The Dispersal of Ashes



The opportunity to disperse the Ashes of a deceased person who was interested in heritage railways via a steam locomotive firebox is available at the GWSR. It can be used by the loved ones of a person who has passed away and is a moving and fitting way to say goodbye to someone who loved steam trains.



Booking Arrangements

To make enquires about having Ashes dispersed at the railway and to find out about availability and the cost, please contact Maxine Barton-Hawkins in our Development Office on:


01242 621 905


or by email on


Maxine will explain all about what the railway can do and seek an indication of the approximate date the family of the deceased person wishes to have the Ashes dispersed. Please be aware that availability is limited, so while we will do our best to accommodate your wishes this may not always be possible due to to crew availability and operational requirements. Dispersal of Ashes is not undertaken when the railway is holding a special event and is also not available on Santa Experience or Fire and Drive train services.


At the time of booking, Maxine will require the approximate size of the group attending the dispersal and whether a member of the family wishes to ride on the footplate of the locomotive when the Ashes are placed in the firebox. She will also explain the railway's requirements, principally about footwear and clothing, for anyone riding on the footplate.


Cost for Dispersal of Ashes

The railway will not charge a fee for the dispersal of the Ashes if the deceased was a working volunteer of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway when they died.


Until further notice;


            The railway will charge £50 if the deceased was GWSR plc shareholder or a GWRT member (including former volunteers).


            The railway will charge £100 if the deceased had no formal affiliation with the Railway.


Cost for travel for support group

All members of the group attending the Ashes Dispersal who plan to travel on the train must have the appropriate ticket for their whole journey (for example a return from Toddington to Cheltenham Race Course Station, or a Day Rover for travel on the whole line). Tickets are purchased by a single payment, on the day of travel, by the person named on the Group booking form. Shareholder and Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust vouchers will be accepted. 


On the Agreed Day

The group attending the railway for the dispersal of Ashes will start their journey at Toddington Station. They should be there at least 20 minutes before departure to advise the Station Master that they have arrived and to buy any additional tickets required.


The group will be allocated reserved seating at the north (Broadway) end of the train so that they are in the coach next to the locomotive when the Ashes dispersal is carried out.  The Disposal of Ashes will be undertaken as the train travels north from Cheltenham Racecourse to Winchcombe, (see below).


When the train reaches Cheltenham Race Course Station the one member of the group intending to ride on the footplate must see the Station Master there to confirm that the conditions for riding on the footplate have been met and to provide the required signature for their footplate pass.


The Ashes must be in a cardboard box (no other type of container is accepted) and this is put on the Fireman’s shovel and placed in the firebox by the Fireman on the Winchcombe side of Bishop’s Cleeve as the train heads towards Gotherington. The whistle is sounded when the Ashes are placed in the firebox so that the other members of the group in the reserved seating at the north end of the train know when the dispersal has taken place.


Please get in touch using the phone number or email address above if you wish to discuss making use of this facility to disperse the Ashes of a loved one at the railway.


Date of page 08/12/2021