The Chairman of West Somerset Railway PLC, Jonathan Jones-Pratt, has announced that the railway will be closed completely from the 2nd of January to the 1st of April next year. This is in accordance with the decision by the WSR Board.
The announcement came after the heritage railway was visited for an inspection by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), the governing body for the safety standards in the railway industry. An official report is yet to be published by the ORR as regards the visit.
The railway must take some steps, as outlined in a letter received from the ORR. A follow up inspection will take place in March 2019. The railway has said that they would be taking a significant number of steps before then.
The decision to close the railway means that the proposed ACE Event or Spring Gala would no longer hold. February Half Term will also have no trains available.
This closure is considered essential by the West Somerset Railway’s Board since it provides the infrastructure teams with all the time needed to carry out proper maintenance. It will also allow volunteer and paid staff to pay attention to qualifications and effective record keeping.
Until official news has come from the West Somerset Railway or the ORR, the reason for the inspection or closure is yet to be known. Therefore no speculations should be made on that regard. The public will be updated when an official report on the fact has been provided.