The Stanway Viaduct on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) has had crucial refurbishment work completed.

Work was carried out to re-waterproof the surface and to stabilise the 200m long viaduct parapets, under which a mortar joint was found to have failed.

Broadway had been cut off from the rest of the line since November, when it was required to lift the track to gain access to the viaduct's deck.

The track has now been restored allowing the recommencement of services to Broadway starting from today (March 29).

Dr Graham Plant, the GWSR’s civil engineering director, said: "This first phase of the project was undertaken by Walsh Construction and their sub-contractor Lampitt Rail Services with consulting engineers David Symonds Associates.

"It was completed within budget and within the expected time frame – we were fortunate that generally favourable weather has been on our side, allowing the work to press ahead with little interruption.

"I am particularly pleased that all the works were completed safely over the five month contract.

“I’m absolutely delighted that the viaduct has been handed back to the railway so soon and I for one, look forward to travelling over it once again.”

The re-established services kick-off with the first public train (excluding engineering trains), setting off from Toddington for Broadway at 9.40am on Good Friday.

Dr Plant said: "Many of us have breathed a huge sigh of relief after the intensive work on the viaduct, to say nothing of the stressful and unpleasant surprise that the parapets were showing alarming signs of failure.

"We will now allow the viaduct to dry out before starting work on Phase 2 which is planned to start in 2025, subject to funding.

"This will encompass repair of the structure’s brickwork that has been damaged by water seepage over many decades."

It involves repair of the viaduct's seepage-damaged brickwork and is estimated to take about three years to finish.

The refurbishing effort was supported by the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust which, last year, launched an appeal to raise money to fund the first stage of the repair work, costing around £600,000.

The complete repairs are projected to cost up to £1.8 million.