The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) has received a welcome boost of more than £70, 000 thanks to a further Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage (CRFH) grant. The grant is for up to £71,800 to help the 14-mile Cotswolds heritage railway in its recovery from enforced closures and cancellations thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. The railway was awarded up to £318,000 in a previous round of money, announced in October.

The railway is set to reopen on Tuesday, April 13 with a Covid-secure service, having remained closed over Easter, and the boost comes at a time when the railway is preparing to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

A spokesman for the railway said: “The Culture Recovery Fund is a key initiative to help a wide range of heritage organisations recover and reopen from enforced closures and cancellations, designed to contain the virus and save lives. We are deeply grateful to the government for recognising the importance of underpinning the security of Britain’s rich and diverse heritage, including the GWSR.”

The money comes after its bid application to the Department of Culture, Media and Sports, according to a Government announcement on Friday, April 2.

Last year, the railway suffered a 77% drop in passenger numbers, thanks to lockdown and reduced capacity of trains when they were able to run. However, round trips of the railway starting and finishing from Toddington station GL52 9HN are now bookable online from but the trains are of reduced capacity to permit social distancing. Full services and re-opening of the railway’s other stations at Cheltenham Racecourse, Gotherington, Winchcombe and Broadway are not expected to resume before the end of June, subject to continuing Government guidance.

In addition, Dinmore Manor Locomotive Limited, which is based at the Toddington workshops of the GWSR, has received a second grant of up to £12,800 to support the ongoing £400,000 major overhaul of its 1942-built Great Western 2-8-0 locomotive no. 3850.