The West Somerset Railway Association held its monthly Trustees’ meeting last Tuesday evening, this was a telephone conference call to take account of current concerns.
West Somerset Railway plc Director Martin Brown attended the meeting by invitation, and informed the Trustees of the understandable decision that the Railway would now not open on 21 March as expected. That closure is expected to last for some weeks.
The WSR plc is now considering how it can make best use of the period of enforced closure, perhaps by tackling some further infrastructure projects and transferring staff to work on those. The WSRA Trustees considered how they might support that effort as the WSR body with the lead responsibility for fundraising.
The WSRA has already opened a fund for infrastructure works, intended for use in the winter of 2020 / 2021. We have decided to promote that fund now and be prepared to fund infrastructure works in the coming weeks if suitable projects can be identified by the WSR plc.
WSRA members and supporters of the WSR have been generous in past months in funding the return to traffic of locomotive 9351 and the rail renewal projects last winter. We ask those supporters now to consider if they can again support the Railway’s improvement at this difficult time and turn a negative into a positive.
Supporters who are UK tax payers will know that a donation to a charity such as the WSRA is boosted by a 25% uplift from the UK Government, so a donation of £100 is worth £125.
We expect to be working closely with the WSR plc to be able to photograph works as they progress so that supporters can remain close to our Railway through this difficult period.
Donations can be made in the following ways:
By online giving at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/railrenewal2020
By Direct bank transfer to WSRA at 30-97-00 account no 00443258 using reference “rail2020”
By card over the phone on Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 – 16:00 – 01823 433856
By cheque mailed to Rail Renewal 2020, WSRA, The Railway station, Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, TA4 3BX
News and updates can be found on our website: https://www.wsra.org.uk/ or join the WSRA to receive our regular email newsletter and quarterly journal.