King class 4-6-0 no. 6023 King Edward II will star at the 'Give my Regards to Broadway'-themed Cotswold Festival of Steam (Photo: Ray O'Hara)

 

Press Release 17 May 2018

STAGE SET FOR BIGGEST ‘COTSWOLD FESTIVAL OF STEAM’ - 26-28 MAY 2018

  • ‘Give my Regards to Broadway’ theme attracts big railway stars!

  • Guests performers include a ‘King’, ‘Oliver Cromwell’ and an American!

  • Intensive train services mark 50th anniversary since end of BR steam

  • First engines arriving at Toddington by road

 

The first magnificent stars of the forthcoming ‘Give my Regards to Broadway’ steam festival on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) have arrived at Toddington ready for the greatest steam show in the Cotswolds.

 

The curtain will be raised on the railway’s annual Cotswold Festival of Steam over the long May bank holiday weekend and it’s set to be its biggest ever, with a spectacular starring cast of visiting locomotives joining the railway’s resident engines. There will be eight* altogether operating over the long May bank holiday weekend, working an intensive timetable, with some trains ‘double headed’ by two locomotives.

 

This year, newly opened Broadway station is included in the event, sponsored by Mortons Media which publishes the Railway Magazine and Heritage Railway magazine as well as other transport. 

 

The action starts at 09.00 at Toddington while the first departures of the day from each end of the line are from Cheltenham Racecourse at 09.20 and from Broadway at 09.55 – a run of nearly 15 miles between the stations.

 

Ian Crowder, spokesman for the railway and a member of the organising committee says: “The stage is set for our biggest ever Cotswold Festival of Steam.

 

“This will be quite a show. Not only does the event take in our brand new Broadway station – hence the theme, ‘Give my regards to Broadway’, but it marks the 50th anniversary of the end of steam on British Railways.

 

“We are delighted that we have been able to attract four fantastic star performers of the railway world – three of which have never been to our line before. And it’s going to be quite a show as it includes a ‘King’, ‘Cromwell’ and an Yank!

 

King takes lead role! Taking centre stage is one of the Great Western Railway’s most powerful express locomotives: King class no. 6023 King Edward II which used to haul the heaviest expresses between London Paddington, the West Country; and the Midlands. These huge locomotives – which weigh in at over 135 tons – never worked over the route on which the present-day GWSR operates because they were too large. It is strikingly wearing early British Railways blue, a livery carried for a short time in the 1950s.

 

Cromwell – the second big star! Also heading the cast is British Railways Britannia class no. 70013 Oliver Cromwell.  The Britannia’s were among the last express steam locomotives built in Britain and members of this class operated the very last express steam services over the former Cheltenham-Stratford upon Avon line, which ran between the Midlands and the West Country and came to an end in 1965.  Oliver Cromwell was the last of the class and was used on the very last day of British Railways’ steam in 1968 before being preserved for the National Railway Museum.

 

American imposter! No Broadway-themed event would be complete without an American and this comes in the shape of United States Army Transportation Corps class 160, no. 5197.  These engines were built in their thousands in the USA for the war effort and a large number of them operated in the UK for a time during the second World War. They were all then shipped to Europe after D-day. These distinctive locomotives – with their very American multi-tone whistles – worked over this route handling heavy goods and troop trains.

 

Supporting role! A welcome return to the GWSR is Great Western Railway ‘pannier’ tank locomotive no. 6430. These delightful engine types were a familiar sight all over the former Great Western Railway network, happy handling local passenger trains as well as goods trains. 

 

Home performers: Home fleet locomotives include Southern Railway express locomotive no. 35006 Peninsular & Oriental SN Co; Hall class no. 7903 Foremarke Hall; Manor class no. 7820 Dinmore Manor and the oldest former Great Western Railway locomotive in working order, no. 2807 which is now well over 100 years old having been built in Swindon in 1905.

 

At the railway’s stations there is plenty going on including the North Cotswolds Narrow Gauge railway at Toddington; displays of vehicles and traction engines, refreshments at all stations, at Winchcombe there will be a chance to explore ‘backstage’ the railways’s Carriage & Wagon works; model railways, at Gotherington (open courtesy of the private owners) there’s and opportunity to have a go on a ‘pump trolley’ on the siding.

 

Says Crowder: “The GWSR is going all-out to put on a magnificent perfomance that does justice to the 50th anniversary of the end of steam on British Railways as well as really put our new station at Broadway firmly on the map.

 

“If you have even the slightest interest in steam then this is the ‘must go to’ event of the year!”

 

The railway will be operating classic bus services between Cheltenhan Spa Network Rail station and the railway’s Cheltenham Racecourse station; and between Broadway station and Broadway village.

 

There is unlimited free car parking at Cheltenham Racecourse station (entry via the main racecourse entrance); limited free car parking at Toddington station. There is no car parking at Broadway station yet but visitors can park in the long-term car park in the village and either walk to the station (about 10 minutes) or catch the red London Routemaster bus.

 

Full details fo the Cotswold Festival of Steam including timetable, fares and events at the stations can be found at www.gwsr.com

 

ENDS

 

Media contact: Ian Crowder, 07775 566 555 or ian.crowder@gwsr.com

* All locomotives and attractions are subject to availability.

 

PIUCTURES AVAILABLE - https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0esba1b1evqew8h/AAAUjoPP41MVbkUjhr3K5isua?dl=0  Low resolution examples below

 

ENDS ALL

 

Pictures - hi-res here:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0esba1b1evqew8h/AAAUjoPP41MVbkUjhr3K5isua?dl=0

 

Above: A King arrives at Toddington on the back of a truck…courtesy Great Western Society Didcot (Chris Blake)

Above: Magnificent Oliver Cromwell - was the last British Railways express locomotive in service, courtesy the National Railway Museum and Great Central Railway (Jack Boskett)Above: An American comes to Broadway - USATC S160 no. 5197 seen here on its home Churnet Valley Railway (Ray O’Hara)

Great Western delight - pannier tank locomotive no. 6430 from the Llangollen Railway (Ray O’Hara)