The Ness Islands Railway, owned and operated by Highland Hospice, has celebrated a summer of success with a steep rise in takings compared to last year.
The Hospice took over the railway in 2019, and in its first operating season from April to October last year it produced a surplus of £14,137, all of which was donated to Highland Hospice to support the delivery of palliative care throughout the Highlands.
Due to the situation with Covid-19, the railway was unable to re-open in spring 2020, but when lockdown restrictions were eased, it started carrying passengers again at the start of July. Since then it has proved extremely popular - £12,000 being raised in July, £3,000 more than July 2019.
August then smashed all expectations with £13,000 coming in, more than double 2019’s takings of £6,000.
Highland Hospice’s Head of Fundraising Andrew Leaver said, “The volunteers at the railway have been commenting on how busy this summer has felt, and these figures really highlight this.
“There has been a lot of extra work with the added challenge of managing social distancing. We are incredibly grateful to the fantastic railway team for keeping it running so smoothly and effectively.”
He added, “Although some of this year’s August total came as a result of the railway remaining open when the schools returned, to accommodate visitors from outside Scotland, the rise in figures is still just incredible.”
“With so much of the Hospice’s fundraising having been put on hold this year, it’s great to have a success story with our much-loved railway which has brought joy to so many families this summer.”