Appeal launched by Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway as steam trains halted

Credit: Malcolm Ranieri

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The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway has announced that it has launched an appeal for help from supporters as it faces a cash crisis.

Thanks to an embankment slip and closure of the line because of Coronavirus, the line is unable to run and fund the urgent civil engineering work to repair the line.

Repairs were carried out for trains to pass the landslip site before the line reopened after its winter break on 7th March 2020. Special trains were operated for the Cheltenham Festival.

The problem, unfortunately, has escalated with regards to the coronavirus outbreak, and the line has had to close until further notice.

Therefore, there is no income from passenger tickets or catering. It has also caused special events such as Wartime in the Cotswolds and the Cotswold Festival of Steam which attracts thousands of visitors.

You can donate to the GWSR by clicking here.

What did the officials say?

Richard Johnson, the voluntary Chairman of GWSR Plc, explains:

“Standing at the top of the affected embankment, we are in every sense staring into a black hole that is fast sucking in cash.

“We can’t halt work on the slip, which has turned out to be more severe than originally thought. We believe it was caused by persistent heavy rain following a dry summer. The ground is continuing to move.

“If we halt works now to save money, the eventual repair cost will be considerably greater than if work continues now.

“And, as if this wasn’t bad enough, the escalating Coronavirus pandemic has meant that the line has had to close.

“What’s more, a high proportion of the volunteers on our volunteer-run railway, are unable to offer their time because they are in the ‘high risk’ category and must self-isolate.”

“Closing the railway means that money will very quickly run out and we are therefore appealing to supporters, shareholders and the public, who gain so much enjoyment from the operation of trains, to generously respond to our appeal.

“We need to raise at least £250,000 as quickly as we can. Otherwise the consequences are unthinkable: we would face a stark future for our line.”

“This is a real double blow. We believe we could have funded most of the embankment repair cost had trains been running and we could have planned for an appeal for support over a longer period. But trains are not running and we need to replace that lost revenue: and fast.”

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  1. Sorry to hear about the Gloucester rlwy, but, there are far more important things to think about right now. If you do fold, think of all the businesses that do ‘good’ that will also go down, with lots of paid workers and their families at risk. You’re just an attraction at the end of the day.
    If you think about what you had at the very beginning, to what you have now, as far as infrastructure and components, you’ve done well, and so, you’ll be in a far better position to start over at the end of this, than you were years ago.
    I love what you do, but at the end of the day, you don’t employ hundreds of people, and it’s not like you’re the last one in the country. If people have ‘spare’ money to give away, it should be given to food banks and other useful causes to help people survive and lessen the suffering.
    You should be ashamed for asking.

    • Amazing. You are aware that you can support more than one thing, and that heritage lines are major attractions in regions – supporting a wide range of other local employers in addition to their own staff? I guess not.
      In fact, your nonsense argument about restarting in a better place than when they first did suggests to me that you know little about any form of business, let alone railways.

  2. Rich, you are deluded mate, get a grip and do some economics. That railway provides a huge amount of support to local businesses. The punters are brought to the region mostly by the railway looking for a day out. Back to dreamland mate. And by the way I am not a volunteer or member…just someone with a brain.

  3. Yes thing about all thing l am a director of a railway l would not want money from the public please give to the N.H.S AND SAFE LIVES

  4. If you are able, support as many causes as you can with the money you are not spending on travel and leisure activities at the moment. Heritage railways make a positive contribution to the tourism and local economy and deserve just as much support as any other business. I have donated to the GWSR appeal.


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