The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway has announced that it will resume some services from the 15th August 2020.
The service will include pre-bookable tickets from Toddington station which will operate trips with stops at Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway. Passengers will not be able to join or leave trains at any station, other than Toddington.
Richard Johnson, the volunteer chairman of GWSR, explains: “We are planning to re-start services cautiously at a time when Covid-19 restrictions are progressively being lifted.
“However, we are very conscious that we will still need to maintain self-distancing, and great care will be taken to ensure the safety of our visitors and volunteers.
“We will be using coaches that have an old-fashioned side corridor with compartments that have sliding doors. The idea is that visitors will be able to book a compartment for a minimum of two people and for family groups of up to six.
“The trains will be thoroughly cleaned after every day.
“It’s a really exciting step towards resumption of services on our delightful railway. As one of over 950 volunteers, I must say that I can’t wait to see trains running through the Cotswolds on our railway once again!”
After the longest closure in the GWSR’s 36-year history, many volunteers, like guards, drivers and signallers, will have to re-qualify for their certificates.
Therefore, ‘ghost trains’ prior to the opening will run to allow these volunteers to qualify so that trains can run safely once again.
Volunteers will be initially returning to make sure that stock, signalling, track and steam locomotives are in a safe condition to resume trains.
Richard Johnson said: “Our charitable organisation, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust, did an extraordinary job in publicising the appeal and I’m truly grateful to every one of the more than 1,300 people who contributed to help ensure the future of our railway.”
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