It is anticipated that funding and financial assistance would come from a number of sources, depending on the input of local businesses and interested volunteer groups, for example Section 106 Agreements, private contributions from enthusiasts and hopefully grants, given the present thinking of central government.

The success of this “self-help” approach has been seen elsewhere:

  • Llangollen Railway – abandoned in the 1960s, it saw a volunteer rebuild which included replacement of track, buildings and other infrastructure in phases. The line is now a sustainable tourist attraction between Llangollen and Corwen
  • Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway – in the 1980s a group of interested parties embarked on a rebuild of the defunct line. It has been gradually reopened and extended and will reach Broadway (Worcs) and Cheltenham Racecourse in 2018, bringing jobs and income to the area
  • Welsh Highland Railway – the successful Ffestiniog Railway extended their operation by rebuilding the narrow-gauge line through the mountains of Snowdonia. The capital was raised with the help of several funding agencies and supporters and the full 25-mile line was built using local companies and volunteers. This is now a significant attraction and has helped to arrest the decline in the region’s tourism.

BUT – Ironbridge is unique as it could unite the Severn Valley Railway and the main line, to the benefit of the heritage line, the area’s tourist industry and the local community.