Special Projects Fund

MAJOR APPEAL – Coronavirus and the RHDR


See below for:

How Everyone Can Help

All donations are welcome and can be made as follows:

Latest News

Many thanks to all who have donated so far. All donations large and small are appreciated.

But one generous person has sent a cheque for £10,000. Let’s hope there are more people who realise how valuable the Romney is and how much it deserves our support.

The Plan

RHDRA x RHDR Winter Works Appeal

The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway faces a major loss of income this year and this will mean there are challenging times ahead, but challenges are there to be met head on and the RH&DR Association and the Railway stand together to do just this. 

The railway closed to the public in a March as per government advice. Most staff were furloughed with remaining staff tasked with protecting the security and finances of the railway. On the 4th July 2020 we were able to re-open having placed COVID-19 secure guidelines and fittings in place.

But with reduced capacity on our trains and restricted timetables available to ensure the safety of our valued customers income has been hit hard. The teams at RHDR are carefully managing strictly controlled finances through wage cuts and reduced working hours.

To protect the future of the railway and to protect the current infrastructure and professional skills needed to run the railway we have had to launch a Winter Works Fund with a target goal of £200,000.

The RHDR and RHDRA are now appealing for funds from the public and private sector and of course our supporters via our newly launched JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/romneyrailwayonthemarsh

The objectives of this fund are: 

  •  To retain staff with specialist skills.
  • Achieve coach repainting and refurbishment.
  • Achieve installation/replacement of points at Romney Sands and the adjacent plain line. 
  • Achieve spot re-sleepering on the Hythe line separate from the track renewal areas.
  • Purchase coal for the new season.
  • Upgrade the booking system and website.

Without major expenditure the amazing locomotives and trains will not have goodsafe track to run on. Nor will they have weatherproof accommodation for storage and maintenance. Association tTrustees have worked with the railway to understand exactly where support is needed and have committed the following:

Funds of £100,000 from reserves to support winter projects as follows:

  • track and foundation renewal from Reunion Halt (Golden Sands) to St Mary’s Bay Down Line
  • track and foundation renewal from Prince of Wales Bridge to Hythe Up Line

Funds of £50,000 from reserves – available as match-funding to total a further £100,000 – to support the preparation of the New Engine shed to become the running shed, including cosmetic adjustment to the exterior to provide an in-keeping look to the building. Every pound donated to this pot will be ‘doubled’ by the Association until the full £100,000 is released.

A concerted effort to fund-raise for the match-funded element is being undertaken collaboratively between the Railway and the Association. Cazz Wrate leads on behalf of the Association Trustees, working with Jade Ashton, Marketing Manager for RHDR. 

The railway is hugely grateful to all passengers who have travelled with us and supported us in our current fundraising efforts. Trains have run at reduced capacity to ensure they’re ‘steaming safely’ and meeting the ‘Good To Go’ guidelines and most have seen good levels of ticket sales bringing in much needed revenue but the work to attract passengers must continue.


Without external funding the Railway will not be able to keep up essential maintenance work, house its fleet of locomotives securely, or keep all its dedicated specialist staff employed.

THE RHDRA TRUSTEES HAVE BEEN THROUGH OUR FINANCES very carefully. We have found we can offer the following, and the Board have accepted the offers as of 23rd July 2020:

1. Funds of £100,000 available to support projects as follows:

  • track and formation renewal from Reunion Halt (Golden Sands) to St Mary’s Bay Down Line
  • track and formation renewal from Prince of Wales Bridge to Hythe Up Line

2. Funds of £50,000 available as match-funding to total a further £100,000 to support the preparation of the New Engine shed to become the running shed, including cosmetic adjustment to the exterior to provide an in-keeping look to the building.

Fund-raising for the match-funded element above will be done collaboratively between the RHDR and the RHDRA.

There will be a concerted fundraising programme and we seek Members interested in joining this effort to work with designated trustees. Please contact [email protected] to discuss. More information will be given here when the personnel are in place.

Meanwhile all donations are welcome and can be made immediately through our Special Projects Donations portal.

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION is now vital! Could we also take this opportunity to remind those Members who have yet to do so, to sign up with the new electronic membership system MemberMojo. It will really make a difference and will certainly make the way we communicate with you more efficient.

Black Prince  Newsflash April 2020

Costs of overhaul covered to date

The Association is very pleased to announce that the costs of overhaul so far have been covered by a direct grant of £60,000 from our charitable fund. This has been generously topped up by members, so that the railway has nearly £12,000 more to come.

The Chair of the Association, Simon Foulkes said:

“This support also helps the Railway cope with the current difficult situation. We could, it seems to me, do even more. If we could raise another £40,000, we could pretty well cover all the costs and assist with the Railway’s financial flexibility at the same time. Please consider making a donation to the special projects fund, earmarking it for Black Prince, through the link below.”

  • £60,000 to provide services for a new coach works

The first tranche payment has been made to the Railway, and works are well in hand.

  • and we have raised and spent the funds to open our Heritage Interpretation centre. Work remains to be completed on the internal displays and fittings, but this is in hand. All we need now is to be able to open the Railway!

All these projects will support and enhance the Railway’s operations and appeal.

Members who wish to support these ventures can donate through the link below, or by cheque to the Treasurer (contact details here).

Click Here to Donate now

Locomotive lineup