In this difficult period of the COVID-19 emergency, it is understandable that we all feel a little anxious and stressed at times. When we do, it helps to step back for a moment, take a deep breath and think about those who have helped us over the years, been there when we needed them and are always ready to offer well-meant advice, support and encouragement. In most cases this will be individual family members, friends and colleagues, however, in some instances it may be a collective group of people all working for the same objective.
Two such groups are the Ffestiniog Railway Society and the Welsh Highland Railway Society, a collection of individual people all with one purpose, to help and support the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways.
As a member of either Society, you have done so much over the years to support the FF&WHRs. Not only have you have helped us restore two of the most iconic heritage steam railways in the world, but you have also helped us develop into a thriving visitor attraction bringing untold economic benefits to the region and enjoyment to hundreds of thousands of people each year. Along the way you have also helped us become an important centre of excellence in engineering conservation and a place which inspires, trains and provides the next generation with the necessary skills to be able to work within the railway industry.
So, as we all come to terms with the realities of the COVID-19 emergency and implement the necessary restrictions it places upon us, this is our moment when we step back and say thank you. Thank you for being a Society member and thank you for all your support over the years, we really couldn’t have achieved anything without you.
However, your work does not stop here, if there was ever a time when we need your support more than any other, it is right now.
You will know by now that due to the COVID-19 emergency we have had to close the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways and we will remain operationally closed until such time as the Government advises us that it is safe to re-open.
During this period there will be no trains running on our lines, no railway events and no opportunities for anyone (including Society members) to visit any part of the Railway.
We spent the winter working hard to prepare our railways for you and were looking forward to welcoming you over the Easter break. We are so disappointed that we are closed and our staff and volunteers are staying at home; but we do strongly ask that you too adhere to government guidelines and spend your Easter holidays at home. Please do not come to Wales. Shops, attractions, beaches and mountain areas are all closed. The more we can do to help stem the spread of this virus now, the sooner you will be able to visit us again.
However, during this difficult time, we would ask you to support us by telling the world what a great Railway we are and encouraging people to visit us once this current emergency is over.
Please sign up for our ‘News from the Line’ newsletters (in the footer of each website page) so we can keep in touch and let you know our plans for later in the year and when we reopen for bookings.
Please also visit (and tell others about) our brand new website where you can climb aboard a virtual journey on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways and enjoy the sumptuous interiors of our Pullman Carriages as well as the glorious Snowdonia National Park countryside our trains pass through. The website also offers the chance to discover a whole assortment of other services, opportunities, events and activities offered by the Railway. Whilst we’re sure many of you are very familiar with the workings of the Railway and it’s beautiful surrounding areas, our ‘A Journey for All’ page on the new website includes an array of useful information regarding accessibility options, historical attractions, nearby gardens to visit and much more. Click here to find out more.
We would also be delighted if you could use (and encourage others to use) our online shop, where we have all manner of exciting things for sale ranging from a new range of model trains, to FF&WHR branded clothing, all of which can be delivered direct to your home.
Please let us know what you think about our new website by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and if you would like to contact us about visiting the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways later in the year, First Class bookings, or anything else relating to our Railways, please do not hesitate to email us on email@example.com.
We very much look forward to welcoming you back to the Railway once this emergency is over, until that time keep safe and well, and once again thank you for your continuing support.
Our very best wishes
The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways