I would like to say a massive 'thank-you' to everybody who has worked so hard to re-start the West Somerset
Railway's operations this season.
It has been such a difficult time, but you have all contributed so much to our re-start and now we see the results, the
whole railway looks fantastic!
During the closed period, the paid staff continued their work in often difficult conditions, but they never complained
and the excellent results of their work are now plain to see. Our valued volunteers continued to support us and, every
time I travel along the line, I continue to be amazed by what you have all done.
Our locomotives and coaches are in the best state they have been for years and are a credit to the line. Thanks to the
efforts of the hand-weeding gangs last year, and the weedkilling train we ran earlier this year, the track-bed looks
amazing. The stations are so well turned-out and, as ever, there has been great feedback from our visitors commenting
on the friendliness and the helpfulness of you, the staff. Thank you all.
Our behind-the-scenes work is vital too, and the work on getting our compliance systems up-to-date and managing
the financial side of things has been particularly important.
For example, our financial results look encouraging. For June, the results for the month show a small profit of £2,524
compared to a budgeted loss of £110,120. Fare income was £80,301 in June 2021 compared with a budget of £45,640.
The budget was anticipating a 50% reduction due to COVID-19 restrictions and reduced capacity. However, a significant
number of the trains that ran during the month were close to full capacity!
Income in June was boosted by works we completed on the Seaward Way Level Crossing of £25,955, retail income of
£28,183, plus restoration income of £11,607.
Overall, this is a great result and puts us in a good position for the rest of the year.
Of course, there is still much to do. We have launched a £1M 'SOS' appeal to keep the railway operational into next
year and to ensure we have the resources to improve the track. We still need regular donations to this campaign, and
these can be made to the plc direct, or through the WSRA or the WSRH, and there are links to do so on all of these
The overall message is that we are looking to invest much more in our railway, in the track, the stock, the infrastructure
and our heritage. The pandemic has been a big blow to us all, but we now intend to build back stronger than before.
We intend firmly that the West Somerset Railway will retain its place as one of the country's premier heritage lines.
We have everything going for us.
Thank you so much, yet again, for your work and support and let's keep it going!
Jonathan Jones-Pratt, WSR PLC Chairman