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Over the arches to the Honeybourne Line’s future at GWR175

First time in preservation: Honeyboune Line’s trains run over the Stanway Viaduct during Great Western Railway 175th Anniversary celebration
GWR175: Saturday 29th May- Sunday 6th June 2010

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway – better known as the ‘Honeybourne Line’ – will be running public trains over the spectacular Stanway Viaduct for the first time since 1976, during its celebrations to mark the 175th anniversary of the Great Western Railway between 29th May and 6th June.

GWR Stanway ViaductGWR Stanway ViaductThe viaduct is the largest anywhere on a UK heritage railway.  It carries the line over 15 arches, 50ft above the valley floor and lies just under a mile north of Toddington, Gloucestershire station, the Honeyboune Line’s HQ.  It is the first part of the railway’s extension towards Broadway to open.

Last week, the railway successfully ran a test train over the viaduct, powered by the 107-year-old Great Western Railway ‘City of Truro’: the locomotive that first broke the 100mph barrier back in 1904.

Malcolm Temple, the railway’s chairman, says: “This was a fantastic way to test the new track that passes over the viaduct and I’m delighted to confirm that visitors to our GWR175 celebrations will be the first to experience the trip over this amazing structure.

“It’s a tribute to our volunteers that refurbishment of the viaduct and the new track work has been carried out to such a high standard.”

This is good news for the railway which last month, suffered a landslip near its Gotherington station, which means that Honeybourne Line trains aren’t calling at Cheltenham Racecourse station until further notice.

Malcolm Temple adds: “While that is a blow, we’re not downbeat.  It just means that we have had to adjust our timetables for train services between Toddington and Gotherington and, in future, to include Stanway as well.

“Our celebration of the Great Western Railway’s 175th Anniversary still goes ahead.  We’ve lined up our biggest-ever display with a dozen steam locomotives working over the nine-day event.” 

Other attractions include static displays and locomotives, including the Brunellian 7ft-gauge replica locomotive, Iron Duke as well as the last-ever locomotive built at Swindon works.  Dozens of live-steam miniature Great Western locomotives; locomotive nameplate displays; a display by STEAM, the museum of the Great Western Railway as well as rolling stock and equipment will be on show at Toddington, Winchcombe and Gotherington stations. 

Gotherington station is open to visitors for the first time, to allow visitors to see the collection of railway artefacts, including the prizewinning ‘Gotherington West’ halt, in the gardens of the station’s private owner.

Full details of GWR175, which is being run in conjunction with The Railway Magazine, are on where tickets can be booked at discount prices.

Photograph caption:
Back on the railway map: The National Railway Museum’s centenarian locomotive ‘City of Truro’ takes the first test train over the spectacular Stanway Viaduct.  Trains will be passing over the viaduct for the first time during the Honeybourne Line’s GWR175 celebrations, 29 May to 6 June (Picture by Jack Boskett)

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway plc
The Railway Station,
GL54 5DT

Telephone: 01242 621405

Source: Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway plc 




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