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COVID-19 Statement

The Dean Forest Railway will be reopening on August 1st, operating on Saturdays Sundays and Wednesdays. In order to be COVID-19 compliant, we have made changes to both what we are running and how we are running.

Full risk assessments and training have been provided for all our staff to ensure compliance. Please note that we do have many volunteers who volunteer as a family, so you may see volunteers working in close proximity who are related.

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Changes to what will be running

We will no longer be offering our ‘Day Rover’ tickets, but instead will offer booked timeslots, departing only from Norchard Station, in order to carefully manage the number of passengers on board. We highly recommend booking online to ensure your space, as we will have a limited number of seats available. Please check the booking limits/information (available when you select your preferred train) before placing your booking.

We will also not be offering food service on board the trains, although we have introduced a new takeaway cream tea package, which can be collected from the cafe before boarding the train (booking required, weekends only).

We will be running a steam service on most weekends and a heritage diesel railcar (diesel multiple unit) service on Wednesdays.

Entrance & Tickets

Our ticket office has now moved to the entrance into Norchard Station (entering the station from our large, free car park). We will require all ticket holders to check in here before going through to the train.

We do ask that bookings are made online in advance as spaces are limited, but we will still be selling tickets for those who haven’t booked, provided seats are still available, but we will only be taking payment by card (contactless where possible).

Route through Norchard Station

We will be operating a one-way system through Norchard Station. You will be given a copy of this on the day and we will have marshalls and porters on site to guide you.

Rule of 6

From Monday 14th September, the ‘Rule of 6’ will be in effect.

Mixed households may sit together in one booking but must not exceed 6 people.

A single household (or support bubble*) may exceed 6 people, but the maximum you can place in one booking is 8 due to the seating layout (note: if you have a household/support bubble* of more than 8, you will need to make two separate bookings for the steam trains, which can then be seated in the same half of a carriage. E.g. if your household is 9 people, you could split this into a booking of 4 and a booking of 5. There is a booking minimum of two, so you would not be able to book it as an 8 and a 1).

As per the government guidelines, you should avoid social interaction with anyone outside the group you are with, even if you see other people you know (note, by group we mean either one household/social bubble* or maximum of 6 from mixed households).

*Definition of a support bubble from the gov.uk website:

‘A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size.

This is called making a ‘support bubble’.

Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in a single household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household.

Once you make a support bubble, you should not change who is in your bubble.’

 

a screenshot of a cell phone
a screenshot of a cell phone

The Café

Whistles Café will be open, serving takeaway food and drinks only (baguettes, sandwiches, salads, sausage rolls and pasties, as well as a range of snacks, cakes and hot & cold drinks). Payment in the café will be taken by card only (contactless where possible).

We do ask that you wear a face mask/covering whilst in the café. There will be no seating inside the café, but we will have picnic tables available, spread throughout the station.

The Train

On boarding the train, our station porters will let you know when you may board and will guide you to the correct door for entry. Alternate bays of seats will be blocked off to ensure social distancing between groups on board the train.

We do ask that you wear a face mask/covering whilst moving through the train, especially at Parkend/Lydney Junction if you are getting off to use the facilities, as you will likely be walking past other passengers.

Please note that the train will not be stopping at Whitecroft or Lydney Town, nor will it stop at Norchard midway through the journey as it normally would.

The Shop & Museum

At the end of your journey you will exit the railway through the shop. We will require face masks/coverings to be worn at this time (unless you are exempt, as laid out by the government guidelines).

We will be limiting the numbers of those browsing the shop and visiting the museum, and this will be explained by our marshalls when you arrive at the shop. We will also only be taking payment by card (contactless where possible).