A GROUP looking at opening a steam heritage railway between Andover and Ludgershall has held its first meeting and decided to meet again in another six to eight weeks.

The meeting heard from specialists who already have experience of the Didcot Railway Centre, the Swanage Railway and the Watercress Line.

“While listening to the experts, it became clear that it will be quite a challenge to develop this project into an operational heritage line.”

said Cllr David Drew from Andover.

Two key areas need to be addressed.

Representatives from Andover agreed to approach Network Rail over the feasibility of using part of the Andover rail network and platform.

Investigations into using the MoD railhead and platform at Ludgershall will be undertaken by the Ludgershall Town Council.

“We already have links with the MoD and it therefore made sense for us to pick this up,”

said Cllr Owen White, chairman of the Ludgershall Town Council.