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About the COVID Emergency Appeal

Emergency appeal As you are no doubt well aware the Bluebell Railway along with many other businesses in the heritage and leisure sectors was forced to close at various times due to the current pandemic. This could not have been at a worse time for us as we are at the start of what was expected to be an extremely busy summer season celebrating our 60th anniversary year. We had many exciting events planned but most have either had to be cancelled or postponed until next year. These included the extensive 60th Anniversary Celebrations planned for early August. Each of these events is crucial to the Railway because they provide vital funds from our visitors. This substantial loss of revenue had a critical effect on the Railway's finances.
So how are we coping with the enforced shutdown?
Our volunteers were not able to come to the Railway for many months and, in addition, all of our paid staff were placed on the Government funded Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough). Therefore, no trains were running and all work on our restoration and maintenance projects were suspended temporarily.
Some of the Government initiatives have helped defray a large part of our employment costs but there are many other costs and expenses that have to be met regardless of whether trains are running. Our only income was through our online shop (which incidentally has an expanding range available). That government support has now ended.
Please Donate We launched a special Emergency Appeal that continues to provide support to the Railway as a whole and particularly to ensure that our unique heritage experience and the vital skills are preserved.
The biggest challenge facing the Railway is the 'recovery' period. In the short term, it is doubtful that visitor numbers will bounce back to normal levels but most employment and other overhead costs will have to be met long before the revenue recovers.
CV Emergency Appeal progress
We are extremely grateful to you for your generosity if you have already responded. However, if you have not yet been able to support the Bluebell Railway in these unprecedented times we would be very grateful if you would consider doing so. Details of how to donate are set out here. Any donation to support the Railway at this difficult time will be most genuinely appreciated.
Remember: if your donation is eligible for Gift Aid every £100 donated will be worth £125 to the project.
So please help us secure the future of the Railway, and donate now.
Thank you for your support.


For six decades the Bluebell Railway has been serving the community.
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Virtual Track Trek
Empty coaching stock behind 'Camelot' at Waterworks - Peter Edwards - 30 November 2019
65 ready to head north from Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 29 February 2020
178 at Sheffield Park - Brian Lacey - 11 February 2020
The local train approaches Horsted Keynes - Julian Clark - 13 October 2019
80151 being admired at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 22 February 2020
S15 at Birchstone Bridge - Derek Hayward - 8 September 2019
LCDR coach 114 - 4 Nov 2006 - Richard Salmon
Q-class with Santa Special - Steve Lee - 7 December 2019
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The Bluebell Railway Trust is the governing body for the Bluebell Railway Museum
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Last updated by Richard Salmon, 3 October 2021
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The Bluebell Railway Trust is a Registered Charity, No. 292497