Trains call again at Hayles Abbey after 57 years

AS the roof was being installed on the main building at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway’s new Broadway terminus, the heritage line was busy opening another ‘new’ station.

Monday, June 5, saw Hayles Abbey Halt officially reopened by railway patron Lord Wemyss, the Earl of Wemyss and March from nearby Stanway House.

On the evening of June 3, 30742 Charters held a photographic charter using Collett 14XX No. 1450 and auto-coach No. W238W Chaffinch, with its first port of call Hayles Abbey. MARTIN CREESE

This is the family that once owned the Wemyss Private Railway in Fife – an extensive network of lines serving the coalfield and docks with a fleet of steam locomotives.

The halt – spelled Hayles by the GWR – opened in September 1928 to coincide with the opening of a museum at the nearby Cistercian Hailes Abbey but was closed by British Railways in 1960,
when local passenger services on the Stratford-upon-Avon to Cheltenham line were withdrawn.

New museum

The reopening of the halt coincided with the opening of a new museum at the abbey which today is run by English Heritage and owned by the National Trust and is just five minutes’ walk away. Hailes Fruit Farm, which once despatched its produce from the halt, can also be accessed.

The halt rebuilding project was carried out thanks to a £12,000 grant from the charitable Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust, as well as a grant of £2,500 from the Cotswold Conservation Board. It was completed entirely by volunteers in less than a year.

Read more in Issue 230 of HR – on sale now!

Enjoy more Heritage Railway reading in the four-weekly magazine. Click here to subscribe.