Stratford-upon Avon to Cheltenham - Railways of the Vale of Evesham

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Railways of the Vale of Evesham
Stratford-Upon-Avon to Cheltenham
In light of various circumstances, including suspension of services due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway has launched an appeal to raise funds to keep the line open and repair infrastructure damage caused by severe rainfall earlier in the year.   The author of this site has made a significant contribution to this appeal, and would ask visitors to this site to consider doing the same if they have enjoyed this work, or have found it useful (Click here to visit the appeal page)
One of the desires of the GWR was to have a direct connection  between Birmingham and Bristol. Until 1907 GWR trains from Birmingham to Bristol  had to go by Oxford, Didcot and Swindon, yet another example of the "Great Way  Round". The GWR could get to to Stratford-Upon-Avon from Birmingham (and then  onto Honeybourne) and from Cheltenham to Bristol (although this did rely on  running powers on the Midland line from Standish Junction south of Gloucester to  Yate, where GWR trains transferred to the South Wales Direct line). The missing  link was provided in 1907 with a new double-track line from Honeybourne to  Cheltenham and the doubling of the line from Honeybourne to  Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Today most of the line has gone, with only two sections  remaining, and only one of those in regular use for the public. The section from  Honeybourne to Long Marston is still in place, but only a single line which is  effectively a siding leading to a storage facility. The  other section is from Broadway to Cheltenham Racecourse which is the current  extent of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire railway.

As to the remaining sections, the GloucsWarks Railway might possibly extend north of Broadway to Honeybourne to join the the main line there.  The railway has however decided that an extension south into Cheltenham on the existing trackbed is no longer viable due to encroaching developments that have occurred since closure.

The section north of Long Marston is  currently used as a cycleway as far as the Stratford Relief Road, and has been  subject to several proposals to re-open the line, but nothing firm has been  agreed at the time of writing.
Stratford-Upon-Avon To Cheltenham Googlemap
Red lines/Markers - Lines/Stations currently not operating
Blue lines/Markers - Main Lines/Stations currently operational
Green lines/Markers - Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway line/stations currently operational

Most of the trackbed of this line is either still being used as a railway or relatively undeveloped, making it relatively easy to trace.   The only major development on the trackbed is the first mile or so south of Stratford-upon-Avon, which as I see it, makes re-opening the line completely very difficult, if not impossible.  This doesn't seem to stop suggestions that it be done, though.

[Please note that no rights of way or public access are inferred by this diagram].
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