Doon Valley Railway Museum, Scotland’s only preserved industrial railway, has announced it won’t reopen this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, incurring the site an agonising loss of up to £20,000.

The Railway Museum was due to relaunch in 2020 with those behind the scenes working hard to rebrand the site as a tourist attraction for locals and out-of-towners alike.

But after running into various issues over the last few months including increased trespassing and vandalism, the museum conceded defeat in its decision to reopen, citing social distancing and its reliance on ticket sales and visitor donations to fund restoration work at Dunaskin.

The museum has now started a fundraising page to help preserve the industrial past of Doon Valley.

Archie Thom, Chairman at the Scottish Industrial Railway Centre, said: “2020 was to be our relaunch year. We changed the name from Scots Industrial Railway Centre to Doon Valley Railway mainly because public appeal was dwindling and visitor numbers have drifted downwards so we felt a name change would help to turn that around.

“We got access to a private line from Waterside to Chalmerston and had a special relaunch season lined up but that all went by the boat which was very galling.

“If the season isn’t running, we have no income and stand to be £20,000 down on what we should be. We’ve been asking for donations via our website and Facebook page and people have been very generous.”

Volunteers remain optimistic about future plans, though, and hope the rising popularity of staycations will allow them to further expand the site.

Archie said: “Our prospects for the future are good if we get past the pandemic. We’re hoping to build a new shed accommodation for restored vehicles as one of our problems is that we get the locomotive looking beautiful then it sits outside for five years and needs done again.

“Councillor Filson sees Doon Valley Railway as integral to the economic regeneration of the area. If we can get the railway running to Minivey, we could be part of an integrated tourism package. You have bus trips up to Loch Doon and our landscape is gorgeous with views across to Kells range and Merrick. We need to capitalise on that.”

For more information, visit