THE Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is on course for a passenger numbers record with more than 100,000 carried for the second year in succession.
The figure is expected to soar next year following the opening of Broadway station on March 30.
As we closed for press, the track on the northern extension from Laverton had reached a point opposite the former Broadway goods shed, now part of an adjacent caravan park.
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The track was less than 100 yards from the rails laid in the ‘new’ Broadway station – and the railway was on target to make the connection by the end of the year, giving it a new total running length of 15 miles.
Broadway station itself is nearly complete, with double track running through the platforms and a completed canopy covering both the building, built as closely as possible to the original design, and the platform.
The track within the platforms is bullhead rail on wooden sleepers, keeping it in tune with the historic ambience of the station, whereas the extension uses continuous welded rail on concrete sleepers. The track now runs south from the station across Station Road bridge.
Copy of Shirley ’box
On platform two stands a signalbox, a copy of the one that once stood at Shirley – while the former Henley-in-Arden footbridge spans the platforms, although the steps still need to be built.
The pair are a reminder of the GWR Stratford-upon-Avon to Cheltenham route’s northern connection with the North Warwickshire Line.
GWR spokesman Ian Crowder said: “The station does indeed look magnificent and ready to receive its first trains. However, there remains an awful lot of work still to do and the extraordinarily capable Broadway Area Group volunteers are now concentrating on the finishing touches – not least of which is finishing the inside of the main station building.
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