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Steam trains back on track
1:20pm Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
AFTER nearly three years of repairs and a £1 million appeal, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway (GWR) is back in one piece.
A train full of volunteers, donors and invited guests was the first to run over the restored full length of the line on Tuesday between Toddington and Cheltenham Racecourse after two embankment collapses at Gotherington and the ‘Chicken Curve’ at Winchcombe.
Volunteers received an overwhelming response to the £1 million appeal launched by pop music mogul and railway enthusiast Pete Waterman in 2010 to fund the repair work.
Malcolm Temple, chairman of the GWR, said the special day would not have been possible without the generosity of hundreds of individuals and organisations. “One man gave us a cheque for £100,000 which was tremendous.
We’ve been doing a lot of works quietly in the background, repairing the railway and restructuring it for the future.
“We’ve come out of this a much stronger organisation.
It was all about perseverance and determination from the many volunteers and the wonderful support from the public and colleagues.”
The railway is now longer than ever – it runs through to Laverton – and will eventually be extended to Broadway.
Volunteers Moira and Peter Gutteridge, who live near Pershore, also helped with the fund-raising.
“One of the things we’ve done is busking on Winchcombe Station,” said Mrs Gutteridge.
“It seemed such an impossible target. To have reached it is great.”