LORD NELSON TOPS BILL AT COTSWOLD FESTIVAL OF STEAM
14 May 2008
- 142-ton locomotive arrives from National Railway Museum,
- EIGHT engines working during Festival, 24-26 May and 31 May-1
- David Shepherd celebrates 40 years owning 'Black Prince'
- RAF Memorial Flight flypast: Lancaster, Spitfire &
- 'Coffee Pot' runs again!
One of the most impressive steam locomotives to run in Britain
is visiting the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway (GWR) and will
star at the Cotswold line's 'Cotswold Festival of Steam' between
24th May and 1st June.
'Lord Nelson', a Southern Railway express locomotive now owned
by the National Railway Museum, was overhauled at its Eastleigh
birthplace two years ago and has just returned to steam following
further work at the York museum. It was delivered by road on Sunday
Weighing in at over 142 tons, Lord Nelson was the most powerful
express locomotive of its type when built in 1926. It was
designed to handle the heaviest holiday expresses and boat trains
from London to the South Coast and West Country.
Lord Nelson tops the bill at the Festival, taking place on the
10-mile Toddington to Cheltenham railway, when no fewer than EIGHT
steam locomotives will be performing, making this one of the
railway's busiest and most impressive Steam Festivals yet.
"We've pulled out all the stops this year," says the railway's
spokesman, Ian Crowder.
"Lord Nelson is a fantastic coup for the railway and it joins
another National Railway Museum-owned celebrity, the Great Western
Railway 'City of Truro', which is now 105 years old. It was
the first engine ever to reach an official 100mph - way back in
"Last year proved that variety of engines and trains
offers an irresistible spectacle with over 1,000 people per day
riding our rails. This year there are lots of important dates to
celebrate so we think it will be more popular than ever!"
A century since the first expresses trains started running over
the line between Birmingham and the West Country
60 years since the railways were nationalised, meaning the Great
Western Railway, Southern Railway, London Midland & Scottish
Railway and London & North Eastern Railway became 'British
40 years since British Railways ended the use of steam
40 years since wildlife and railway artist and conservationist
David Shepherd took delivery of his then nine-year-old locomotive
Black Prince, which he bought from British Railways and is resident
on the GWR
"David Shepherd's beloved Black Prince will be working over the
festival, and he will be visiting the railway on the last day, 1st
"The RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will also be making a
flypast on that day, with the Lancaster bomber and Spitfire and
During the nine-day Festival there will be opportunities to
travel on coaches reminiscent of the old 'Coffee Pot' service that
ran between Cheltenham and Honeybourne until 1960. "This is
bound to evoke a lot of memories," says Ian. "Many local
people went to work or school - or to the pictures on a Saturday
night - on the train, which used to consist of a tank engine and
one or two coaches that the engine either pushed or pulled."
You can find out more and download a copy of the special
timetable by visiting www.gwsr.com or call 01242 621405