Churnet Valley Railway prepares to steam back on August 1

THE Churnet Valley Railway will be getting up steam again from Saturday, August 1, after being de-railed for months by Covid-19.

The heritage railway went into enforced closure from Saturday, March 24, after the spreading deadly virus forced the country into lockdown.

A CVR spokesperson said: "This will be a phased re-opening with a reduced timetable and the suspension of all our special events, until our re-arranged Borders Explorer weekend in November.

"This will be followed by our Santa Specials in late November and throughout all of December - again all subject to Government guidance.

"We will operate a steam train service (subject to availability and/or failure) on a reduced timetable. Our first train will depart from Froghall at 10.30, and the second train will depart from Froghall at 13.30. All trains will operate as a Froghall to Ipstones return service".

As is the case now in many walks of life after Covid-19, the new ‘normal’ of how the railway will operate has changed.

The spokesperson added: "We will inspect our tracks, coaches and locomotives thoroughly before embarking on staff training runs.

"Whilst a lot of our staff have been involved in maintenance and security trains during the closure, we are coming back with new rules and procedures".

Passengers will be spread across two or three recently refurbished coaches, depending on loadings and it is imperative they sit in their allocated seat and follow instructions given by CVR staff for boarding and alighting from the train.

For the time being, it will not be able to accommodate people on board in wheelchairs.

The spokesperson said: "Where a person with reduced mobility can be assisted from the platform by a carer and sit in a regular seat, then we will happily accommodate this".

In line with all other public transport requirements, passengers must wear a face covering whilst travelling on the train. This is mandatory.

Dining train customers must continue wearing face coverings until the meal service begins.

Passengers are asked to must bring their own face covering, though the CVR will have a small quantity of coverings available for purchase.


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