Following four months of lockdown, the Avon Valley Railway is pleased to announce that its heritage trains are running again! Volunteers at the heritage railway in Bitton, have been busy preparing the station and carriages over the last few weeks, ready to welcome passengers back once more.

A revised timetable for August has been released, with three trains a day at 11:30, 13:15 and 15:00. Tickets need to be purchased in advance from the railway’s website www.avonvalleyrailway.org and to keep its customers safe, each family group will be seated in separate compartments away from other family groups.

The volunteers will also be undertaking more regular cleaning of train doors, handles, windows and seats before visitors board. Initially services will be diesel-hauled but the team are looking how they can safely re-introduce steam-hauled services as soon as it is safe to do so.

“We’re really glad to be able to re-start our train services,” said Mark Simmons, the railway’s Commercial & Business Manager. “The last few months have been incredibly challenging for us as a charity as our income stopped overnight and this put an enormous strain on our finances. We’ve since been able to re-open our station Buffet offering a limited take-away menu and we hope to build on this over the coming months.

“However, re-starting our train services is a great achievement and we hope to welcome regular and new passengers to the station over the summer. Most importantly though, despite the need for the various safety measures, we just want you to have an enjoyable visit and share in a true heritage experience.”

Tickets cost £8 for adults, £7 for concessions and £5 for children and are on sale now. Visit www.avonvalleyrailway.org to reserve your seats or find out more information.