Record producer Pete Waterman will launch a £1.25 million share issue for the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway next month to raise funds to complete the railway’s long-awaited extension to Broadway.
The issue would pay for the construction of Broadway station, as well as track laying from Little Buckland to Broadway, known as the Last Mile of the extension from Cheltenham.
After 30 years if campaigning, the railway hopes to have services running between the two towns for the 2018 season for the first time since the original station closed in 1960. When completed the railway will be 14 miles long
Mr Waterman, a railway enthusiast and president of the GWR will launch the issue on April 6.
Chris Bristow, GWR finance director said the railway has achieved a great deal since it purchased 15 miles of vacant trackbed and the derelict Toddington Station in 1981. Since then the railway has managed an annual growth of about a third of a mile.
But Mr Bristow acknowleged the costliness of rebuilding a railway, telling the Western Daily Press that the average cost per mile can be as much as £2 million, even with a labour force largely made up of volunteers.
“It isn't just a matter of laying thousands of tons of ballast as well as buying steel rail, but there is drainage to attend to, culverts needing repair, fencing and all of the other infrastructure,” he said.
"And Broadway Station itself - while progressing well - needs more money to finish the job. It was closed by British Railways in 1960 and within three years the original buildings had been razed to the ground.”
Volunteers have already completed work on a new signal box for the station, with work on the footbridge and platforms well underway. Mr Bristow said the new station will be similar to the original.
“Anyone coming back after a gap of 60 or so years will recognise it as the Broadway station they once knew."