While some heritage lines have yet to recommence their regular train operation, they have reopened their refreshment facilities. If you fancy a day out which also supports a heritage railway – perhaps combining it with a walk or cycle ride – why not call in for a cuppa, a pint or piece of cake or ice cream? Our railways need every penny they can get to help them survive through the dreaded Covid-19 crisis.
Here are nine railways you can support in this way:
1: Avon Valley Railway
Bitton station buffet is open Friday to Monday between 10am and 3pm, serving a selection of hot and cold drinks, snacks, and ice creams. Card payments only. More at: www.avonvalleyrailway.org
2: Chasewater Railway
The Sidings Tea Room at Brownhills West station is open Thursday to Sunday from 11am to 4pm. Refreshments include takeaway afternoon teas and homemade cakes. More at: www.facebook.com/thesidingstearoom
3: East Lancashire Railway
On July 4, the railway’s two pubs – The Trackside at Bury Bolton Street station and Buffer Stops at Rawtenstall – reopened for business. Both pubs will be open from midday – 11pm Saturday and Sunday. In line with government advice, records will be kept of visiting customers – and drinks must be consumed on outside tables at both venues. More at: www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk
4: Great Central Railway
Reopening on July 4, the Butler Henderson Café at Quorn & Woodhouse station will be open daily initially from 10am to 4pm. The layout of the café and seating areas has been rearranged to allow for social distancing, and a revised menu is available. More information, including the menu can be found at: www.gcrailway.co.uk/station-facilities/butler-henderson-cafe-quorn-woodhouse/
5: Nene Valley Railway
As previously reported, Overton station refreshment kiosk is open at weekends from 10.30am to 4.30pm for the sale of a hot and cold drinks, ice creams and other light refreshments. Contactless payment is strongly preferred. If visiting, please respect the social distancing and the one way system. More at: NVR’s Overton station webpages
6: Severn Valley Railway
The Severn Valley Railway’s (SVR) two popular pubs reopened on July 4 – with table service introduced at both.
The Railwayman’s Arms at Bridgnorth station is serving a range of locally-sourced real ales, lagers, ciders, spirits and more in a heritage setting. The SVR said the pub has carefully arranged seating inside the building and along platform 1, so that customers can enjoy a drink in a socially distanced setting.
Meanwhile, at The King & Castle at Kidderminster, seating arrangements have been made on the glass-covered concourse to adhere to social distancing measures. While customers are welcome to walk in, seats can be booked online at https://svr.digitickets.co.uk/event-tickets/28602?catID=28127&
7: South Tynedale
The Crossing Café at Alston is open for takeaway from Thursday through to Sunday 10a.m – 3p.m. Why not combine it with a walk along the South Tyne trail to ‘earn’ some cake? More details at: www.facebook.com/southtynedalerailway/
8: Talyllyn Railway
The shop at Tywyn is open, albeit on a limited basis. It will be open 10am-1pm weekdays initially, and also offers takeaway hot and cold drinks, cakes and ice-creams. More at www.talyllyn.co.uk
9: Welsh Highland Heritage Railway
The Russell Café at Porthmadog reopened on July 1 for takeaway food and drink. More at: www.facebook.com/RussellCafePort/
…Check out our list list of railways and museums which are operating and when they’re set to recommence at: https://www.therailwayhub.co.uk/12056/railways-returning-to-action/Enjoy more Rail Express reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.