A mid-summer celebration of vintage 1960s diesel traction
With our popular summer diesel gala having been postponed (for the second year running) until September due to the Coronavirus pandemic, now that Government restrictions are being eased again the GWR are delighted to announce a short notice additional diesel gala day on the 30th July using all our available locomotives.
The day will feature all four of our currently operational fleet of vintage diesel locomotives dating back to the 1960s; class 24 no.5081 built in 1960, class 37 no.37215 built in 1963, class 45 ‘Peak’ no.45149 built in 1961 and class 47 no. 47376 the youngest of our fleet dating back to 1965.
Two sets of passenger coaches will be in use all day with the first departures from Cheltenham Racecourse at 09:45, from Toddington at 10:00 and from Broadway at 10:55. The public timetable can be downloaded here.
We 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 journeys, 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?
The best way to buy tickets for the event is in advance over the Internet and avoid any queues on the day - click on the button below.
(Unfortunately, shareholder, member, HRA passes and other complimentary tickets will not be valid).
|Adult||Child||Family (2A + up to 3C)|
or alternatively just turn up and pay on the day at one of our booking offices at Cheltenham Rcaceourse, Winchcombe, Toddington or Broadway.
Below you will find linformation about the locomotive line-up, timetable, details of fares and on-line booking, where to stay and information on the railway's stations…just about everything you need to know!
- Timetable – our public timetable; now with loco allocations
- Getting there – how to reach us, by car and by public transport
- Locomotives – the line up of heritage diesels
- Rolling stock – the coaches we will have in use
- Stations – our principal stations
- Where to stay – a short guide to local accommodation
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
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.
Car parking is available at Cheltenham Racecourse, Toddington and Broadway stations. The biggest car park is at Cheltenham Racecourse station where there are stacks of parking spaces. Parking is free at Cheltenham and Toddington, and is available at the council run car park across the road from Broadway station – if you pay for an all day ticket (£5) you will receive a £3 voucher redeemable at the booking office when you purchase a ticket. Both Toddington and Cheltenham are easy to find and access from all directions including the M5 motorway. Use the link https://www.gwsr.com/planning_your_visit/finding_us.html for detailed information and directions.
By public transport
If you're travelling by public transport, the best way to get to the railway is by Network Rail to Cheltenham Spa station (services from all over the country) and take the excellent Stagecoach bus service D or E from the station to 'Racecourse Park & Ride' from where it is a 5-10 minute walk to the station. The bus service runs every 10 minutes on weekdays and Saturdays, and every 30 minutes on Sundays. Journey time is 22 minutes, so allow 35 minutes from departing Cheltenham National Rail station to Cheltenham Racecourse GWR station.
There is also an hourly Stagecoach bus service W from Cheltenham North Street to Winchcombe station. The timetable can be found here.
The Summer Diesel Day will feature four of the GWR's unique collection of ex-British Rail diesel locomotives.
All our locomotives and railcars are owned by preservation groups or individuals and most have their own websites packed full of information on the locomotive's history, operation and latest news.
Click on the links for lots more on each (including how you can join and get involved with the operation, maintenance and restoration of each if you wish). Note the GWSR is not responsible for the content of external links.
- in use and working trains
|Class 24||5081||24081 Locomotive Group|
|Class 45||45149||Cotswold Mainline Diesel Group|
|Class 47||47376||The Brush Type Four Fund|
- on static display
|Class 20||D8137||Privately owned|
|Class 20||20228||Privately owned|
|Class 26||D5343||Cotswold Mainline Diesel Group|
Privately owned - in custodianship of
There will be 2 sets of coaches in use during the weekend. We can offer two 7 coach sets – our usual chocolate & cream and maroon sets of coaches. Hot food will be available on board Set A (marked in the timetables).
Find out more about all our rolling stock here
Our principal stations
Toddington is the railway's headquarters and location of our engine sheds and maintenance facilities.
Things happening at Toddington over the weekend will include:
- Viewing area of the shed yard with our diesel locos not in action on display
- The 'Flag and Whistle' cafe selling a range of hot home-cooked food, snacks and drink. Fast food available outside adjacent to the platforms.
Winchcombe is a pleasant location to break your journey, with the Coffee Pot cafe serving refreshments on platform 1 with a picnic area adjacent to platform 2. As it is a crossing loop on our largely single track railway, it provides the opportunity to view trains passing each other through the station with all the hustle and bustle that goes with it. Most up trains will pause here for a few minutes giving you some time to stretch your legs and take photographs of the trains as they pass each other in the station. It is also the location of our carriage and wagon workshops where our fleet of coaches are restored and maintained.
Our largest car park is available at Cheltenham Racecourse station, together with access to a frequent bus service into Cheltenham town centre and Cheltenham national rail station at the entrance to the racecourse site ('Racecourse Park and Ride').
The ‘jewel in the crown’ of the GWR’s stations. Broadway Station is the newest station on our railway and is our northern terminus. The station is situated on the north-western edge of the village, a 15 minute walk from the centre. The whole station has been built by our volunteers in the style of the original which was completely demolished when the line closed and has now got a welcoming tea room selling refreshments. The station is now provided with a car park making it an ideal place from which to start or finish your journey.