After raising £1 million and rebuilding two collapsed embankments, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway resumed full service on 30th October and ran a special train along its route from Toddington to Cheltenham.
The special marked the return of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway to one piece after nearly three years of serious disruption. Embankment collapses, first at Gotherington in March 2010 and then just north of Winchcombe station in January 2011, effectively cut the railway in half. Local people and staff rallied round to raise the money.
Says Malcolm Temple, chairman of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, ‘This really is the culmination of such a huge effort. The railway’s volunteers have taken these major problems in their stride. We have raised a seven-figure sum to pay for the repairs and we have dealt with serious geological challenges in rebuilding these embankments.
‘Some said that it was an impossible task but our volunteer staff are made of stern stuff and weren’t going to let this stop them operating a railway that is held in deep affection by thousands of people. Today is a shining example of how so many people can focus on achieving the seemingly impossible.
‘Today is a real triumph and the sheer joy was clear in the hundreds of beaming faces who came to celebrate the occasion. The sun beamed down to help make this one of the most special experiences any of us have had the privilege to enjoy.’