A HERITAGE group is inching closer to achieving its goal to bring a disused railway back to life.
Cambrian Heritage Railways (CHR) has been doggedly working away to rejuvenate the historic route between Gobowen and Oswestry and thanks to a generous gift from landowners, a housing application and the dedicated work of its volunteers the dream is slowly becoming a reality.
Land at the Gobowen Railway Station’s former coalyard has been gifted to Wrekin Housing Trust to help its application to build 22 new homes on the site.
The Trust in turn has been working with CHR to combine its plans for the railway with the housing development.
Spokesman for CHR Roger Date said: “We’re very, very pleased to have been given this land.
“We’ve been talking to Wrekin Housing Trust for many months and working a scheme out with them.
“We’ve been building up the application and have held a consultation with the public.
“We want to make sure that whatever we create meets the aspirations of everybody – a housing scheme of affordable homes and a heritage railway for the wider community to enjoy.
“The development is only taking small steps at the moment but this has taken us one step closer,” he added.
A team of dedicated CHR volunteers is also constantly pushing the project forward with work continuing to re-lay the line near the Cambrian Medical Centre.
A number of railway structures are also being refurbished and the group was given generous 20 railway signals by Network Rail.
“They were upgrading some of their signals and donated the old ones to us, which has been a big help,” Mr Date added.
“We have also had some new railings installed so there’s an awful lot being done by our volunteers.
“And we had great support for our special Christmas train rides and Santa’s Grotto which were tremendous successes,” he added.