The current lockdown due to Coronavirus is having a major impact on heritage railways. Events have been cancelled, depriving both enthusiasts of a great day out and also the railways of critical income.
However, rail enthusiasts will still be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway from the safety of their own homes through its ‘Armchair Steam and Diesel Gala’ weekend from Friday 8 May.
Three full days of celebration are planned, featuring memories and even a quiz. The online gala promises to entertain and bring together lovers of the iconic La’al Ratty railway, no matter how far apart they may be.
Stuart Ross, general manager (visitor experience), said: “We should have been holding our ‘It’s Still a Lot of Fun’ gala this weekend, celebrating 60 years of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Preservation Society. Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic it is not possible for our original plan to take place, but we don’t want anyone to miss out, especially with so many needing something to enjoy at this difficult time.
“We’ll be posting our favourite photos and videos of galas past for anybody and everybody to enjoy from the comfort of their front room – or shed!”
The virtual gala will also feature the planned guest engines Southern Maid from the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway and Sian from the Kirklees Light Railway, as well as a charity quiz on Friday 8 May at 8pm, raising funds for the Synolda Locomotive Overhaul Appeal.
The gala will be held through the Ravenglass and Eskdale Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/RavenglassEskdaleRailway
You can get involved by visiting the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Facebook page at any time between Friday 8th and Sunday 10th May. The full gala timetable can be found on Facebook.