An appeal to help fund vital works at cash-strapped Nene Valley Railway has been launched.
The railway needs £30,000 for essential repairs on the Lynch River Bridge.
The railway - a registered charity - has distributed a leaflet describing their finances as ‘desperate.’
A spokesman said: “Bridges are perhaps the most safety critical item on any railway, work is forward planned and needs to be done long before it becomes essential.
“We had scheduled this preventative work for the Lynch River Bridge for April and November this year.
“Concerned there wouldn’t be enough revenue cash for this capital project we decided that an appeal for this funding would be sensible. On mature reflection we can say that we strayed a little too far to one side while trying to impart a sufficient sense of urgency to elicit a strong response.
“Having said this, there is no doubt that the railway is financially challenged, we accept that this is the nature of things, running vintage machinery on a daily basis means that there is always something else needing doing.”
The funds to repair the bridge are needed to purchase hardwood waybeams on which the rails are mounted.
Along with the bridge repairs, the charity is also currently working on an overhaul of the The City of Peterborough steam locomotive.
The 60-year-old train, which is owned by Peterborough City Council, needs a major service every 10 years, and the railway was given a grant from the council to carry out the work.
The spokesman said: “The withdrawal of a locomotive for its required 10-year overhaul is an entirely predictable event and to this end we start fund raising towards the overhaul costs well before it is withdrawn.
“This pre-emptive fund raising meant that the money from Peterborough City Council was granted a little before the locomotive was withdrawn from service at the end of last year.
“It has been put into a separate ring-fenced account where it has been added to by interest plus other fund raising activities.
“The overhaul of a 100-ton steam locomotive is not a job to be undertaken lightly, you certainly don’t just tear into it and hope for the best.”
To help raise funds for Nene Valley Railway, or more information about its work, visit www.nvr.org.uk/