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The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway has announced that passenger numbers have grown an astonishing 52%.
To the end of June, it had attracted nearly 72,000 passengers riding on trains between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway.
This compares with 46,500 passengers last year, an increase of 52%
On some operating days, passenger numbers have even doubled when compared to last year.
What did the officials say?
A delighted Colin Fewell, volunteer commercial director of the railway said:
“The Broadway effect is eclipsing our past success and records are tumbling one after the other.
“We have strengthened out trains to eight coaches this year with a capacity of around 400 seated passengers but often popular trains are nearly full even on midweek days, especially the first train of the day out of Cheltenham Racecourse.
“Our railway now goes through more than 14 miles of glorious landscape from Cheltenham to arguably the most delightful of Cotswold villages, Broadway. Businesses in Broadway are telling us that they have noticed an increase in the number of visitors to the village since the station opened once again, 58 years after it was closed by British Railways.
“We are also in demand for organised coach trips but we are having to turn some away because we simply can’t accommodate them.
“The popularity of the line since we opened Broadway station is simply astonishing!”
“And, although we would like to run more trains and provide extra capacity, there is a limit to what we can do – but this is the first year of our newly-expanded railway and we are learning as we go along.”
“We aren’t Network Rail and our volunteers run the railway because it gives them enjoyment – and that often comes as a surprise, especially to people visiting for the first time.
“Our volunteers often go above and beyond in their commitment to make sure that all our visitors have a fantastic day out. This railway is a real passion for people from all walks of life who freely give of their time and are enjoying its success – and lots of visitors tell us that their passion rubs off.
“We get so many commendations saying how friendly our volunteers are, which really makes our day.”
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