VOLUNTEERS at a decommissioned railway line are celebrating after a vehicle ran on the tracks for the first time in 25 years.

This major milestone was achieved by the Vale of Berkeley Railway team earlier in the month.

On Friday, November 9, the first of four 880’ sidings was sufficiently cleared of undergrowth to actually run a hand trolley.

Volunteers have been clearing undergrowth and trees at Oldminster Sidings - a 2.5 acre site adjacent to Sharpness Docks - for over seven months.

Working under a temporary licence from Network Rail and within environmental and ecological guidelines all of the clearing has been carried entirely by hand.

Oldminster Sidings were laid as an exchange point for outgoing trains off the dock railway system, but were last used over 25 years ago.

The Vale of Berkeley Railway team hopes to lease the site from Network Rail in due course as an operational base for a heritage railway using the Sharpness to Berkeley Road branch line.

Rolling stock for the project is being worked upon at the Old Engine House on Sharpness Docks where visitors are welcome on Saturday mornings. New volunteers of all ages and abilities are always welcome.

Further details about the project available via: valeofberkeleyrailway.co.uk