The Bowes Railway on Wearside is one of the region's most iconic historical sites.
It's a haven for steam and rail enthusiasts but before that the Springwell Colliery stood on the site.
And the gravity powered rope haulage line that took coal down to the Tyne is an English Heritage scheduled ancient monument.
But now the volunteers who run the railway fear it could close after loosing virtually all of their funding.
Last month they were dealt a blow when grants from Sunderland City Council stopped leaving them with no outside funding.
The council say they have supported the Bowes railway for many years but Government cuts mean they can not continue to provide financial assistance.
Trustees at Bowes say that 'the "crunch" has finally come' and need to raise £10 thousand to clear outstanding debt as well as raising more funds to start the coming season.