ESSENTIAL works being carried out on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway are nearing completion.

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway is undertaking significant remedial work on its steel rail-over bridge (number 32) which spans the road between Gretton and Gotherington, near Prescott. 

The road has been closed while this essential work is carried out, and Gloucestershire County Council has also carried out road resurfacing work in the area.

Work on 'Bridge 32' is being funded through the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust and is being undertaken by civil engineering firm Walsh Construction.

Richard Winstanley, GWSR finance director, said: “These steel bridges are really beginning to show their age. 

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"This one is suffering leaking decks following failure of the waterproofing which has led to corrosion. 

"In addition, the ballast walls at the deck ends are being rebuilt while there are other brickwork repairs too. 

"The bridge is also being shotblasted back to bare metal, rust proofed and completely repainted. 

“When complete, the bridge will be a much more attractive feature for drivers passing beneath it and it should last perhaps another 100 years.”

Evesham Journal: Significant works under way to repair 'Bridge 32'.Significant works under way to repair 'Bridge 32'. (Image: Jonathan Taylor)

Work first started on January 3, the day after the railway’s 2022 season ended, by lifting the track over the bridge before contractors moved in.  

Mr Winstanley said: “The project is on schedule and I’m impressed with the high standard of the work.

“I would like to take this opportunity to firstly, apologise for the long diversions that drivers are having to take because of the road closure and secondly, express my appreciation for the generous support of the Trust, which has helped fund a number of projects on the railway.”

The GWSR has several bridges, all of which are well over 100 years old. 

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Other work being carried out on the railway during its winter break includes some track replacement, painting and repairing stations and other structures, maintaining locomotives and carriages, and a significant amount of drainage and landscape management work.

The GWSR resumes train services over the weekend of March 4, 2023 and will be running race trains over the Cheltenham Festival and has a number of special events planned throughout the year including its Cotswold Festival of Steam.