The main function of the Cotswold Line Promotion Group is to encourage the fullest use of the line between Oxford, Worcester and Hereford. It does this partly by distributing literature to places which the rail industry does not reach. The Group participates in various events in the catchment area of the Line. The main one is the Moreton-in-Marsh Show in September each year.
It also strives to obtain the best possible standard and level of service from the train operators and holds regular meetings with management in order to achieve this. From time to time, the Group organises meetings, some of which involve rail managers, at which members of the public can put their views. It also holds other social events, such as film evenings, coffee mornings etc.
In 1998, the Group undertook the production of an "Appraisal and Development Plan" for the Line and this was followed by the formation of the "Cotswolds and Malverns Transport Partnership" comprising local authorities, train operators, Network Rail and the CLPG. This body negotiated with Network Rail and the Department for Transport to obtain infrastructure improvements for the benefit of users of the Line. It was from this initiative that a decision was taken to reinstate double track along 20 miles of the Cotswold Line.
The Group has been instrumental in celebrating the 150th anniversary of the opening of Worcester Shrub Hill in 2001, then in 2002, Evesham and Pershore, and in 2003, Evesham to Oxford. In June 2003, in association with Thames Trains, a Gala Day was held at Moreton-in- Marsh. Kingham station's 150th anniversary was in August 2005.
The Group also arranges day trips. These are usually by train, although coach trips, like the one to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway on 25th June 2011, are not ruled out. Some involve the chartering of trains from one of our train operators. In recent years, these have included destinations such as Weymouth, Barmouth, Kingswear, Matlock, Chester and Cardiff. In 2010, there was a highly successful excursion to Minehead and, on 10th September 2011, Portsmouth and Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour were the destinations, using a First Great Western High Speed Train.
The Group issues its own "Newsletter" three times a year and this tells members what is happening on the Line. It is also on sale to the general public, price £1.00. Associated with this is the Group's internet web site - www.clpg.org.uk - which is regularly updated with the latest news.
In 1995, the Group published a book detailing 14 station to station walks all the way from Hereford to Oxford. 2000 copies of the fully illustrated book were printed and, almost all have now been sold. A second book, featuring walks in the opposite direction, was published in September 2009. This is available from local stations or, post free, from the Membership Secretary, to CLPG members, at a reduced price of £6.00.