Swindon and Cricklade Railway Celebrate their 40th anniversary

This weekend, 8th and 9th September, The Swindon and Cricklade Railway will be celebrating its fortieth anniversary.

They have 5619, ex Great Western tank engine on loan, courtesy of the Telford Horsehay Steam Trust.

This engine will be working along side the resident steam engines based at the Swindon and Cricklade Railway.

“Authentic Great Western steam running in the home town of the Great Western rather than just static is a real attraction” said Adrian Thompson.

“This year is a monumental year in the history of The Swindon and Cricklade Railway” said Adrian Thompson, Publicity Manager.

With this in mind The Swindon and Cricklade Railway took a look back at some of the dates in history where major achievements helped them mark their history.

1978 – The Swindon and Cricklade Railway took possession of a site with no railway remaining. The Swindon and Cricklade Railway was one of the very first Heritage Railways to start with no legacy of track or buildings.

1980 – Tracklaying begins on a small scale.

1983 – First passenger rides available in a Wickham trolley.

1984 – First steam-hauled passenger rides out-and-back from Blunsdon platform.

2000 – Regular passenger services between Blunsdon and Hayes Knoll.

2003 – Celebration steam train crosses the new River Ray bridge on a short section of track towards Swindon.

2008 – Northern extension to South Meadow Lane (in Cricklade direction opened – doubles the length of the existing railway.

2015 – Taw Valley Halt, adjacent to Mouldon Hill Coutry park in Swindon, opened on the Swindon extension.

2018 – The “Return to Cricklade” appeal is launched, this appeal marked the commencement of major track bed clearance from South Meadow Lane as far as Farfield Lane.

Following a generous donation of redundant railway infrastructure from the former Didcot A Power Station the reality of achieving their ambition bears fruit.

Work is currently taking place to raise funds to purchase the base ballast, this will allow track to be relaid as far as Farfield Lane Bridge.

The next project then will be replacing the missing Farfield Lane Bridge, this will allow The Swindon and Cricklade Railway to build a new Halt for passenger use whilst they continue the trackbed clearance in readiness for the final assault to rejoin Swindon to Cricklade again.

The Swindon and Cricklade Railway have the equipment, all we need now is the funds and manpower to enable us to proceed at a quicker pace.

Fancy helping The Swindon and Cricklade Railway with their plans? Membership is always available.

Help them continue “Keeping Swindon’s Railway Heritage alive…”