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Rain doesn’t stop play for first train to Laverton


article by: Ian Crowder
posted on: 30 March 2011
updated on: 01 May 2011

Chairman Malcolm Temple in ebullient mood with Toddington station master and train guard David Hall, posing for the cameras before the train departed for Laverton (photo: Ian Crowder)
Chairman Malcolm Temple in ebullient mood with Toddington station master and train guard David Hall, posing for the cameras before the train departed for Laverton (photo: Ian Crowder)   Click to view larger version

Spring heralds a new beginning for the former Honeybourne Line north of Toddington.  Primroses lend a cheerful greeting for the rain-soaked arrival of the class 117 diesel multiple unit.  Only another couple of miles to Broadway! (Photo: Ian Crowder)
Spring heralds a new beginning for the former Honeybourne Line north of Toddington. Primroses lend a cheerful greeting for the rain-soaked arrival of the class 117 diesel multiple unit. Only another couple of miles to Broadway! (Photo: Ian Crowder)   Click to view larger version

Under the BBC TV spotlight, Malcolm Temple explains the railway’s challenges to news reporter Steve Knibbs at Toddington (Photo: Ian Crowder)
Under the BBC TV spotlight, Malcolm Temple explains the railway’s challenges to news reporter Steve Knibbs at Toddington (Photo: Ian Crowder)   Click to view larger version

Recalling the last trains of the 1970s over the Honeybourne Line, a diesel multiple unit departed from Toddington, through the drizzle to Laverton on Wednesday 30th March.  But the rain didn't dampen the spirits of the press and TV who enjoyed the 1960s experience as the train crossed Stanway viaduct and continued its journey north.

In the comfort of the Flag & Whistle tea rooms, Malcolm Temple, GWSR Plc chairman, told the media that this is a 'Phoenix railway' offering two quite different experiences this year. 

"We may have suffered a second catastrophic landslip near Winchcombe but it's giving us an opportunity to present two railways!  The diesel multiple unit service you are about to enjoy, which starts running from Saturday 2nd April; and steam trains between Cheltenham Racecourse and Winchcombe from Good Friday (22nd April).

"Work on last year's catastrophic embankment collapse is now completed.  But early this year we suffered another near Winchcombe and we need every penny we can get to help repair that collapse, too."

Malcolm went on to explain that the diesel multiple unit service will be the first passenger train over the first part of the Broadway extension to open for 40 years.  This was also the first time that a train had called at both Toddington and Laverton since the local stations closed in March 1960.

BBC TV covered the occasion and was expected to broadcast on BBC Points West and BBC Midlands Today on the evening of Wednesday 30th March.  It will be available for a further week on BBC i-Player.

For full details of train times click here  






 

12 comments for “Rain doesn’t stop play for first train to Laverton”

  1. Gravatar of Andy BryneAndy Bryne
    Posted 31 March 2011 at 09:47:32

    Let's hope that this weekend sees a return to good fortunes for this wonderful heritage railway with the start of services to and from Laverton. Now that fotopic has disappeared I am really missing the excellent "Broadway Extension" updates from Mr Black, which gave us distant supporters such a good insight into work being done on the Honeybourne Line. Can anyone confirm if this Broadway Extension site is now on the internet in another form? I really miss it!

  2. Posted 31 March 2011 at 11:51:26

    Yes, I have set up another one, albeit smaller at present, that just encompasses this years set backs and progress on GW Pway (click on name for link). Recent photo's on the extension include the excellent help the Pway department recieved on the stressing and reclipping task finished recently. Thanks to all those that were able to give additional time in the days of need!

  3. Gravatar of Howard ParkerHoward Parker
    Posted 31 March 2011 at 13:50:05

    Raises the spirits, doesn't it? Well done to Malcolm and all for their hard work behind the scenes.

    Just wondering, couldnt we have a bit of a railcar fest based at Toddington at some point, especially as the GWS's steam railmotor seems to be up and running now? That might bring people in and raise some cash.

  4. Gravatar of Ian CrowderIan Crowder
    Posted 31 March 2011 at 14:06:12

    Reference Howard Parker's post (no. 3) - all I can say is 'watch this space'...but no promises!

  5. Gravatar of GWSR webmasterGWSR webmaster
    Posted 31 March 2011 at 16:45:14

    I have updated the links page to point to Nigel's new site

  6. Gravatar of RogerRoger
    Posted 31 March 2011 at 17:11:03

    Re posts 1,2 and 5. Thanks to Nigel & Webmaster. I also was having severe withdrawel symptoms!

  7. Gravatar of Andy BryneAndy Bryne
    Posted 31 March 2011 at 17:52:46

    Many thanks, morale boost restored! Always good to see Mr Less sitting down on the job!

  8. Gravatar of David FrenchDavid French
    Posted 31 March 2011 at 19:07:37

    Mr. Lees surely ? Not Mr. Less ? Anyway, the filming has just be shown on tonight's Midlands Today.

  9. Gravatar of AndyAndy
    Posted 31 March 2011 at 20:50:58

    A bit late for this opening weekend but why doesn't the railway auction on ebay a footplate ride on the first train when the southern section opens, surely it would raise a few pounds. well done to all concerned for getting this far!!!

  10. Gravatar of Andy BryneAndy Bryne
    Posted 01 April 2011 at 07:35:22

    Sorry, slip of the keyboard! I am in the East Midlands region but will try and find a link on the 'net.

  11. Gravatar of Bill TyndallBill Tyndall
    Posted 01 April 2011 at 10:51:35

    just watched the clip on Midlands today, shown very near the end of the program. It was a very good production.Good Luck to all for tomorrow. welcome back Nigel, missed all the photos.
    looking forward to my first turn as signalman at Toddington.
    Well done to all again.
    Bill

  12. Gravatar of Peter HicksPeter Hicks
    Posted 01 April 2011 at 21:12:11

    Great publicity but I can't see it. Midlands Today is not available on I Player.
    I hope to come and see it myself in a few weeks.


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