Sunday, September 26, 2010

Trains to Cheltenham Racecourse station suspended

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway runs heritage steam and diesel train services on The Honeybourne Line between Toddington in The Cotswolds and Cheltenham Racecourse station; these services have proved particularly popular with punters during the Cheltenham Festival meeting in March.

Last April a landslip south of Gotherington Halt station resulted in services to Cheltenham being suspended while tests were carried out to determine the cause and extent of the problem. The repair bill has come in at £1 million; as insurance cover is limited to £500,000, an emergency appeal was launched earlier this month to raise the outstanding amount.

All of which is not good news for the 650 volunteers who run the line which carries in the region of 75,000 passengers every year. A programme of works lasting 26 weeks has been drawn up - it looks unlikely that services to the racecourse will be operational in time for next year's Festival.

And then, to add to it all, last weekend thieves ran off with £4,000 worth of cast iron bench castings from the racecourse station.

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