Mid-Suffolk Light Railway signals no return this year
Trustees of the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway (MSLR) have announced that, despite easing of coronavirus restrictions, it will remain closed until further notice.
In a statement released this week, it said that measures, such as social distancing, would prevent it from being “the unique part of British Railway history and the attraction for visitors that it has become”.
“Given the nature of the virus and the fact that there are so many related unknown quantities around its development, were we to open now, we could not guard against a visitor unwittingly bringing the virus to the MSLR and the consequent cost and disruption of deep cleaning the whole railway,” the statement read.
The accredited museum and registered charity has pledged to continually review its position, and remains confident that the loss of income from its summer programme will not mean it will have to close completely.
The trustees believe the Wetheringsett visitor attraction will survive the loss, thanks to careful financial management and support from the Government.
Improvement projects are continuing at the site in order to keep it on track for a return in 2021. These include enhanced facilities for visitors, a footbridge to its picnic area and work to extend the railway, which will more than double the length of the line to approximately 1km.
Work on the restoration of its steam locomotive, no.1604, which the railway hopes to have up and running for its 70th anniversary celebrations next year, has also been proceeding faster than anticipated.
For updates on the railway and its projects, go online to www.mslr.org.uk.