Another fantastic event planned to showcase steam in the Cotswolds! 25-27 May 2019
A splash of colour at Didbrook as 7903 Foremarke Hall pilots 6023 King Edward II with a northbound train during the 2018 Festival. The 'King' is visiting again (picture: Paul Begg)
Three days of magic! Plans are well under way for another outstanding Cotswold Festival of Steam with the first of three visitors confirmed: it is the Great Western Society's magnificent 'King' class four-cylinder 4-6-0 no. 6023 King Edward II which appears in early British Railway's blue. Built in 1930, the 'King' class was the Great Western Railway's most powerful express locomotive class and were the most powerful 4-6-0s in Europe. The GWSR will therefore once again see the most powerful GWR class rivalling the most powerful SR class in the shape of home-based 'Merchant Navy' pacific no. 35006 Peninsular & Oriental SN Co .
Two more visitors! The railway is in the process of exchanging contracts with the owers of two more locomotives to visit for the occasion. This will mean that with the home fleet, the railway expects (subject to availability of course) to field no fewer than seven locomotives!
|Caledonian Railway 0-4-4T no. 419 will add another splash of colour to the Cotswols Festival of Steam (Picture: Ray O'Hara)|
LATEST!! Caledonian colour for the Cotswold Festival of Steam! A Scottish locomotive is to make its first ever visit to the Cotswolds for the Cotswold Festival of Steam (25-27 May 2019).
The locomotive is numbered 419, and a member of the Caledonian Railway’s ‘439’ class of 0-4-4 tank engines designed by J F Mackintosh. Between 1900 and 1925, 92 were built, mostly at St. Rollox Works in Glasgow, no. 419 being turned out from there in 1907.
Of very attractive design, these ‘Caley Tanks’ were mainly used on suburban and branch line passenger services as well as light freight work.
The engine survived well into British Railways days being withdrawn from Carstairs depot in 1962 after a creditable 55 years of sterling service, all north of the border. It was then sold to the Scottish Railway Preservation Society (SRPS) for £750. It was overhauled and returned to steam in 1971 and, after a further overhaul which was completed in October 2018, is now based at the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway.
No. 419 is finished in a very attractive ‘Perth blue’ livery and it will add a delightful splash of colour to the Festival. It is owned by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society and the GWSR is grateful to them for agreeing to provide their lovely engine for a visit to the Cotswolds.
More trains than ever! There will be more opportunities to ride behind all of these locomotives between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway with frequent locomotive changes between FOUR passenger train sets!
Bringing back the goods! A short freight train is planned to be based at Winchcombe although because of lack of paths and the inability at present to handle more than one train at Broadway, it won't be making any long trips along the line.
Showcase! And at Toddington preservation groups, artists, photographers, and traders such as book and model sales will again be housed in a large marquee.
And lots more besides with plenty of opportunities to get behind the scenes at Winchcombe's acclaimed Carriage & Wagon Department; enjoy model railways, local beers and food and drinks on trains and at stations - including the new cafe at Broadway.
Online tickets are on sale now and we will also shortly reveal the theme for the event which we can't give away at present because it might give a clue to one of the planned visitors! So watch this space!