'GlosWarks' toasts Broadway success

Opening the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway's extension to Broadway has seen passenger numbers jump 52% compared to the previous year.

 'Merchant Navy' No. 35006  Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co  hauls one of the first trains out of Broadway on March 21. GWSR

'Merchant Navy' No. 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co hauls one of the first trains out of Broadway on March 21. GWSR

To the end of June, the railway carried 72,000 passengers – compared to 46,500 during the same period in 2017 – and is well on the way for another record-breaking year. On some days, passenger numbers have been double the equivalent days last year.

The railway attributes part of this success to the opening of its new terminus at Broadway on March 30.

Colin Fewell, volunteer commercial director of the railway said: “The popularity of the line since we opened Broadway station is simply astonishing! The Broadway effect is eclipsing our past success and records are tumbling one after the other.

“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 have strengthened our 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.

“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.”