This year’s 3 day summer festival of heritage diesel traction is a very special one as we will be running along our newly re-opened extension into the magnificently rebuilt Broadway station for the first time. Now providing a total journey from Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway of 14 miles, we hope you will come and sample the newly rebuilt railway into this picturesque Cotswold village as we recreate a past era of locomotive hauled trains 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 running between them as we celebrate the return of the railway to Broadway.
Whilst the highlight of the gala will undoubtedly be our diesel locomotives running to Broadway for the first time, we are fortunate to be able to celebrate the occasion by the first visit to the line of ‘Warship’ class diesel hydraulic locomotive no.D832 ‘Onslaught’, which, together with our own green ‘South Wales’ class 37 locomotive D6948, will bring a classic 1960s Western Region flavour to the event.
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 along the majority of the line. 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!
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 and 1960 built class 24 no.5081 under overhaul and our single car diesel multiple unit built in 1957 W55003 and formerly used on the Honeybourne line currently being refurbished.
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