7903 Foremarke Hall and Marchants Volvo bus featuring that locomotive on the side (Picture: Jack Boskett)

It’s a wrap!  Double decker bus features giant steam train IMAGES


  • Marchants bus specially finished with images of GWSR trains

  • Bold post-Covid statement – the GWSR is very much back in business!

  • V21 GWR – bus re-registered for the GWSR!


Toddington station, 29 June 2021: On Tuesday 29 June, a couple of the largest images of steam trains on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) were revealed – on a bus.


That’s because Marchants, the 70-year-old Cheltenham based family coach and travel firm, has agreed to ‘wrap’ one of its double-deck buses with images advertising the GWSR’s train services.  The popular heritage railway, which operates between Cheltenham and Broadway, is emerging from Covid restrictions and is expected to return to normal operation from 20th July.


The dramatic bus-wrap which features a train crossing the spectacular Stanway Viaduct on the sides, and an almost life-sized head-on image of a locomotive on the back, will be seen in and around Cheltenham over the coming months.


Roger Marchant, Marchants Managing Director, commented: “This is a really exciting opportunity for us and for the railway.  It’s the first time that we have featured a full ‘wrap’ on an entire bus – it’s certainly going to be a striking advertisement for the railway!


“It has been such a pleasure dealing with the GWSR.  They were kind enough to help us out during the first lockdown when the Covid crisis really began to bite and we had to relocate one of our depots at short notice.  The railway kindly allowed us to store some of our vehicles at Toddington.


“We were delighted to offer some of our bus backs for GWSR advertisements and now the idea has developed into this ambitious bus wrap.  I even managed to specially re-register the vehicle to V21 GWR!”


The bus is a Volvo B7 Alexander ALX 400 which worked in London before being acquired by Marchants.  “It’s an excellent and reliable vehicle,” added Roger Marchant, who took over management of the 73-year old family business from his father.  “We will be using it on a number of school routes as well as special contract work.  The railway is at liberty to use the vehicle on special occasions, too!”


The pictures were taken by Jack Boskett, a Tewkesbury-based professional photographer and volunteer on the GWSR.  He said: “My images have never been enlarged to this kind of size before – and have certainly never been on a bus!  It’s a unique opportunity and I’m honoured to have been asked to supply pictures for the project.  I can’t wait to see bystanders’ reactions when they see this huge mobile billboard running around the local streets!”


For the volunteer-run railway, the bus is a bold statement that the GWSR is very much in business again after months of lockdown and restricted services that reflected the need for social distancing, reducing the capacity of the trains.


Richard Johnson, the volunteer Chairman of GWSR Plc, said: “To see the bus revealed with these huge images of our trains is breathtaking.  It will be seen by thousands of local people as well as visitors to the area.  It carries a very simple message: that we are operating and looking forward to welcoming people back to enjoy a steam train ride, as the railway at last returns to normal and especially as this year is our 40th anniversary!


“It’s been a difficult time for the railway, for Marchants and for everyone.  I’m thrilled that Marchants were so keen to work with us to get this ‘first’ achieved for both parties. The Cotswolds is a popular ‘staycation’ destination and perhaps all the more so while overseas travel restrictions remain.  Putting pictures of our railway on a bus could hardly be a more dramatic message!” 


The GWSR has had a long and close relationship with Marchants.  Added Richard Johnson: “It’s a highly respected local company that we’re proud to be associated with.  This project has certainly cemented that relationship and we look forward to continuing to work with this important local family business in the future.”


Ends / More


Notes for Editors / high-resolution pictures by Jack Boskett

Photographs can be downloaded here – please credit Jack Boskett



Media contacts:


Ian Crowder, 07775 566 555 or press.office@gwsr.com

Catherine Johnson, 07920 406 630 or marketing@gwsr.com



Craig Robb, 07825 398 143 or craig.robb@marchants-coaches.com



Marchants is a family owned and operated passenger transport business based in Cheltenham since 1948.  Over the years it has grown from providing local coach services and school buses, to offering a wide range of day trip and holiday packages in the UK and mainland Europe.  It has a fleet of 30 vehicles ranging in size from 8 to 83 seats, both executive and standard specifications, from mini-buses to double-deckers.  Their website is www.marchats-coaches.com



The award-winning Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway operates over 14 miles through the Cotswolds between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway.  Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the railway has, when not locked down, operated pre-bookable round trips  trips.  Turn-up-and-go tickets have been available subject to space being available.  Services reflect current Government guidelines. Location of Toddington Station is off the B4077 Stow Road close to the roundabout with the B4632 Winchcombe-Broadway road at GL54 5DT  or  What3Words trials.composers.turntable

Covid restrictions permitting, the railway expects to return to normal service with all stations re-opened from 20 July.



Example pictures - please acknowledge Jack Boskett as photographer.  High resolution images here


Above: Foremarke Hall crosses the B4632 at Winchcombe as the bus bearing its image passes beneath (picture Jack Boskett)

Above: Double Decker in the countryside near Laverton, while M

Below: All my own work! Jack Boskett made up by seeing his image on the side of Marchants double-decker! (picture: Ian Crowder)