Locomotive 'Dinmore Manor' heads over the fields with a train from Broadway to Cheltenham Racecourse. From 18 May round trips from Broadway station can be booked once agian for the first time since 2019 (Picture: Ian Crowder)
GWSR RE-opens Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway stations
Two-train service started today (18 May) – return tickets to Broadway from Cheltenham Racecourse available again, plus round trips from Broadway
Tickets bookable in advance
All station catering reopens
Tuesday 18 May 2021: The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) has expanded its services from today (18th May), reflecting the latest relaxation of Covid lockdown restrictions. This follows the successful resumption of train services on its 14-mile railway through the Cotswolds, on 13th April.
Services since then have comprised a round trip starting and finishing at Toddington station.
But now, the railway is offering trips from its Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway stations. This allows for example, travellers to join trains at Cheltenham for travel to Broadway and return by a later train or book a round trip from Broadway (Winchcombe station remains closed to travellers although the Coffee Pot café has reopened for table service). Train tickets should be booked at www.gwsr.com .
Social distancing is still required and the trains mostly comprise compartment coaches, bookable for between two and six passengers in a ‘social bubble’. Open coaches are also included with limited seating available, for individuals and couples.
At the same time, the railway’s cafés at Broadway (for passengers and non-train visitors) and Winchcombe (for non-train visitors only) have reopened for table service while the Flag & Whistle tea rooms at Toddington resume table service for light lunches.
Richard Johnson, the voluntary Chairman of GWSR Plc commented: “As government guidance changes so we are able to adjust the service we offer.
“We are now running two steam trains on each operating day (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) and with two additional travel packages, from Broadway and Cheltenham Racecourse.
“It’s another positive and exciting step on the journey to full, unrestricted train services which we expect to happen in July, subject of course to continuing success in vaccinations with the corresponding fall in the number of Covid-19 cases.”
The pre-bookable services offered are:
- Round trips from Toddington station (as at present) with departures at 10.00; 11.40; 13.20 and 14.40
- Round trips from Broadway station departing at 12.09 and 13.49
- Return trips from Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway departing 11.00 (arrive 11.49), return departure at 13.49 (single tickets also available on this service)
There is limited availability for these new services and advance booking is encouraged at www.gwsr.com . Subject to space being available, turn-up-and-go tickets (payable by credit or debit card) will also be offered from ticket offices but, if trains are already fully booked it won’t be possible to travel: “So it’s best to book ahead online which can be done up to the day before travel,” adds Richard Johnson.
There is free car parking at Toddington and Cheltenham Racecourse; there is a charge for the local authority-managed car park at Broadway. There are now electric car chargers at the Broadway car park, too.
ENDS / NOTES FOR EDITORS / PHOTOGRAPHS
Media / interview contacts:
Ian Crowder, 07775 566 555 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bryony Exton, email@example.com
Catherine Johnson, 07920 406630 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographs of operations so far this year
Available on this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v5w9ny0udfauheo/AACNCYkElrpVoPPMZoZpjG81a?dl=0 Please credit: Ian Crowder/GWSR. Captions are the file names.
For additional images contact Ian Crowder
Train services from 18 May 2021:
- Round trips from Toddington depart: 10.00; 11.40; 13.20 and 14.40
- Round trips from Broadway depart: 12.09 and 13.49
- Return trips from Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway depart: 11.00; return on 13.49 from Broadway
Heritage Diesel Days Sundays 23 May and 27 June
Trains depart Toddington 10.00, 12.30 and 15.00 using a variety of diesel motive power
ABOUT GLOUCESTERSHIRE WARWICKSHIRE STEAM RAILWAY The multi-award-winning Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) operates over 14 miles through the Cotswolds between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the railway has, since 15th August 2020 operated round trips when permitted under government guidance, only from Toddington station, bookable in advance. 2021 Covid-secure services resumed from 13 April and a new timetable operates from 18 May 2021 (subject to further Covid-19 restrictions). Turn-up-and-go tickets have been available subject to space being available on trains. Services have and continue to reflect prevailing Government guidelines. The GWSR is on part of the former Great Western Railway route between the West Midlands and Bristol, South Wales and the West Country, construction of which was completed in 1906. The line between Cheltenham and Stratford-upon Avon closed in 1976 and the infrastructure was removed in 1979, the formative GWSR beginning to rebuild the line 40 years ago in 1981. A special display marking the anniversary will open at Winchcombe station on 17th July.
Click the links for high resolution versions of the following pictures. A full range of images here
Southern Railway 'Merchant Navy' class express locomotive no. 35006 'Peninsular & Oriental SN Co' accelerates past Didbook with a train for Cheltenham Racecourse on 5 May 2021. 35006 is one of four steam locomotives currently operating on the GWSR (picture Ian Crowder/GWSR) High resolution image here
1919-built locomotive no. 4270 restarts its train from Toddington heading for Broadway on 13 April 2021 (picture Ian Crowder/GWSR) High resolution image here
1919-built locomotive no. 4270 wows passengers at Cheltenham Racecourse on 13 April 2021. From 18 May tickets can be booked from Cheltenham Racecourse station to Broadway (picture Ian Crowder/GWSR) High resolution image here
Broadway departure: the scene at Broadway station on 5 May as a southbound train waits for departure. Round trips from Broadway can be booked once again from 18th May. High resolution image here