Snow joke as winter weather closes railways… again!

HEAVY snow and Siberian temperatures once again hit our preserved railways in mid-March, just weeks after the crippling effects of the ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma.

Fortunately, the majority of heritage lines were unaffected by the snows that came at the end of February, owing to the new season not yet having started.

Snow in Cornwall is not unknown, but in March is almost unheard of. On March 18, the Bodmin & Wenford Railway’s ‘8750’ 0-6-0PT No. 4612 prepares to leave Bodmin Parkway in blizzard conditions, which later closed a 64-mile section of the A30 between Bodmin and Exeter. JIMMY JAMES

However, the arrival of the so-called ‘Pest from the West’, overnight on March 17, was a different story, forcing many lines to cancel their services the following day.

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway was one of the lines hit again, only three months after the December snows hit its Christmas operation.

In spite of valiant efforts, volunteers could not access the stations on the line, and the railway made the decision to cancel the March 18 services in the interests of safety.

Read more in the April issue of The RM – on sale now!

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