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Steam dream in Broadway
THE Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway (GWR) has launched a major fundraising appeal to extend the line to Broadway.
Volunteers and staff at the heritage railway gathered at the station on Monday for the launch of Bridges to Broadway, a new Share Offer to raise £500,000 to pay for the refurbishment of five bridges where the line will pass.
All of the bridges need work, but two require significant repairs to fix damage caused by corrosion, movement of the embankments or strikes by lorries.
The project will see trains running between Broadway and Cheltenham for the first time in more than 50 years.
Speaking at the launch, Malcolm Temple, chairman of GWSR Plc, said: “This day is about the final stages towards fulfilling a 30-year dream of bringing steam to Broadway.
“We think it will add 30,000 passengers a year to the railway.
This is vital in terms of tourism for Broadway and critical for the railway.
Opening to Broadway should increase the income which makes this railway a viable, ongoing project.”
It is hoped once all the funding has been raised, the bridges will be completed by Christmas next year.
Once all of the cash for the £1.5 million project to extend the line is raised – through grants and donations – the first train could reach Broadway in about three years’ time.
When the two-mile extension is completed, the railway will be 14 miles long and will run from Cheltenham Racecourse through Winchcombe, Toddington and Laverton to Broadway.
The share offer is for £500,000 with a minimum investment of £100.
“Work on rebuilding Broadway station has been under way for some time, with construction of two 10-coach length platforms now substantially complete, thanks to the efforts of the volunteer Broadway Area Group,” said Mr Temple.
“We have now been granted planning permission for the station buildings, which will be similar to those that stood there until after the original station was closed by British Railways in 1960, and a signal box on Platform 2.”
For more information, visit gwsr.com