Council awards £120k grant to heritage railway extension

Cambrian Heritage Railways (CHR) has been awarded a £120,000 grant from Oswestry Town Council towards the capital costs of extending its Oswestry passenger running line from Gasworks Bridge to Weston Wharf, on the southern edge of the town, off Maesbury Road near the A483 level crossing.

CHR Chairman Rob Williams said: “This is a significant grant for CHR and will play a vital part in seeing the passenger running line extended from Oswestry to Weston Wharf, a distance of 1 ¾ miles. Adjacent to our historic goods shed at Weston Wharf is local micro-brewery Shonehouse, which offers real ale in its on-site visitor centre. Clearly, the combination of a heritage railway and a brewery at one end will be popular and bring significant visitor footfall to not only the railway, but the town of Oswestry. This grant forms part of a package of funding, support and work to deliver what is the first phase of our heritage project.”

Commenting on the grant, Town Mayor, Councillor Vince Hunt said: “Oswestry Town Council is very keen to support this project to ensure it succeeds and to recognise the work of the CHR trustees and members over many years. The project has significant potential economic and tourism benefits for Oswestry that makes it worthy of our investment. We recognise the hard work that has gone into developing the business case and the many volunteer hours given and the funding that has already been achieved. We also appreciate the support of Shropshire Council in its commitment to repair Gasworks Bridge on Salop Road that is vital to this project.”

Rob continued: “We are extremely grateful for the support and vision of Oswestry Town Council in making this grant. Although a significant sum which should see a basic railway delivered, we are still looking for further funding and support to enhance and develop the final product. The Oswestry to Weston Wharf project is what we see as phase 1 – the ultimate goal with our heritage project is to extend further and link up with our other site at Llynclys South, where trains operate to Penygarreg Lane, Pant.

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