Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
Summary:With 80,000 passengers a year, the volunteer-run Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway (GWR) is one of the Cotswolds' leading tourist attractions.
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway (GWR) is often known as the "Friendly line in the Cotswolds" – and not without reason.
The GWR is a professional operating railway almost entirely run by volunteers who are from all walks of live and who are passionate about what they do.
The track runs along part of the former Great Western Railway's mainline from Birmingham to Cheltenham. Primarily built in the 1900s, the line closed to local passenger traffic in 1960 but remained in use for goods services until 1976.
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) was formed in 1981 with the aim of one day restoring this line from Stratford Racecourse to Cheltenham Racecourse back to its former glory.
Following the purchase of the track bed from Broadway to Cheltenham Racecourse, an operating base was established at a derelict station site at Toddington and reconstruction began.
The railway currently offers a 25-mile round trip between Cheltenham Racecourse in the south to Laverton in the north, taking in Gotherington, Winchcombe and Toddington stations on the way through some spectacular Cotswold scenery.
Now there is just two miles separating the northern railhead at Laverton and Broadway where a new station is being built from the foundations of the old.
With 80,000 passengers a year, the steam railway is one of the leading attractions in the Cotswolds and contributes significantly to local tourism.
Ian Crowder of the GWSR said: "It’s about preserving something of Britain’s transport heritage. It’s about recalling times past; a nostalgia for something that many people can’t even recall.
"It’s about the enjoyment in the faces of youngsters breathing real steam for the first time or seeing Thomas the Tank Engine really come to life.
"It’s about hearing a distant whistle echoing off the nearby hills. It’s about recreating something that’s so worthwhile, that brings so much colour to many people's lives. And, above all, it's about the smiles and laughter that are part of this wonderful, evocative, creative, exciting venture that is the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway."
For more information on the GWR, call 01242 621405, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.gwsr.com
The Railway Station, Toddington, Gloucestershire, GL54 5DT