Our Tracks to Recovery appeal has raised over £54,000, a hugely valuable sum to sustaining the railway against unavoidable expenses. We thank everyone who donated to it, and invite you to contribute to our appeal for our No.1 locomotive’s return to steam - a far more exciting project!
The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway operates for eight miles through the beautiful countryside of Powys. Built in 1903, the railway is now run by dedicated volunteers and a small team of paid staff, and carries tens of thousands of visitors each year.
Throughout this time, the railway has been the home of two historic steam locomotives - The Earl and The Countess. These engines were built for the railway’s opening, and are now ‘fan-favourites’, particularly when they appear hauling our replica 1930s W&L train.
The Earl is in the middle of a 10-year overhaul with our friends at the Vale of Rheidol Railway in Aberystwyth. Undertaken by skilled engineers, steam locomotive overhauls are costly but necessary to keep our engines in service.
Until the Covid-19 outbreak stopped all work, it was going well. We planned to have The Earl back in service just after The Countess reaches her 10-year limit of service in February 2021. This would have avoided any gap in our ability to run an original W&L engine.
We contracted out The Earl’s overhaul so that our workshop staff and volunteers could focus on completing the restoration to service of one of our other engines.
We have now had no trading income since February 2020 from ticket sales, our shops and cafes, and need your support to keep The Earl’s restoration on track.
The appeal is off to a great start, with £5000 plus Gift Aid from a generous supporter, but much more is needed.
If we can raise £30,000, we can ask our contractors to complete the work as far as reassembling The Earl as a rolling chassis, essentially the bottom half of the locomotive, pending further restoration.
If we can raise £90,000, we can ask our contractors to finish the job off, so that The Earl can be back in service to take part in our annual gala in 2021 as the ‘star turn’, and we would continue to have one of our original locomotives available with only a short gap between their availability.
It’s up to you. We need your help!
You can support us by donating online through this link - https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/9557#!/DonationDetails.
By post: Please make your cheque payable to Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway Preservation Co Ltd and post to: Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway, The Station, Llanfair Caereinion, Powys, SY21 0SF
Cheques may be processed a little slower than normal, but please rest assured we very much appreciate your donation. Please include a note which mentions the Keep The Earl on Track Appeal.
If you have not filled out a Gift Aid Form before and are willing and able to do so please download here and send it with your cheque.
Photographs supplied by Tim Abbott and Ron Fisher.