BlogEventsCotswold Festival of Steam 2020

Cotswold Festival of Steam 2020



Saturday, Sunday and Monday 23rd, 24th and 25th May 2020

At least EIGHT locomotives in steam!

Special guests planned for another amazing Late May Bank Holiday weekend

The small team behind the Cotswold Festival of Steam is planning yet another outstanding show with at least three visiting locomotives planned along with all of the available 'home fleet'.  An intensive timetable will allow plenty of opportunity to ride behind all of the locomotives and some trains will feature double-heading and interesting combinations of motive power.  Once again, engines that have never visited the railway have been invited!  The usual features will take place including shunting at Winchcombe, visits to the Carriage & Wagon Department behind the scenes; footplate rides (details available nearer the time); trade and preservation society stands and much more.


The Cotswold Festival of Steam organising team is delighted to announce that Mortons, the publisherts of Heritage Railway magazine and The Railway Magazine are once again supporting the show and we are very grateful for their obvious interest and enthrusiasm for the event!  Amongst other things they will be designing and printing the event guide.

First visitor confirmed!

Well now for a surprise!  The first locomotive booked for the Cotswold Festival of Steam is small.  In fact, very small – and very unusual, many people wouldn’t even recognise it as a steam locomotive. It has just four wheels and weighs only 28 tons.

Sentinel 0-4-0 no. 7109 Joyce in full cry at Midsomer Norton (Pic: Sean Dudden)

34072 257 Squadron on its home Swanage Railway. This is its first visit away since its most recent overhaul completed in 2018 (Pic: David Stubbings)

It is Sentinel no. 7109 Joyce which was built in 1927 by Sentinel Waggon Works in Shrewsbury which is much more widely associated with its steam waggons.  Joyce bears very little resemblance to a conventional steam engine both in terms of appearance and the noise it makes.  It is powered by a pair of 100hp twin cylinder, double acting transverse engines at the front with geared and chain transmission to the wheels.  The engines are supplied with steam from a superheated vertical coal-fired water-tube boiler (conventional engines have fire-tube boilers) which works at 275 lb/ pressure. An equally unusual feature is that the locomotive has four chimneys – two for each engine.  The boiler is fed with water from a tank between the frames via two engine-driven pumps when working and a separate steam pump when stationary.

Joyce was the first of eight pre-war locomotives of this type and trials led to further development.  Two were bought by the Somerset & Dorset railway for shunting purposes at Radstock and became a familiar feature of the S&D.

Joyce is presented in black LMS livery as no. 7109 and will be working throughout the Cotswold Festival of Steam at Winchcombe shunting wagons and will run into the station between services.  There will be ample opportunity for visitors to get up close to examine this striking machine and visit the cab.  This is without doubt the most unusual steam locomotive ever to visit the GWSR and an opportunity not to be missed!

GWSR is grateful to Andy Chapman and the Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust at Midsomer Norton for bringing Joyce to the event.

Second visitor - 'A Spam Can!'

The railway is delighted to announce another visitor: this time, unrebuilt Bulleid Pacific no. 34072 257 Squadron, courtesy of owners Southern Locomotives Limited, and the Swanage Railway where the locomotive is based. You might well guess then, that the theme is not as one wag has put it a gala of 'locomotives with funny shaped cladding' but 'Somerset & Dorset Remembered' as the unrebuilt Bulleid pacifics were particularly associated with the fomer Somerset & Dorset route between Bournemouth West and Bath. 

Nevertheless, it is unlikely that 257 Squadron ever worked over the 'S&D'.  Following completion at Brighton in 1948 (the second of the class to be turned out under British Railways ownership following nationalisation), it was allocated Dover Marine shed, principally to work Kent Coast continental expresses, including the Night Ferry, out of London's Charing Cross terminal.  After electrification of the Brighton lines 34072 was re-allocated to Exmouth Junction, providing services throughout the West Country west of Salisbury.

The engine was sent to its final shed, Eastleigh, in June 1964 where it was withdrawn just four months later and despatched to swell Woodham's growing collection of withdrawn locomotives at the eponymous Barry scrapyard in South Wales. It was initially restored at the former Swindon works, being re-steamed just in time for the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, being renamed and taking part in commemorations at Folkestone in 1990. 

The engine moved to the Swanage Railway in 1992 where it has been based ever since, finally being withdrawn for overhaul more than 12 years after its restoration (incidentally the longest continuous spell a heritage locomotive has operated under the same boiler certificate) in 2003.  It was eventually  overhauled and steamed again in 2017, re-entering service on the Purbeck line the following year.

This is the first visit to another heritage railway for 34072 since its most recent overhaul.

Make a note in your diary now - clear the decks and don't miss it! Book your tickets now! 

You can save time and money and buy your tickets on-line now!  Tickets provide unlimited travel on the day of your choosing.  A variety of ticket combinations are offered whether for one day, two or the whole event; family tickets; for children and concessions.
For example, adult ticket price is for one day is just £23 and a child only £9 for unlimited travel.  Click gthe link for full range of prices and to book and save!

Please note however, that as with previous events, there is no admission to the staions only.  Much of the activity takes place at Toddington which is open ONLY to ticket holders.  We're sorry that this will disappoint some but given the geography of the station it's the only way we can operate the event.


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Cotswold Festival of Steam 2020