Steam railway on track for extension

Ready for departure from Toddington to Cheltenham. Photo: ITV News West Country

A heritage steam railway is hoping for a bumper season so that it can increase the length of its line.

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway attracts more than 80,000 passengers a year, providing a big boost to tourism in the Cotswolds.

But the railway - run by volunteers - says that it hopes passenger numbers will increase this summer so that it can help fund a half million pound extension.

The volunteers who run the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. Credit: ITV News West Country

At present the line runs from Cheltenham racecourse to Toddington, and then on through to Laverton in the Cotswolds. But the Railway wants to extend it to Broadway, which will cost half a million pounds.

It has already raised £350,000 towards the project.

The railway has held an open day for tourism chiefs and hotel and bed and breakfast owners, so that they can see for themselves the attractions on offer to families.

We are getting something like 85,000 people visiting the railway each year, and a lot of their time is spent in the Cotswolds, and so we're promoting general tourism in the Cotswolds.

– ALAN BIELBY, Chairman Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway
All steamed up - one of the volunteer train drivers. Credit: ITV News West Country