Gloucestershire Environment Trust Opens Platform Extension
12 June 2004
2nd June 2004: A £33,500 extension to the GWR’s Cheltenham Race Course platform is now complete - thanks to a grant from Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, who formally ‘handed over’ the project to the GWR’s Chairman, Bob Stark, on Friday 4th June.
The project was funded by the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust with landfill tax contributions donated by Cory Environmental. The Trust awarded £30,500 to the railway to rebuild the north end of the ‘down’ platform at Cheltenham Race Course station. The Winchcombe-based Summerfield Trust awarded a further £3,000 and this has enabled the platform to be restored to its original length.
The original platform had to be demolished because subsidence was causing the platform face to lean towards the track. It was discovered that the original foundations were in a poor condition and the work included completely new foundations. Rebuilding was carried out over the past few months by a combination of contractors and volunteer labour.
“We’re delighted to have won these grants and to be working with the Trusts. The increased platform length will improve flexibility of the station, particularly at busy times, such as during the Cheltenham Festival race meetings,” says Bob Stark, Chairman of Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Plc. “We are an entirely voluntary organisation so this grant has enabled the work to be completed much more quickly than would otherwise have been possible.”
The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust Trustees travelled in the railway’s luxury Inspection Saloon, attached to the 13:35 train from Cheltenham Race Course station to Toddington and return. The platform extension was then formally opened at when the Trustees returned from their trip over the line. As Bob Stark explains: “The least we can do is take the Trustees for a journey over our line. They saw how the work they have kindly funded fits with our operation today and the part it will play in our future aspirations.
“We operate a ten mile heritage railway entirely by voluntary labour, yet we’ve become an important contributor to the local economy. We’ll explained to the Trustees how we’ve reached this important point in our history - and told them about our plans for extending north to Broadway.”
Media contact: press.office “at” gwsr.com, or telephone Ian Crowder on 07775 566 555.
Gloucestershire Environmental Trust: Jane Evans, telephone 01242 680855