Heritage & Culture

Help Nene Valley Railway stay on track

Nene Valley Railway

In autumn of last year, Nene Valley Railway revealed that a combination of unforeseen setbacks and the economic crunch has put them at risk of closure. This wonderful living heritage attraction is a much-loved part of the city and its surrounding countryside – and time to save it is running out...

When Nene Valley Railway announced to members that money was becoming alarmingly tight, via an announcement and an appeal in its members’ magazine last year, the goal was to keep the railway operational until ‘Santa season’, which typically brings in additional revenue. Many responded, and with the extra financial help the Santa season was a success. However, like many businesses, this time around visitor numbers did not reach pre- Covid levels, and as a result the railway fell £75,000 short of expected profits.

This immediate shortfall is making 2024 extremely financially challenging.

Nene Valley RailwayAlthough the charity had hoped to rely on income from the successful Easter visit by Tornado, the overhaul of Tornado means the event faced unfortunate delays. Now, an injection of £75,000 is urgently needed to bridge the gap until the Tornado visit – and any support will help reach this goal.

Looking ahead, Nene Valley Railway, like many other heritage railways, is facing difficulties due to rising fuel costs and declining visitor numbers, and cash reserves are still suffering the effects of the pandemic. The NVR board and management team are working tirelessly to generate more income, introducing innovative early-season services and experiences, which have attracted higher- than-usual passenger numbers. Staff and volunteers are also actively pursuing external funding opportunities, with grant applications exceeding £100,000 currently submitted.

While these funding resources remain uncertain, Nene Valley Railway is appealing to the public for any donation – no matter how small – to help remain in operation. We all know that, of course, times are tight, but if anyone has ever enjoyed a nostalgic trip aboard one of the NVR’s lovingly restored carriages – that magical glimpse back in time the location provides – please do think about making a contribution. Your ongoing support will be greatly appreciated, and help ensure the railway’s survival.

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