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Covid-19 Measures

To help keep everyone safe, we have some new measures in place at the moment:

🚂 Payment now taken at a kiosk by the entrance. £2 per person, under 2s free. As always we will accept cash but if you could have the exact fares ready to help reduce cash handling that is much appreciated. We also now have card machines so (provided they behave!) we can also accept card and contactless payments.

🚂 There is a one-way system on the platforms, entrance at the ‘normal’ end, exits at the far end. N.B. the exits are currently onto grass

🚂The platforms and queuing areas outside have footprints marked at 2m intervals to help you with social distancing.

🚂Hand sanitiser stations are on the platforms for your use.

🚂One group only per coach, and we will have seats covered or marked out of use to help with social distancing. We have also fitted screens to the end of most coaches.

🚂The trains are regularly treated with ‘Zoono’, which is an anti-viral treatment that lasts for up to 30 days on surfaces and is used on the mainline railways and the Underground. We also have regular additional cleaning throughout the day.

🚂Diesel trains only at the moment – steam will be back but not just yet.

🚂Please bear with us as we get into the swing of things in the ‘new normal’, we will have reduced capacity but will do our best!

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Reopening Tuesday 28th July

A little later than we had hoped as we have had significant issues with our annual insurance renewal, we will be reopening the railway on Tuesday 28th July.

We will then be open daily (weather permitting) until 31st August. Trains will run 12pm – 5pm.

Autumn/winter opening days and times will be confirmed nearer the time.

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Colouring Competition

Here at WMR towers we’ve been trying to think of one or two extra things to help pass the time over the next few weeks.

So, we’ve produced colouring in pictures of our four main engines – ready to print off onto A4 sheets of paper. They can be downloaded in the link just below (PDF file):

We’d love to see them when they’ve been coloured in – and here’s the best bit! We will give away a 20-ride ticket to each of our four favourite coloured in pictures. Simply post a photo of the finished work of art on our Facebook page, or email it to us, and we will pick four winners when we reopen.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Outbreak Closure

Following recent Government guidance, we have reluctantly taken the decision to close the railway during the current Coronavirus outbreak.

As many of our regular visitors know we always try to keep the trains running whatever the world throws at us – but at the moment the health and well-being of our staff and customers is most important.

We will reopen when it is safe to do so and will of course update here when we know that is.

Please keep yourselves safe during these uncertain times – and we will hopefully see you again in the near future!

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New arrivals for 2020

2020 started with the WMR team heading off to Yorkshire on a busman’s holiday!

A number of us went off to dismantle the Orchard Farm Lakeside Railway, which sadly had closed. However this has yielded some useful equipment for us here in Watford, which we have detailed below.

New Diesel Locomotive

All-focus

One of the most attractive parts for us is a bogie diesel hydraulic locomotive, of a similar size to Conway Castle. To keep the trains running reliably all summer we really need a third working diesel as back up to Conway Castle and Nikki Louise, and this will provide exactly that.

It was part dismantled and removing it from the garage it was stored in was, shall we say, challenging! However there is not much work required to get it running and therefore we plan to have it running down the park this summer; work is already underway in our workshop.

You can read further details about the diesel here.

New Steam Locomotive

We have also gained another steam locomotive, based on those used on the Ffestiniog Railway in Snowdonia.

Marri has worked very hard over the last two years and we do need another steam locomotive to help take the strain. Although we do have Pilgrim and Chiltern Shuttle, these are privately owned and therefore will tend to run a little less. Therefore a second railway-owned steam locomotive will help ensure we can keep steam in regular operation all year round.

The new steam loco is currently in parts and does need quite a bit of restoration/rebuilding work, which won’t start until Chiltern Shuttle has returned from her restoration later this year, so it will be a year or two before she is running down the park.

You can read further details about the steam locomotive here

Station Canopy

All-focus

As many know our station is very open and therefore at the mercy of the elements – when it rains (even a little) everyone gets wet! Some form of shelter to keep waiting passengers dry is part of our plans to improve the station (more details of our plans here), so this canopy proved a perfect acquisition.

We have also been offered (from another location) a station building, which we hope can be sited to provide a small shop and event space, adding to our station facilities. Both the canopy and station building will require a number of permissions to be gained, so we expect it will be next winter at the earliest before we can erect them.

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2020 Opening Dates

Our planned opening dates for 2020 are now available:

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Christmas Trains 2019

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Ernest Henry Upton visits

Over the weekend of 9/10 November we played host to a visiting steam locomotive ‘Ernest Henry Upton’.

Built by Guest Engineering in 1937, Ernest is a classic park railway steam locomotive, and normally lives at the Eastleigh Lakeside Railway near Southampton.

Despite poor weather on the Saturday Ernest’s visit proved popular and has set in train plans for next year!

Many thanks to Rob from Eastleigh for letting us borrow Ernest, and Dan from Hastings Miniature Railway for helping with transport.

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Ghost Train

All aboard the Cassiobury Park Ghost Train!

On Sunday 27th October things will be getting a little spooky down at the railway.

From 5pm to 7pm we will be running the Ghost Train around the Haunted Woods, all at the normal price of £2 per person.

Trains will also be running 11am – 4pm during the day with some of the spooks, surprises and decorations, for those who would prefer a daylight trip.

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Gala Weekend

To finish our daily summer season, we will be holding a gala weekend on the 28th & 29th September.

  • All our locomotives in use over the weekend
  • Last opportunity to see the twin diesels together (Conway Castle & Rhuddlan Castle)
  • Visiting steam locomotive subject to availability