A RECORD number of passengers travelled on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Stream Railway (GWSR) in 2017.
The figure of 100,619 was up on the 100,020 passengers in 2016, and 88,500 in 2015.
Plans for a new £650,000 car park have also been approved at GWSR’s new Broadway station, which opens on 30th March.
Work has also started on repairing two steel bridges on the line: one at Broadway which has suffered extensive damage from a lorry carrying earthmoving equipment, and the other at Gotherington which requires attention to waterproofing of the deck and corrosion repair.
Land for the car park between Broadway Road and Childswickham Road will be handed to Wychavon District Council, which will pay for the car park and keep the money generated from ticket sales.
Although railway passengers will get part of their ticket price refunded when they board trains at Broadway.
Colin Fewell, the railway’s volunteer commercial director, said: “We’ve done all the adding up and, despite losing one of our busiest Santa Special days and two days after Christmas, both because of snow and ice and costing up to 2,000 lost passengers, we still beat last year’s record.
“The final number of passengers carried by railway during the 2017 season was 100,619 which even allowing for the problems in December, beats last year’s record total of 100,020 which itself was 13 per cent up on 2015.
“This is a truly brilliant result and one which every volunteer should be proud of.
“Now that we will have Broadway station added to our line, increasing its length to 15 miles from our southern terminus at Cheltenham Racecourse, we can expect our passenger numbers to increase significantly this year.”