Following Government advice on social distancing, the closure of pubs and with the wellbeing of employees and volunteers in mind, East Lancs Railway has made the difficult decision to stop running all services with immediate effect.
Bury Transport Museum and the railway’s two pubs, the Trackside and Buffer Stops, will also be closed to the public.
The East Lancs Railway passenger services department will be in touch directly with customers who are booked onto Diner services and other pre-booked events.
Where a service has been withdrawn, all customers are entitled to a refund. The railway is calling for customers to take up the offer of a voucher or a rebooking to help with its cash flow challenges during this difficult time.
Mike Kelly, Chairman of East Lancs Railway, said: “Our heritage railway plays an important role in the lives of volunteers, our paid employees and visitors of all ages - providing a place of work, for people to socialise, meet fellow train lovers, learn about the past and generally enjoy themselves.
“While everything is being done to help protect this experience for generations to come, we are facing a very uncertain time, as keeping our employees, volunteers and the public safe may require us to close our doors for an extended period.
“If this happens, the financial impact could threaten our continued existence. We have set up an East Lancashire Railway Support Fund so that friends of the railway can show their support for an organisation that has brought so much joy to people’s lives.”
The railway is keeping the situation under constant review and will continue to closely follow updates and guidance from the Government as the situation develops.
Mike added: “As a registered charity this is devastating for us. We rely heavily on our generated income and this is highly likely to have severe financial consequences for us, but it is important we do our part to protect our employees, the public, and particularly our older volunteers. Please support us the best you can during this time to ensure our survival.”
All affected customers will be contacted directly, for any urgent queries, customers can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and to support East Lancs Railway, visit www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk, or follow the railway on Facebook and Twitter.
Mike Kelly, Chairman of East Lancs Railway
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you need more information, please contact email@example.com.
Following the government announcement that all leisure venues must close to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the East Lancashire Railway and all its pubs, cafes and other station facilities closed to the public on Saturday 21st March and will remain closed until at least the 30th April 2020.
The decision to suspend operations was not an easy one, but we are following Government guidance and we will continue to follow the latest advice and take appropriate action.
We are continually reviewing our plans with the safety, security and wellbeing of customers, volunteers and our employees our number one priority.
- How will I know if events are cancelled or postponed?
The railway is closed until at least the 30th April 2020. If an event you have booked is postponed or cancelled, anyone who has booked a ticket will be contacted directly by our Passenger Services Department by email or phone to inform them of the changes.
- Will events be rearranged?
Where possible any events will be rearranged for a later date, please visit the event pages on the website for more details and announcements on new dates.
- If I’ve already booked a ticket will I get a refund?
Visitors whose events have been postponed will have the option to transfer their booking to the new date or claim a full refund. They will be contacted directly to arrange this.
If an event is cancelled, visitors who have already booked a ticket will be contacted directly to arrange a refund.
We would ask everyone to consider rearranging their booking where possible, or in the event of a cancellation not taking up the offer of a refund, and instead see the payment as a donation to help secure the future of ELR.
The railway is closed until at least the 30th April 2020, but due to the current uncertainty this could be extended.
We will continue to follow Government advice and update plans as and when we know more.
Please go to our website and social media pages for all up to date news on events and services.
- How can you support ELR while it’s closed?
As of yet, the Government has not offered any kind of monetary aid or support to charitable organisations. Therefore the amount the railway is set to lose over the coming weeks could threaten the continued existence of the ELR. That is why we need your support to survive.
We would ask all customers with bookings to rearrange, or if this isn’t possible, consider not taking up a refund and viewing the payment as a donation to help secure the future of the railway.
We have also set up a fundraising page where all your kind donations (however big or small) will be vital to help to keep the railway and the story of the region’s industrious past going well into the future, allowing us to try to maintain our current level of service and standard of events once the current crisis is over.