Cambrian Heritage Railways, with sites in Oswestry town centre and Llynclys, has taken delivery of two Pacer train carriages from Porterbrook, the rolling stock finance and asset management company and long-time supporter of community rail.
The acquisition was organised following discussions between the Chester Shrewsbury Community Rail Partnership and Porterbrook CEO Mary Grant.
Sheila Dee, Community Rail Officer for the Partnership, explained that during conversations some months ago Mary was interested in the range of projects we were involved in and the Partnership’s support of the reopening of the line between Gobowen and Oswestry that was being promoted by Cambrian Heritage Railways (CHR).
Sheila said: “Our work with Cambrian Heritage Railways has focused on assisting them on the bid to the Department for Transport’s Restoring Your Railways project earlier this year and introducing a community rail service.
“We have also discussed arranging a community rail working party involving Porterbrook and local volunteers interested on working on the Pacers when the conditions allow.”
Speaking about the donation Mary Grant said: “I was really excited when Sheila told me about the plans for the heritage railway linking Gobowen and Oswestry. Porterbrook is always keen to work with community rail groups and I am delighted that we have been able to make available some of our retired Pacer trains for this very worthwhile project.
“I very much look forward to visiting Cambrian Heritage Railways to see these trains as they embark on a new life serving both local people and visitors to this beautiful part of Shropshire.“
Cambrian Heritage Railways Chairman Roger Date said: “We are immensely grateful to Porterbrook for all their help in allowing us to acquire these units and to the Community Rail Partnership for making the introductions and working with us so positively over the past 12 months. Being a part of the Community Rail Partnership has assisted us with our aspiration to deliver a community rail service and bring economic benefits to the area.”
According to Cambrian Heritage Railways, timescales for a possible reopening of the line to Gobowen are hard to predict and are subject to government funding, but local people can support the proposals by keeping up pressure on their local and national politicians.
Local people are also being urged by CHR to become members to present a stronger voice to funding agencies. Here’s the link to their membership form: http://www.cambrianrailways.com/html/join_online.html
To see how you can help support the railway during the COVIS-19 pandemic, please visit https://www.cambrianrailways.com/html/covid-19.html