Many of you will know that a great deal of heart searching has been going on as the full effects of running a nine mile railway are sinking in. We trade ever more successfully and, with the exception of last year, have made a “profit” that has allowed modest investment in capital projects over the years. The significant contribution by our shareholders and grant givers has allowed the really large pushes to Idridgehay and then Duffield to happen.
It has become clear that our “trading” will not generate enough funds to invest in very desirable projects to allow our Railway to further develop and the present financial climate has all but removed grants as a source of income although shareholders continue to be very supportive. Where grants are still available many require us to demonstrate our commitment by making a partial matched contribution from our own sources. Thus it has been suggested we launch a Capital Projects Fund where anyone can make a weekly or monthly manageable contribution to allow us to continue to move forward.
Help Us Grow
Our priorities lie in the following areas:
- Purchase of Car Park, Garage and Station Approach at Wirksworth (unlocks the future development of station facilities) - £150,000
- Completion of the Transport & Works Act Process - £20,000 FUNDED (and active)!
- Further extensions to Duffield and Wirksworth platforms to permit 5 coach loco hauled trains (the key to unlocking “profitable” operation of steam trains) - £10,000 FUNDED!
- Provision of station facilities at Duffield (adequate ticket sales and waiting accommodation together with catering) - £25,000 FUNDED! (and open)
- Demolition of former Dust Dock at Wirksworth (provides for demolition and removal of material to increase car parking in the immediate and station building development in the future) - £25,000 FUNDED! (and removed)
- Completion of Shottle refurbishment and passing loop (main advantage is the ability to introduce two train working – hourly service on high days, experience operations on service days, charters on service days) - £25,000 PARTIALLY FUNDED!
- Further enhancement of Wirksworth catering (resolution of power supplies, enlarged kitchen and modification of second open) - £10,000
- Extension of Maintenance Facility including doors, flooring and power supplies - £100,000 FUNDED! (and constructed)
- Development of separate steam facility including washout pit (Stage 1 – Track, pointwork, pit, water supply) - £50,000
- Working Capital (to cater for fluctuations in trading and remove need for borrowing) - £100,000
I invite you to contribute by Standing Order each week or month, may be just the price of a pint, as it will really help us to make progress with these much needed developments.
Michael A Evans, Managing Director