A HERITAGE railway in north Wales "may never reopen" if financial support is not forthcoming, its manager has said.

Normally Llangollen Railway would have had a bumper Easter weekend operating trains in the Dee Valley for the benefit of visitors, with two trains operating an hourly service between Llangollen and Carrog.

However, since Covid-19 caused the suspension of operations from March 23, all is quiet along the line - the only standard gauge heritage railway in North Wales.

All stations are closed and trains are in the depots, the full time staff laid-off, with volunteers staying at home in their individual locations, so too are the visitors.

As with all attractions, the impact of the closure and loss of income is presenting a difficult situation for the Llangollen Railway Trust, a registered charity, and has been flagged up to supporters on the Llangollen Railway's Facebook page to seek donations.

The Leader reported recently how a direct appeal was made by general manager Liz McGuinness, to ask for financial help to see the railway through this difficult period when income is zero but fixed overheads have still to be met.

Total donations from well-wishers is approaching £10,000 to date, but the financial demands are such that on-going support will be vital.

Liz McGuinness said: "Forty-five years of endeavour in rebuilding the railway as a tourist attraction is under threat.

"Yes, the railway is closed and may never reopen its doors if we don’t receive enough donations or grant funding.

"We are extremely grateful for the donations we have received so far and they are helping to keep us alive for now.

"This Easter marks 30 years since we reopened to Deeside Halt, as an extension from Berwyn and an occasion which was then celebrated as a major advance with the preservation project, prior to further extensions to Glyndyfrdwy in 1992 and Carrog in 1996.

"It would be a travesty if we were never to see our 46th year and completion through to Corwen.

"As a major attraction in the Dee Valley, Llangollen Railway puts approximately £8.5 million in to the local economy every year and to lose that would be a massive negative to all the town's businesses and the surrounding area which benefits from visitors to the local stations and access to the Dee Valley AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural beauty).

"In appealing for help from our many supporters I say, we cannot let this beautiful Heritage Railway die.

"We support too many businesses and jobs in the area to let that happen but help is needed if we are to see the way through this difficult period."

The suspension of operations has also been applied to the station construction site at Corwen with the volunteer workforce no longer able to attend from their many home locations.

Spokesman for the Corwen Railway Development project, George Jones, said: "The need to suspend work on the new station is a total frustration of the volunteer endeavour to complete the final stage of building the new platform.

"The recent spell of fine and dry weather would have allowed rapid progress on work to pave the platform surface if surface drainage and lighting had been completed as planned.

"Ballasting of the track through the station loop has also been put on hold and the completion of the project will have been set back by however many weeks the lock-down extends."

To see Llangollen Railway's appeal, and to donate, visit: https://llangollenrailway.charitycheckout.co.uk/cf/covid-19-appeal