Photographs taken during a visit to the volunteer-run heritage railway Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. Even if you’re not that interested in trains, it’s a great day out in wonderful countryside and with home-made cake and local ale for sale.
From the website:
“The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway runs along a part of the former Great Western Railway’s mainline from Birmingham to Cheltenham, via Stratford-upon-Avon. The line commands wonderful views of the sleepy hamlets and villages, as the it runs though the beautiful Cotswold countryside.
The line was primarily built (1900-1906) to improve through services from Birmingham to Bristol and the West Country. It also carried fruit from the highly productive farming areas both in the Cotswolds and the Vale of Evesham.
…Following early work by a Society primarily aimed at trying to keep the line open, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway was formed in 1981 with the aim of one day restoring this line from Stratford Race Course to Cheltenham Racecourse back to its former glory. Although originally double tracked throughout, by the time the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway purchased the track bed most of the buildings and all the track had gone. The only survivors at Toddington were the main station building, the acetylene hut, the signal box shell and the goods shed.
Winchcombe, the next stop down the line, was practically non-existent except for the goods shed and weigh-bridge. All platforms, station buildings and the signal box had disappeared completely.
Following purchase of the track bed from Broadway to Cheltenham Race Course, we established our operating base at Toddington and started re-construction. By 1984 work had advanced sufficiently to allow the first public train to operate over a ¼ mile of track, and on Sunday 22nd April, Nicholas Ridley MP, the Secretary of State for Transport cut the ribbon to mark the Official opening. Since then we have restored 10 miles of track from Toddington to Cheltenham Race Course as well as recreating Winchcombe. Our latest extension to Cheltenham Race Course station was opened by HRH The Princess Royal on 7 April 2003.
All this work has been completed by volunteers, using revenue generated from our operations and shareholder capital. We are a professional operating railway staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers. ”