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The KLR & COVID-19

The latest on our response to COVID-19


As of 1pm on Wednesday 21 October 2020, West Yorkshire (where the KLR is based) remains in Tier 2 of the three-tier system which has been introduced in an attempt to tackle COVID-19.  As such, the KLR is permitted to remain open as a COVID-secure venue and our train rides and special events are also permitted to run as they are all individually risk-assessed in terms of COVID and will all be operated under strict COVID-secure measures.  As long as the KLR remains in a category of business which is allowed to remain open, it will not be able to access any financial support from the Government beyond that which it already received in the initial lockdown period and through the CJRS furlough scheme.  As such, the only thing keeping us afloat at the moment is ticket, retail and catering income.  HOWEVER…  we appreciate that many of our close neighbours in South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire (where many of our visitors come from) are now under Tier 3 measures.  This means the Government strongly advises against travel out of Tier 3 areas, although this is not currently a legal obligation.  If you do choose to visit us from a Tier 3 area, please please please adhere to all the necessary COVID measures including: 

🤒 Do not visit if you or anyone in your social bubble is experiencing even mild COVID symptoms
👫 Only visit us within your immediate social bubble (this means one household who live together + one other single adult OR one other single parent household with kids under the age of 18)
👨‍👩‍👧‍👧 Do not meet up with others at the KLR either indoors or outdoors
😷 Wear a face covering unless exempt
↔️ Maintain your 1-2m social distance at all times
🖐🏽 Wash/sanitise those hands regularly
📋 Provide your contact details for track & trace
⛔ Follow the one-way systems & other instructions on site
🎢 Respect the capacity limits in our playgrounds

We regret that for as long as we are permitted to remain open and run our services as scheduled, refunds will not be offered for those who choose not to travel or cannot travel for COVID-related reasons.  We will however offer to hold the value of any affected persons’ tickets in credit to use towards a standard day visit before 31 March 2021.  Please contact us by email at info@kirkleeslightrailway.com for further information on this.

For the current Government guidance relating to Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions, please visit: https://bit.ly/3kiicmD (Tier 2) and/or https://bit.ly/34eI9hg (Tier 3)


It is against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group larger than six (unless you are meeting as a household or support bubble which contains more than six people). As has been the case since July, the KLR continues to request that people only visit the railway in their established social/support bubbles and we kindly request that visitors do not meet up with or socialise with other groups outside their immediate bubble whilst at the KLR.  This is now mandated by law.

We will continue to operate as a COVID secure venue and will continue to request personal data for track & trace purposes (which is mandated by law).  We are using using the new NHS Track & Trace App to collect this data.  We ask all visitors to download the app so that you can easily scan the QR code when entering the KLR premises.  If you do not have the NHS app, we will request this information and keep it on file for 21 days. We will not admit anyone to the KLR premises who refuses to offer this information.

We will continue to operate our one-way systems and our social distancing practices, our enhanced hygiene procedures and continue to request (by law) that all visitors over the age of 11 who do not have a valid exemption wear a face mask/covering when on our trains and when inside our station facilities unless seated in the cafe to eat and/or drink.  This is now mandated by law and please be advised that face shields/visors are no longer classed as acceptable face coverings by the UK Government.  An acceptable face covering must cover the nose and mouth securely and also fit securely around the sides of the face i.e. a mask or scarf that has been pulled up over the face/mouth.

At the time of writing, our scheduled events for the remainder of 2020 will go ahead as planned as they have all been meticioulously planned and risk-assessed with COVID restrictions in mind.  As a COVID secure venue, we are currently permitted to run these events given that we have all social distancing measures/precautions in place and we have strongly advised all visitors to book tickets only in their immediate social/support bubbles and not to mix with other groups/bubbles.  This continues to be our strong advice in light of the pandemic situation and is for the health and wellbeing of all, not least our staff and volunteers.  It is now indeed the law in England.  We will, of course, react and adapt accordingly to any changes in the national or local COVID laws.

Our remaining 2020 events have been designed carefully to ensure visitor groups/bubbles are kept distanced from one another whilst still maintaining a fantastic experience for all.  We will never request that visitor groups/bubbles socially interact during our events and we respectfully ask that you do not socially interact with other visitor groups.

In the hope of avoiding a second full national lockdown, we ask that all our visitors follow our onsite requirements (mask-wearing, remaining socially distant from other, providing track and trace info, hand-washing/sanitising, respecting capacity limits in playgrounds etc.) and follow Government guidance.  The onus is on the population as a whole to navigate our way out of this pandemic so PLEASE:

  • follow the limits on the number of other people you should meet with as a group - no more than six people unless you all live together (or are in the same support bubble)
  • avoid social interaction with anyone outside the group you are with, even if you see other people you know
  • download the NHS Track & Trace app from 24 September and scan the QR code upon entry to the KLR
  • wear a Government-accepted face covering at the KLR unless exempt or unless seated to eat/drink in the cafe.  You need not wear a face covering in the putdoor areas although we encourage you for everyone's sake to wear your face coverings throughout your time at the KLR

You can read all the latest Government guidance HERE.

We DO NOT want to head into a full lockdown so PLEASE play your part in helping everyone stay as safe as possible.

Thank you.

UPDATED: 13 October 2020


After being closed for 117 days due to the COVID pandemic, we were thrilled to re-open to visitors on Saturday 11 July 2020. 

Lots of changes have taken place to esnure COVID security for all.  Your visit to the KLR will still be a fun day out but you will need to remember a few things:

  • Visitors must book their visit online in advance HERE
  • Social distancing of between 1-2m is expected and floor markings & signage will help visitors with this
  • There is a limited capacity on our trains to ensure a distance of at least 1.2m between ‘social bubbles’
  • There are hand sanitizer stations throughout the facilities – please use them!
  • Until further notice, face masks are compulsory for anyone over the age of 11 years old travelling on the trains (unless medically exempt) and moving around inside the station facilities (shop, toilets, Ticket Office, Tea Room & cafe unless eating of course).  This is a compulsory measure as per current law in England
  • The menu in The Buffer Stop Café is reduced with an emphasis on Grab & Go options to be eaten outside
  • The Buffer Stop Café has limited indoor seating on a first come, first served basis and diners will have to provide their contact details to the café staff as outlined by the UK Government in the event that a COVID outbreak occurs
  • Shelley Tea Room is offering a takeaway only service until further notice
  • There are restrictions on the number of people allowed in the playgrounds and a time limit to your play. Please respect these measures to ensure everyone has a fun day out
  • The Clayton Flyer (miniature train ride around the duck pond) is open but only contactless payments will be accepted

Please see below for some helpful infographics:

We are proud that the KLR has received the UK tourism industry standard for COVID-19, recognising that we have followed all relevant Government guidance and that we have esnured processes are in place to maintain cleanliness and to aid social distancing.  We're Good to Go!

Due to the COVID pandemic, we have sadly had to cancel the following events: 

  • Day Out with Thomas in November
  • Vintage Vehicle Rally in September
  • Steam & Diesel Gala Weekend in September
  • Bus & Coach Rally Weekend in October

If you have tickets for the cancelled Day Out with Thomas events, Quay Tickets should have been in contact with you via email.  If not, please contact them at info@quaytickets.com and include details of your order reference number.  The KLR does not sell Day Out with Thomas tickets directly and has no access to the ticket booking systems used by Quay Tickets.

If you need to contact us at the railway, please bear in mind that we are working on a skeleton staff.  This means that on some occasions, there won’t be anyone manning the office phones or email.  Please bear with us and we will respond to you as quickly as we can.

Once again, we’d like to thank everyone for the amazing support, patience and kind understanding we received.  We truly look forward to seeing you soon.

Updated: 10 September 2020

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