Swindon and Cricklade Railway Society celebrates its 35th anniversary later this year, but plans to mark it with the opening of Taw Valley Halt near Moulden Hill Country Park in September depends on the welfare of local wildlife.
The society’s buildings and works spokesman Dave Peacey said: “We have to wait for the Environment Agency to complete their wildlife survey on the site before we can go ahead and commission the line and the platform. It’s all built, but we are not able to carry any passengers along the stretch until all the official checks have been made.”
Pictured right, the temporary platform just outside Moulden Hill with houses at Oakhurst in the distance
The extension to Taw Valley Halt will mean trains will be able to complete a six-mile round trip, as opposed to the current four miles.
The next stage in the project to bring the line south into Mouldon Hill will be a planning application to build a permanent station in the country park, to open hopefully in time for the fortieth birthday.
Dave is optimistic and said a lot of effort had gone into getting the track extended to the temporary platform at Taw Valley Halt. “Members have worked really hard to get to this point; there are a lot of people with their chest puffed out at the moment and they should be congratulated.”