The Chester Shrewsbury Rail Partnership held their AGM recently at Oswestry Station and re-elected Cllr David A Bithell of Wrexham CBC as their Chair. Also elected as Vice Chair was Jackie Allen in her position as Board Director of Severn Dee Travel who run the booking office at Gobowen Station.
Prior to their meeting members of the Partnership visited Gobowen’s Station to see first hand the work that is being undertaken with Oswestry Station Building Trust, Severn Dee travel and the Rail Partnership.
Two years ago under a successful Community Right to Bid the buildings at the station were purchased by the Trust to ensure they would be a community asset for years to come. Members saw the work that had been undertaken in the empty unit on Platform 2 including the installation of an air source heating system. Roger Date of the Trust explained that the next phase of the restoration would concentrate on the re-rendering of the building and they were currently establishing potential funding that they could access.
Roger Date also gave details of the proposal to run a Community Rail service from Gobowen Station through to the Orthopaedic Hospital. This light rail service would assist many that visit the hospital daily.
In the booking office run by not for profit company Severn Dee Travel they were shown the plans of the refurbishment of the waiting room and cafe, financed through a series of grants including a successful grant application to the Transport for Wales Rail Services Challenge Fund.
Cllr David Bithell welcomed Transport for Wales Rail Services to the Partnership and said “the Partnership now enters a new phase and we are encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment of TfW Rail services to Community Rail. Our business plan for the next few years will ensure our stations are gateways to the area and we will be working with various partners to deliver these.”