Great year for ticket sales, but investments collapse says GWR - Honeybourne Line launches extension share investment opportunity
09 August 2009
The Honeybourne Line - Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway - is
enjoying a bumper year for train ticket sales, with families
looking for days out in the UK rather than taking overseas
The railway, which runs steam and heritage diesel train services
between Toddington and Cheltenham, says that ticket income is up
17.5 per cent against budget with the number of tickets sold over 9
per cent higher than at the same time last year.
But, according to the railway's half-yearly report, share sales
have slumped by more than 60 per cent, which could slow the
railway's expansion plans.
"We are delighted to see so many families enjoying a fantastic
train ride through the Cotswolds countryside," says Malcolm Temple,
commercial and finance director of the railway.
"We are run entirely by volunteers so every penny taken in train
fares is ploughed back into maintaining and developing the
"But for major investment we rely heavily on sales of shares in
the railway, for example the exciting four-and-a-quarter mile
expansion to Broadway.
"We are within six months of completing the first stage of this
extension, to Laverton (about two miles north of Toddington).
But if share income isn't boosted soon, it will mean a delay in
getting to Broadway."
The GWR has re-launched its share push with, as Malcolm Temple
explains, some great travel benefits for becoming a GWR
He says: "A single £100 unit of shares entitles a shareholder to
three free tickets per year, worth £33 so it only takes three years
to recoup practically all of that investment.
"But a £3,000 investment allows unlimited free travel for two
people and there is a range of different incentives for smaller
investment sums. Shareholders will also be invited to ride on
a special train to mark the opening of the new extension."
Malcolm Temple adds that shares can be purchased for as little
as £10 per month and a share certificate is issued on completion of
each unit of £100.
"Shareholding means you own a piece of the UK's fastest-growing
heritage railway. What's more, you have a say in how the
railway is run at the Annual General Meeting each year.
"Honeybourne Line shares make a great gift, too. Some
people get a train set for their birthday or Christmas; this allows
you to get the real thing!"
The GWR share brochure is available by writing to Garry Owen,
The Railway Station, Toddington GL54 5DT or visit www.gwsr.com for more
Ian Crowder, 07775 566 555 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Malcolm Temple, 01608 661 698 or email@example.com