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Award for volunteers who re-opened beloved heritage railway

A disused and derelict North Shropshire railway line brought back to life after 50 years has scooped a prestigious national award for volunteer excellence from the British Museum.

Susan Calman
Susan Calman

Cambrian Heritage Railways volunteer team has been named as the winner of the 2021 Marsh Award for Volunteers in Museum Learning nationally as well having scooped the award for the West Midlands region.

The winners were recently invited to a reception at the British Museum in London to receive their trophies.

The Marsh Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of people who are committed to social, cultural and environmental causes. They are run in partnership with the British Museum and recognise the best and most innovative ways in which volunteers engage the public with collections and projects.

Cambrian Heritage Railways volunteers came together to complete a ten-year aspiration to get their local railway back on track.

They worked tirelessly to clear vegetation and rebuild the crumbling infrastructure in order to open a heritage railway from Oswestry to Weston Wharf in April 2022.

Installing two miles of new track and a station at Weston Wharf has enabled Cambrian Heritage Railways to become the latest tourist attraction in Shropshire.

Chairman, Rob Williams said: “We are all delighted the enormous hard work of our volunteers to re-open the railway has been recognised at a regional and national level.

“Cambrian Heritage Railways has had a fantastic first season of operation since we opened in April. I think it can only be good for the local economy and tourism to have an award winning heritage railway that people want to come and visit.”

One of its recent visitors was none other than comedian and travel presenter, Susan Calman.

She went to the railway as part of filming for a new Channel 5 series of ‘Grand Days Out’ in Shropshire and visited the railway at Weston Wharf.

The popular presenter took time out from filming to re-dedicate a former British Railways class 73 locomotive, ‘City of Winchester’ then took to the controls as filming resumed along the two-mile line.

The railway has recently announced it is running Santa Specials on specific dates in November and December. For more details and pre-booking, please see Cambrianrailways.com.

Learn more at cambrianrailways.com, on Facebook at @cambrianheritagerailways or on Twitter at @CambrianChr.

Cambrian Heritage Railways is a volunteer based organisation located at Oswestry, Weston Wharf and Llynclys.

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