For those unaware, the Churnet Valley Railway suffered from serious levels of flooding by the Caldon Canal over the weekend of October 26/27. This left a section of track South of Consall hanging mid-air after the ballast was washed away by the flood waters, forcing the suspension of all services until repairs had been completed.
Thanks to some excellent offers of support from the rail industry and our local community, a full list of repairs has already been completed and we were delighted to be able to reopen the line as of this weekend.
A huge thank you to Stobart Rail is required, after they proposed a method for repairs and then completed them fully in less than a month.This saw the entire embankment rebuilt in 5-metre steps from the valley floor upwards.
These repairs though have come at a six figure cost, which we do not have the finance in place for at such short notice. However we are very delighted to confirm that Staffordshire Moorlands District Council have kindly stepped in and supported us with a Bridging Loan to ensure payment is made in a reasonable time. This kind of support is beyond true recognition, and we are grateful for the support shown in ensuring our Santa services run as planned for 2019.
Events manager Jack Ilczyszyn had this to say "Obviously our priority was to ensure repairs were completed in good time for our annual Santa event, with it being one of our biggest events of our entire annual programme. This is why we are so extremely grateful for the grant from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, as it shows a real belief and faith in what we offer to the local community. The railway is at the heart of this community, and to receive such support means we can operate our Santa & Steam specials as planned for what will be our 24th season since we began running trains in 1996. Tickets can be booked online now, with bookings available across all dates. There are nine trains a day offering this special joinery through Staffordshire's hidden valley, and we’re looking forward to welcoming everyone to this captivating event”