Steam railway to be extended from Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway
A share offer is being launched to raise £500,000 towards the cost of repairing five bridges as the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railways prepares to start constructing the final two miles of line.
The GWSR, which operates heritage train services on a 12-mile route between Cheltenham Racecourse and Laverton is about to start pushing ahead with construction of the final two miles of line to Broadway, increasing the length of the line to just over 14 miles.
This follows three years of disruption and £1 million cost to repair two major landslips on the existing line.
This was financed from a successful Emergency Appeal, giving the railway’s largely volunteer staff huge encouragement to press ahead with the next phase of growth.
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The railway is launching a share offer called Bridges to Broadway to raise £500,000 towards the cost of repairing five bridges that will carry the line over roads and lanes on the two-mile long stretch, all of which is on an embankment.
Three of the bridges are in an extremely poor state of repair and require significant work, not least of which is the bridge spanning the main Evesham Road into Broadway, the largest of the five.
Apart from corrosion of its steelwork, it has suffered damage from a number of strikes by over-height vehicles.
The total cost of reinstating the two mile extension, which has been bereft of track for nearly 35 years, is approximately £1.5m.
This encompasses embankment repairs, drainage works, clearing undergrowth, laying track and signalling; and completion of Broadway station which was demolished by British Railways in the 1960s.
Work on the station is already well under way with the two 10-coach train-length platforms substantially complete while a planning application has been made to construct a new station building similar to the original.