THE group running the Teifi Valley Railway insist they will meet an impending deadline to prevent the popular Henllan-based tourist attraction from hitting the buffers.

The Tivy-Side has learnt that the company – who have operated a narrow gauge railway on the old Great Western line between Llandysul and Newcastle Emlyn since 1973 – face closure unless accounts are submitted to Companies House within the next two months.

The shock disclosure prompted Elizabeth Perry, former secretary and treasurer of the private company, to claim that 'over 40 years of work by volunteers is in danger because of a failure to send in the 2019 accounts on time.'

“I joined the railway group in 1978 when they were holding raffles and jumble sales to raise money to buy the track bed,” she said.

“It was public support that enabled us to buy the property, get the licence to run a railway, buy locomotives, build carriages and put up buildings.

“It is sickening to see all that being irresponsibly thrown away.”

A statement in the Gazette last week confirmed: “The Registrar of Companies gives notice that, unless cause is shown to the contrary, the Company will be struck off the register and dissolved not less than two months from the date shown above (April 20).

“Upon the Company’s dissolution, all property and rights invested in, or held in trust for the Company are deemed to be bona vacantia, and will belong to the Crown.”

The railway has had a troubled recent history. In 2014 an Office of Rail and Road inspection raised ‘significant concerns’ about the safety of the track.

Their report saw removal of a section of track and the launch of a ‘land-train’ consisting of tractor-hauled carriages.

Since then major efforts have been made to restore the site and the company maintain these latest difficulties will be temporary.

“Due to the accumulation of unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances compounded by the pandemic and a serious family illness resulting in a bereavement, the person responsible for filling the accounts was unable to do so by the specified date,” they said in a statement.

“The accounts are now being worked on and will be submitted well before the date.”

“You will no doubt be pleased to hear that the TVRL will be able to open on Saturday.

“Volunteers have been hard at work sprucing up the railway and maintaining rolling stock whilst observing Covid-19 regulations.

“The mood at the TVRL is upbeat and optimistic as, assisted by an increasing number of volunteers, we continue to rebuild the railway after the disaster of 2014.”