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Old 12th August 2017, 10:30
Worf Worf is offline  
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Location: North Yorkshire
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Aysgarth Station - Wensleydale Railway

New to this forum, so I hope I have posted this in the right place

As a shareholder, I have just had notification that Wensleydale Railway PLC Board, in concert with the Trust, are proposing to sell (currently disused) Aysgarth Station and trackbed to a private party. This person proposes to reinstate all the track, import rolling stock and run a "private" railway. There are proposed to be no covenants attached to the sale, so he can actually do just what he wants and there will be nothing to stop him running a "rival" Wensleydale railway.

The station is one of only a few assets owned by the PLC (current trackbed leased from Network Rail), and is really the "jewel in the crown" for a future extension. A lot of hard work has already been put in by volunteers here and although the track is not in place, the buildings have been restored, there is a cafe on "open days" and the station cottage is let out as a holiday cottage at a profit. All this will be lost, plus the chance ever to reach Hawes or Garsdale.

The income gained from the sale will at best only keep the railway going for a few years. The competition of another "Wensleydale Railway" may well hasten the demise of the present setup.

Whilst I understand that the Company are struggling financially, there must be a way out of the situation without selling off the "family jewels". Extending the line to Aysgarth, which is a tourist "honey pot" would help secure the future of the railway, and is the most scenic part of the line.
Apparently, the asking price is 400,000, which isn't a lot to safeguard the long term future of the railway.

A vote on this will be made at the AGM of the PLC (Sat 9th. September)

They are currently not allowing comment or discussion on this on their Facebook page, but there must be another way forward.


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