Heritage Railway’s delight as passenger numbers soar in May 2018

No.6023 "King Edward II" Resting in the Coaling Area // Credit Jamie Duggan, RailAdvent

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway have announced that their number of travellers on its trains have been breaking records one after the other.

For the month up to the 31st May 2018, the heritage railway carried 40,000 passengers, an increased of more than 50% on last year.

May saw three events held at the heritage railway. ‘Bricks and Trains’ with Lego exhibits attracted 2,000 visitors, up from 1,400 in 2017; Steam and Ale Weekend attracted 2,300 visitors, up from 1,400 in 2017.

Topping off the month was their ‘Give My Regards To Broadway’ Steam Gala, eight steam locomotives operated over the weekend, the event attracted nearly 6,000 visitors with 2,200 travelling on the railway on Saturday along… a record for the railway.

The Cotswold Festival of Steam saw an average of 2,000 travellers a day and saw trains full of standing passengers.

What did the officials say?

Colin Fewell, the railway’s volunteer commercial director commented:

“If you add to that total early May bank holiday, when 2,500 people travelled (compared with 1,300 in 2017) and full trains on ordinary timetable days, even on weekdays, we seem set to smash all previous records.

“All of us expected a big uplift in passenger numbers following the opening of Broadway station on Good Friday, March 30th this year. To cope with the numbers, we have increased the length of our trains to eight coaches.

“But May has been astonishing with the Cotswold Festival of Steam taking passenger numbers well past the 40,000 mark for this year

“Our railway now links two of the Cotswolds’ most popular destinations – Cheltenham and Broadway. That’s a distance of nearly 15 miles, running through some of the UK’s most attractive countryside.

“We offer something for everyone – whether a railway enthusiast or a family looking for an interesting and enjoyable day out. What’s more, if the weather is wet, you can still enjoy the day taking a trip back in time from the comfort of a beautifully restored railway carriage.

“And, given that we are an almost entirely volunteer-run enterprise it means all profits are ploughed back in to the railway to develop and expand the facilities we offer to everyone who pays us a visit and rides on our wonderful trains.”