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Steaming To Broadway
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) is no new feature to the north Cotswolds. Indeed, it has been running steam services between Toddington and Cheltenham Racecourse for many years now since the GWSR was established in 1981. Of course, this did not happen overnight as the branch line was one of so many axed under the so-called ‘Beeching’ cuts. The last passenger service on this line was on 5th March 1960.
The GWSR has steadily increased the length of track it operates and continues to do so on an impressive scale. Indeed, the section of line north-east of Toddington and over the famous ‘Stanway Viaduct’ was re-opened in 2010 and track laying operations have pressed ahead from here.
Meanwhile, a small, but incredibly industrious group of volunteers have been working away over many months and years in re-building the track bed and platforms at Broadway. The Friends of Broadway Station have a great local following and have great ambitions. Eventually, a replica of the bulldozed railway station will be rebuilt (with respect to contemporary health and safety and disabled access issues) to receive passenger steam trains once again. This will mean an incredibly journey under steam between Cheltenham and Broadway will be open for business once again.
Groups of volunteers work each and every Wednesday and Saturday, rain or shine in their endeavours. And happily the Friends of the Cotswolds are delighted to have been able to make a donation of £1,000 for special bricks and other materials required for the platform re-build.
The Broadway area Group has a fantastic twice weekly blog (broadwaygwsr.blogspot.com) which can be found on the GWSR website (www.gwsr.com) under Links/Affiliated Sites. Or www.broadwaystation.co.uk Do visit these sites – you can’t fail but to be impressed.
The website also has details of a major appeal to rebuild the second of two embankments which collapsed last winter. Any donations would be gratefully received.