Stratford-Upon-Avon to Cheltenham Timeline
Part 2 : 1980 to Present

January 1981

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway reaches an agreement with BR to purchase the trackbed. 

March 1981

The first working party arrives at Toddington.


15 miles of trackbed between Cheltenham and Broadway are purchased (BR being reluctant to sell the railway the complete trackbed between Stratford-upon-Avon and Cheltenham as they have concerns that the railway might not be able to cope with this length of line), and the process of re-laying track south from Toddington towards Cheltenham begins. 

March 1987

The first steam train arrives at Winchcombe.


Gotherington is reached.

February 2001

Hunslet 0-6-0ST "King George" makes the the first steam-hauled visit along the newly relaid line from Gotherington to Cheltenham Racecourse. Further work on this section is expected to take another two years before it can be opened to the public ("Steam Railway" Issue 255 March 2001).

April 2003

Cheltenham Racecourse Station is re-opened.

November 2005

With work on restoring the line northwards to Broadway having begun earlier in year, an engineering train crosses Stanway Viaduct, the first train to do so since the original line was removed in 1979.


By this point track has been laid to Laverton

February 2010

The Stratford and Broadway Railway ceases to operate, mainly due to falling volunteer levels and no real progress in restoring the line between Stratford and Honeybourne in sight.   A plan to move to the Sharpness and Berkeley line in Gloucestershire fails, and the railway's assets are sold.

May - June 2010

A landslip at Gotherington closes the line between there and Cheltenham.    Services during the June 2010 "GWR 175" gala event are top-and-tailed between Winchcombe and Gotherington.   Normal services for the next few months are also run "top-and tailed".

The "GWR 175" event sees the first public services across Stanway Viaduct.

September 2010

The bridge taking the Oxford to Worcester line over the trackbed of the Stratford to Cheltenham line is replaced with a new one to take double track.    A panel of track is installed by the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway under this new bridge as a "Statement of Intent" to return a single line to Honeybourne.

November 2010

With the Gotherington landslip still unrepaired, a second landslip at Chicken Curve to the east of Winchcombe renders the railway incapable of operating any real service at all.  


The Gotherington landslip is repaired, and the railway operates in two halves, with steam services between Winchcombe and Cheltenham and a DMU service between Toddington and Laverton. 

December sees plans unveiled for a Military Heritage railway based at the former MOD depot at Long Marston.

April 2012

Work is underway to repair the Chicken Curve collapse, with investigations revealing major issues with the embankment at this location, some of which date back to the line's construction.     With funds still needed, "Steam Railway" magazine launches an appeal to raise the remaining money to complete repairs (which the author made a not-insignificant donation to).

September 2012

The repairs at Chicken Curve are completed.

October 2012

A report carried out regarding re-instatement of rail services between Stratford-Upon-Avon and Honeybourne appear to suggest that it is feasible, but could cost up to 100 million pounds (the author has several questions he feels need answers to before he can accept these findings).

May 2013

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire holds its first full steam gala in nearly three years (the author attends on three of the four days of the event).

2013 also sees the line used in location filming for the BBC series "Father Brown" for the first time (it would be used again in subsequent years for further episodes). 

October 2013

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway initiates a share issue scheme "Bridges to Broadway" to raise the 500,000 required to bring the bridges between Laverton and Broadway to a suitable condition to operate trains over (the author purchases shares at this time).

May 2014

Work starts on the five bridges between Laverton and Broadway.

"Temporary Track" is laid at Broadway station.

October 2014

The "Bridges to Broadway" share issue closes, having raised the money required for the bridge repairs. 

December 2014

The bridge repair work between Laverton and Broadway is completed.

January 2015

The Military Heritage railway project at Long Marston is abandoned when the site's owners decide to use the land for housing instead. 

April 2016

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway initiates "The Last Mile" share scheme in order to complete the restoration of services to Broadway.

August 2016

At this point, work is underway to re-open Hayles Abbey Halt.

October 2016

Re-laying of track north from Toddington to Broadway enters Worcestershire, and is now within a mile of Broadway Station.

January 2017

Work starts on a new visitor centre at Winchcombe station. 

March 2017

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway announces that it intends to start running services to Broadway from March 2018, and plans to re-open Hayles Abbey Halt in June 2017.

May 2017

Cheltenham Racecourse Station Platform 2 becomes operational, in time for the 2017 spring gala.

June 2017

Hayles Abbey Halt re-opens after 57 years.   The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway chooses to retain the "Railway" spelling of "Hayles" rather than correct it to "Hailes". 

Vivarail test their class 230 DMU prototype no. 230001 on the Honeybourne to Long Marston branch (click here to see author's photograph of the unit)

November 2017

A provisional re-opening date for Broadway station is given as 30th March, 2018.

December 2017

Tracklaying reaches Broadway. 

March 2018

Broadway station is re-opened for public services, for the first time in 58 years.

May 2018

The second platform at Cheltenham Racecourse becomes operational for the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's spring gala event.

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Timeline Part 1
Timeline Part 2
Timeline Part 3
Line Diagram
Station List
Moreton To Worcester
Timeline Part 1
Timeline Part 2
Line Diagram
Station List
Stratford to Cheltenham
Line Diagram
Station List
Redditch to Ashchurch
Line Diagram
Station List
Stratford and Midland Junction Railway
The Shipston Branch
Evesham Vale Light Railway
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