The ELR is proud to announce that we have appointed Lee Kenny as General Manager on a permanent basis. This follows an impressive eight month run as Acting General Manager, a position he took on under very challenging circumstances.

Lee was previously Deputy General Manager and has been a part of the organisation for more than three decades, having joined as a volunteer aged twelve.

Lee initially joined the staff as diesel traction engineering fitter and was a constant presence in the traction and rolling stock department before becoming its head 12 years ago.

Lee said:

“I am delighted and proud to be given this opportunity to lead the ELR as General Manager and thank the board for their support in my appointment. I went to the railway at the age of twelve and was hooked right away and my love affair both as a volunteer and employee.

“I have watched the railway grow from its infancy in the late 1980s to 2023 to the major tourist attraction it is today.

“I have now been given the opportunity to take the ELR forward for many years to come.

“I look forward to continuing to work with our dedicated and very much valued team of volunteers and staff and continue to explore ways we can improve and better support them.

“Like many other heritage railways across the country, we face considerable challenges is sustainability, fundraising, improving safety, embracing equality, diversity and inclusion into our organisation and continue to grow our community and business partnerships.

“These will be very much our focus in the short to medium term.”

Chair of the ELR, Mike Kelly, said “Lee willingly stepped into the role last May as Acting General Manager at a very important time in managing the cost-of-living crises and rising supplier and labour costs.

“Over those months Lee has shown great leadership and brought stability and successfully managed a number of very important events and our famous Santa Specials.”