Updated 02 Feb

Once again the organisers of the Cotswold Festival of Steam are putting on a fantastic show to remember whether you're an enthusiast looking for, unusual opportunites to see locomotives off their home 'patch' or whether you're family looking for a day packed with interest.  





Collett 4-6-0, 6023, King Edward II will be making it's debut at the GWSR for the 2018 "Give My Regards to Broadway" gala (Ray O'Hara)


GW heavyweight freight locomotive no. 2807 trots along the straight at Far Stanley on 27 December 2016 (Jack Boskett)

GW 2-8-0T no. 4270 heads away from Laverton on 12 May 2015 (Malcolm Ranieri)

Merchant Navy pacific 35006 Peninsular & Oriental SN Co at Toddington (Ian Crowder)

BR(W) Modified Hall no. 7903 Foremarke Hall on Stanway Viaduct, October 2013 (Dan Wigg)

BR (W) Manor 4-6-0 no. 7820 Dinmore Manor heads away from Winchcombe round Chicken curve with a demonstration freight, 16 October 2014 (Jack Boskett)

On the 2ft gauge North Gloucestershire Narrow Gauge Railway you can expect to see at least two locomotives in steam.  One of the line's available locomotives is this delightful Hunslet 0-4-2 no. 2075 of 1940 (Malcolm Ranieri)

This year's theme is ''Give My Regards to Broadway"' and it's a celebration of the much anticipated re-opening of Broadway Station to passengers for the first time since 1960. Britain boasted thousands of steam locomotives of hundreds of different designs and the railway is expecting to run eight on each day of the three day event: its home fleet bolstered by up to three visitors from other heritage railways.  


We are delighted now to be able to confirm our first visitor:

  • Collett, 4-6-0, 6023, King Edward II with kind permission of the Great Western Society, will be visiting for the first time, in fact this will be the first visit to the line of a member of this class.

  • Negotiations are in advanced stages for the second and third gala visitors which will be announced here and via the GWSR's various forms of social media when it is appropriate to do so.


Locomotives in order of age - visitors:

Collet 4-6-0, 6023, King Edward II (Courtesy of The Great Western Society)

The King class locomotives were the pinnacle of the Great Western Railway's four cylinder 4-6-0 locomotive development.  The genesis of the design started with Churchward's Star class, first introduced in 1907 for express passenger trains to and from London Paddington to the West Country and the West Midlands.  When Collett succeeded Churchward as the GWR's Chief Mechanical Engineer in 1922, he first modified the design to come up with his Castle class of locomotives and further enhanced it again with the 30 strong King class, introduced in 1927.  6023 entered service in June 1930, and was initially allocated to Newton Abbot, followed by periods of time at Plymouth (Laira), Old Oak Common and Cardiff Canton, from where it was withdrawn in June 1962 having covered 1,554,201 miles,  Via a circuitous route, 6023 was eventually sold to the legendary Barry scrap yard, from where she was ultimately saved and restored. The restoration was more difficult than most as one of the sets of driving wheels had been cut through after a shunting accident at Barry, so one of the first restoration tasks was to take on the job of casting new wheels.


Locomotives in order of age - residents:

Churchward 2800 class 2-8-0 no. 2807, built 1905

This is the oldest Great Western Railway locomotive in working order, having been built in 1905: No. 2807 was a fine example of G J Churchward's engineering design excellence.  It was the first 2-8-0 class to enter service in the UK and for many decades was the most powerful freight locomotive type in Britain.  So successful were they that many of the class survived to the end of steam on the Western Region of British Railways in the 1960s. This fine 'heavyweight champion' re-entered service in 2010 and has been a regular and popular performer on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire railway ever since.  It was restored mainly at Toddington - in fact, it was the first steam locomotive to arrive at the embryonic Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway in 1982.


Churchward 4200 class 2-8-0T no. 4270, built 1919 

This locomotive spent its entire working life in South Wales handling mineral traffic.  Essentially, it is a tank locomotive version of the 2800 class and in fact, was the only 2-8-0 tank locomotive class to run in the UK.  The majority were used to handle coal and other mineral traffic, primarily in South Wales, where high power was needed to convey mineral traffic over relatively short distances and over often steeply-graded routes.  It is a pleasingly attractive engine that returned to steam for the first time since withdrawal from British Railways in 1962 just in time for the 2014 Cotswold Festival of Steam. The locomotive has been subject to an extremely comprehensive restoration both at Toddington and off-site.


Bulleid Merchant Navy class 4-6-2 no. 35006 Peninsular & Oriental SN Co,  built 1941

The powerful Merchant Navy class are particularly associated with the heaviest express passenger services on the Southern Railway's routes from Waterloo to Bournemouth and to the West Country. Despite this, the class of 30 locomotives were ostensibly mixed traffic designs introduced by O V S Bulleid to a highly unconventional design, the first appearing from Eastleigh works in June 1941 looking quite unlike any other British steam locomotive, with an 'air-smoothed' boiler casing and incorporating many new features.  No least of these, was chain-driven valve gear for the middle of the three cylinders enclosed in an oilbath - intended to reduce routine maintenance.  Although the engines were extremely capable, the design was let down by some of the new features.  As a result, the entire class were rebuilt to conventional appearance during the late 1950s, as 35006 is now presented.  In fact, 35006 was 'modified' in October 1959, the last to be so treated. 35006 was withdrawn from service in August 1964 having spent its entire working life allocated to Salisbury shed, working the heavy West of England expresses.  It was the second locomotive to arrive at Toddington, from the scrapyard at Barry, South Wales, in 1983.  It moved for the first time in preservation on 10 August 2015 and is a hugely popular locomotive on the railway now. You can find out more about the Merchant Navy class on our feature pages.


Modified Hall class 4-6-0 no. 7903 Foremarke Hall, built 1949

The Great Western Railway's standard mixed traffic locomotives were the numerous Hall class 4-6-0s introduced in 1924 by C B Collett as a development of Churchward's 'Saint' class.  The Halls were extremely successful, economical and versatile - as at home with fast freight as they were with express passenger trains.  When F W Hawksworth became chief mechanical engineer at Swindon in 1941, he set about making a number of design changes to the class, the result being the 'Modified Hall' which was introduced in 1944.  Production contiunued until 1950, after nationalisation of the railways.  Foremarke Hall was completed in 1949.  Restored to working order in 2004, this popular locomotive has proved to be an extremely reliable performer over the ten years before its '10 year' overhaul, re-entering service just in time for last year's Cotswold Festival of Steam.


Collett Manor class 4-6-0  7820 Dinmore Manor, built 1950

The Manor class is a smaller version of the earlier 'Grange' class designed by C B Collett and introduced in 1938.  The Second World War interrupted production, which resumed in 1950 after the Great Western Railway had been nationalised to become the Western Region of British Railways. With a light axle loading the 30 'Manors' were very much at home handling freight as well as passenger trains and were particularly associated with secondary main lines such as the Cambrian route to the West coast of Wales.  Indeed, the class famously handled the 'Cambrian Coast Express' which started from Paddington usually behind a 'Castle' class locomotive, the 'Manor' taking over from Shrewsbury. No. 7820 was the first post-war member of the class.


On the North Gloucestershire narrow gauge line at Toddingston station (trips on the line free to ticket holders) you can expect to see at least two 2ft. gauge steam locomotives opertating over this delightful 2ft-gauge line.  Those available for traffic are:

  • Henschel & Sohn 0-8-0T no. 1901 of 1919
  • Hunslet 0-4-2T no. 2075 Chakaskraal no. 6 of 1940
  • Chrzanow 0-6-0T no. 3512 Tourska of 1957