A RAILWAY project, which could eventually see tourist spots along the banks of the River Severn linked up, is going full steam ahead.

Volunteers involved with the Beaver line, which stands for Berkeley Vale Railway, have said they are optimistic about the project’s success now local companies and Stroud MP Neil Carmichael have jumped on board.

It is hoped that eventually the Beaver Line will run from Sharpness, where a new station, restaurant and museum are planned to be built, past Berkeley, where another station will be opened, along the River Severn to Oldbury.

Val Watts, from Proactive Vision, the group behind the project, said: "This is going to give something to the local area. It will provide jobs for local people and will help bring tourists in.

"It’s about time we had something. Sharpness is in a lovely position and it gets overlooked for everything."

Existing tourists attractions such as the Jenner Museum, Berkeley Castle, Cattle Country, Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal all set to benefit from the reinstated steam railway.

Stuart Burnell, general manager at Cattle Country, said there was scope to introduce a platform at the back of the park.

He said: "This is something unique and if it can happen would be massively popular and positive for the area.

"The extra footfall this would bring would be of benefit to everyone."

Last year Network Rail agreed a long-term lease for an area of land near Sharpness docks where the former Sharpness station was located before it was demolished in the 1960s.

Proactive Vision now has its work cut out clearing the area and starting the building work. The group also needs to clear and renovate the first phase of railway - a four-mile stretch of track between Sharpness and the old Berkeley Road Station near the A38.

Local property maintenance firm The Mears Group has launched Project Berkeley which will help with the clearance of the over grown lines, the renovation of buildings and master planning.

Mr Carmichael said he would be helping the project access funding through the government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

He said: "It’s a great project. It’s a big project. It’s an ambitious project but it’s well worth giving support to."

He added: "That’s one of the many pots of money being made available for projects like this.

"It’s obviously got a strong tourist gain and hopefully local businesses will benefit if this goes ahead."