Heritage Diesel Gala 26th to 28th July

A celebration of vintage diesel traction from the 1960s and 1970s


Please note:


  • Car Parks will open 45 minutes before the first train leaves Toddington.
  • All Booking Offices and Stations will open 30 minutes before the first train leaves Toddington. 
  • Trains will not stop at Hayles Abbey Halt during this event


Class 50 No 50035 'Ark Royal'


Class 24 No 5081


English Electric Class 37 No D6948


This year’s 3 day summer festival of heritage diesel traction on the GWR will transport you back to a time when British Rail ran locomotive hauled trains the length and breadth of the country, from large powerful express locomotives on inter-city journies, to smaller mixed traffic and freight types many of which were pressed into use during the summer months taking people from the towns to our seaside resorts.    


All these sights and sounds will be re-created once more as we take you for 14 miles along the edge of the Cotswolds from Cheltenham Racecourse to the magnificently rebuilt Broadway station at this picturesque Cotswold village as we recreate a past era of the UK’s railways now long since disappeared from the national network. Why not take a stroll up the road into this lovely Cotswold village with a number of excellent pubs, eateries and shops? Over the 3 days, our magnificently restored collection of vintage diesel locomotives will be clocking up over 1000 miles between them as we celebrate the 1960s, 70s and 80s.


This year, we are very pleased to welcome a special visitor, in the shape of class 50 locomotive no.50035 ‘Ark Royal’ one of large and powerful class of engines designed to pull express passenger services initially between England and Scotland over the west coast main line, but from 1974 onwards on the main lines of the Western Region to places such as London, Penzance, Plymouth, Cardiff, Birmingham, Worcester and Exeter. We are not sure if one actually traversed the former main line between Stratford upon Avon and Cheltenham through Broadway and Cheltenham Racecourse, so this may well be the first time one has done so. Named after Royal Navy warships during the late 1970s, the class became very popular with enthusiasts due to their impressive size and distinctive sound, and were finally withdrawn from main line service in 1994.


We are also pleased to welcome back a popular favourite from our home fleet of locomotives – class 24 no. 5081, which has been undergoing an extensive bogie and running gear overhaul and has been out of traffic for the past 3 years. This will be the first visit of the locomotive to Broadway!


Up to 10 trains each day will run to Broadway, with even more running between Toddington and Cheltenham Racecourse giving a full 28 mile round trip on most services, which together with passing trains in the loops at Gotherington, Winchcombe and Toddington allows a 45 minute frequency service all day.  There will be something for everyone - for families looking for a great day out as well as for the railway enthusiast. For the haulage enthusiast, our regular timetable allows a wide variety of 'moves' to be made throughout the day in pursuit of your favourite traction. Come and re-live the atmosphere of travelling by British Rail (remember them?) from 40 and 50 years ago. The 1960s, 1970s and 1980s live again!


On Sunday 28th July we'll be sharing the Toddington Site with our popular Annual Bus Rally. You can read more about that event here.


The majority of our fleet of heritage diesel locomotives are now well over 50 years old  so the event also pays tribute to the history of British electrical and mechanical engineering from the 1950s and 1960s - a time when Britain was still at the forefront of locomotive technology and exported railway locomotives all over the world. At Toddington, you will be able to visit our diesel maintenance shed and see up close 1963-built class 47 locomotive no.47105 under overhaul and our single car diesel multiple unit built in 1957 W55003 and formerly used on the Honeybourne line currently being refurbished.


The best way to buy tickets for the event is in advance over the internet. Avoid any queues on the day and benefit from an on-line discounted price – one day adult tickets are available for just £23! Multi-day rover tickets offering substantial savings are also available if booked in advance. Alternatively just turn up and pay on the day (adult tickets £26). The railway is also offering multi-day rover tickets (if booked in advance). 


Just use the quick-links below to get the information you need.


Getting There Timetable Ticket Office Toddington Shed
Locos & Coaches What's Happening Where? Sales Stands Somewhere to stay

On these pages you will find latest news, information about the locomotive line-up, timetable, details of fares, where to stay, attractions at the railway's stations, how to get a lineside pass…just about everything you need to know!


These pages will be updated right up to the event itself as we add more news and information.  If not all of the pages are populated yet, please keep coming back to keep yourself up to date!


Your safety

Finally, a gentle note about safety and good behaviour: we everyone to enjoy your day and go home happy and in once piece!  Platforms and trains are likely to be crowded at times so...

  • Please take care at the platform edge
  • Please respect instructions of volunteer station staff and remain in designated areas
  • Never walk near the track unless you have a lineside pass and are wearing a high-visibility orange jacket
  • Never sit on the platform edge with your feet over the side
  • Never attempt to join or leave a moving train
  • Please keep an eye on children - they can easily get lost when there are a lot of people about!  If your youngster is lost, contact station staff who will make an announcement
  • If you are hurt in any way or feel unwell, please contact station staff who can call appropriate assistance from paramedic staff and our first responder team.
  • Finally, please respect your fellow visitors, our facilities, trains and staff members, who are all volunteers. We want everyone to have a happy and enjoyable day at the friendly line in the Cotswolds – anyone who is seen or reported to be behaving inappropriately will be asked to leave with no refund. We have a zero tolerance policy towards anti-social behaviour of any kind.


Important information for photographers

The GWR no longer issues lineside passes - anyone found 'lineside' is likely to cause disruption to the timeable and is trespassing. Fortunately, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is blessed with many vantage points publicly accessible from footpaths, roads, stations and other locations from where pictures can be taken of trains without the need to access the railway's property. Ordnance Survey maps: Explorer OL45; or Landranger 162 and 163 are well worth exploring for footpaths and vantage points along the route of the railway.