The first passenger train for more than 58 years has returned to Broadway train station. On Friday 30th March (Good Friday), Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) celebrated the re-opening of the station, which has been made possible thanks to volunteers and shareholders. Passengers can now travel the fourteen mile stretch between Broadway and Cheltenham Race Course station.
To mark the occasion a plaque was unveiled by Lord Richard Faulkner of Worcester, chairman of the Heritage Railway Association and a patron of the GWSR.
Richard Johnson, voluntary chairman of GWSR, said: “This was the pinnacle of achievement for everyone who has played a part in making the dream of reaching Broadway again, a reality.
“Connecting Broadway with Cheltenham by rail again was the vision of those early pioneers who first took over a derelict Toddington station in 1982. That was three years after British Railways had lifted the track and removed the infrastructure of the main line that once ran between Stratford upon Avon and Cheltenham. Broadway station, along with most other stations on the line, had closed way back in March 1960.
“Embankments and bridges have been repaired, drainage fixed, new track laid and a brand new station built on the site of the original – all by volunteers!
“Now we have a railway that is nearly 15 miles long, between Broadway and Cheltenham."
The railway now operates a full steam and heritage diesel train service between Broadway and Cheltenham Racecourse via Toddington, Hayles Abbey, Winchcombe and Gotherington.
Photo: Richard Johnson, volunteer chairman of GWSR