THE chairman of the group hoping to restore the railway to Oswestry has said he already received government assurance the project is going ahead.

Rob Wiliams, chairman of Cambrian Heritage Railways (CHR), was speaking after last week’s cancellation of HS2 by the Government, which subsequently revealed that the restoration of the Gobowen to Oswestry line would be one of the many projects funded instead.

However, some projects were then removed from the Government’s Network North document leading to fears it would not go ahead.

But Rob said that he is very confident that the project will go ahead, but admitted there are many milestones to pass. 


“We’re very confident that it will be done, to be very honest, as it’s a nice, accessible scheme for them to fund,” said Rob.

He added: “The money we first applied for was called the Beeching Reversal Fund but is the Restoring Your Railways fund.

“We were waiting to see if we’d been accepted to the next stage and that was the business plan for development funding.

“But we have been told by the DfT that they will fund the work through to completion but this money is subject to ‘reaching certain milestones’.

“We don’t know for sure what certain milestones means, and I’m having a meeting next week with them to discuss further, but it’s possible that the milestones are likely to be what would have completed the Restoring Your Railway funding as that tick the DfT’s boxes.”

Rob added that the project, which will also restore a railway station to service Park Hall and the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt (RJAH) hospital – will be self-managed and much of the work has already been done.

And he says that plans for a major obstacle have been outlined but will be revealed at a later date when the project will be further down the track.

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He said: “It has a lot of things going for it as it will benefit so many people and, significantly, it’s all under the control of CHR – it’s ready to go.

“Around the A5, we have come up with options to go under the road but the detail on how crossing will be put in place is all still subject to the business plan.”

The news was welcomed by North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan who has continued parliamentary support from hr predecessor Owen Paterson in restoring the railways to the town.