When the news came in that visitor attractions were being forced to close it sent a shock wave through the KWVR and we went into crisis mode. All spending was stopped, everyone was sent home and we had to put our thinking caps on about what on earth to do next. Operations Manager, Noel Hartley, reflects on the new challenges facing the KWVR.
The challenges of the new world on a Heritage Railway.
Quite quickly it became clear that all but a couple of paid staff had to be put into the government furlough scheme and we had to do some fairly drastic financial predictions for the coming months to ensure the railway’s future was not put in jeopardy.
We were then left with a deserted railway, which became vulnerable to theft or vandalism. We quite quickly used the daily exercise permission to use our volunteers to do security walks around our sites between four and six times a day. Across the whole Railway this required 28 local people per day, not an insignificant number, and the support of all of our local volunteers has been overwhelming. This presence has undoubtedly had a big impact on the risks and we have only seen a small number of problems during the period of restrictions.