BROADWAY’s large steel railway bridge has reopened to road traffic after undergoing weeks of repair work costing in the region of £250,000.
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway has completed work on the 43 foot steel bridge which crosses Station Road.
The bridge will eventually carry the steam railway’s trains running between Cheltenham and Broadway – as part of the railway’s long term plans to extend its line to the Vale village.
The 110-year-old bridge, which had suffered serious damage from collisions by over-height lorries and from corrosion, is the largest of five bridges which are being repaired as part of a major effort to reopen a further two miles of line into Broadway.
The five bridges lie between Laverton and Broadway and the repairs are being funded by a special ‘Bridges to Broadway’ share offer to raise £500,000.
Alan Bielby, chairman of GWSR, said: “This has been one of the biggest engineering tasks that the railway has faced.
“The work involved replacement of a huge amount of steelwork which had both corroded and had been damaged following strikes from lorries taller than the 14ft 3ins headroom over many years.
“There was significantly more work than anticipated and our contractors, George Law Ltd and their sub-contractors, have done a fantastic job in getting the work finished ahead of programme to the point that we were able to reopen the road.
With vital bridge work being done, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway – one of the area’s leading tourist attractions – hopes to reopen the line in Broadway within three years.
Mr Bielby added: “We are hugely indebted not just to railway enthusiasts who are interested in seeing our railway succeed but to local people too, who have invested money so they can see trains running into ‘their’ station once again, after more than half-a-century.”