THEY toiled for 36 years to reach this goal – and so the volunteers and shareholders were given the privilege of riding on the first Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway trains into the new Broadway terminus.
Around 2000 of them accepted invitations to board a series of private ‘Return to Broadway’ specials on
March 21 and 22, headed by award-winning Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific No. 35006 Peninsular & Oriental SN Co.
The line’s officials unhesitatingly decided that people who had sunk both money and elbow grease
into the extension to the Cotswold tourist honeypot should have the first fruits of their labours.
The trips were run prior to the official Broadway opening trip and first public services on Good Friday, March 30.
It was in 1981 that the G/WR founders took out a lease on derelict Toddington station prior to purchasing the trackbed of the present-day line from BR, which had ripped it up two years before. Since then, the line had been extended in phases, first southwards to Winchcombe and then to Cheltenham Racecourse, and then northwards.
Read more in Issue 240 of HR – on sale now!