after the amazing success of Polar Express 2019, and the financial benefit we had.

“We were able to halve our year on year debts in one fell swoop and, with Tornado back, we had every reason to be optimistic for 2020.”

But he added: “Sadly, as we all know, the coronavirus has meant the railway, along with so many other tourist attractions and customer led businesses has had to close.

“Thus, we will have zero cash-flow and revenue, but still have to be active.

“We hope for Government support – as recently announced, and all directors are striving to secure funding, but, even so, it is not enough.

“I believe we must work hard during this enforced closure so that we have the resources to return to full service as soon as we are allowed.”

The director said there were reasons to be optimistic, including the return of the Polar Express service  in 2020 and plans for a new steam event in 2021.

But he added: “We need to get to those places and survive. I am asking you to dig deep.”

More than £2,900 has been donated to the appeals so far.

The railway is asking supporters to give £10 per month or make a one-off donation.

To set up a standing order or make a BACS payment, the details are: Account -Wensleydale Railway PLC. Sortc code – 40-35-03 and account number – 21319353

You can also post a cheque to Wensleydale Railway PLC, Leases Road, Leeming Bar, Northallerton, DL7 9AR

Alternatively, click on this link.


  1. I was considering a donation until I saw the damage done to long stretches of the railway embankments near Stoop House Farm; these are now a real scar on the landscape, devoid of any vegetation and offering no cover for wildlife. I won’t be investing.

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