26 February 2019

Springing into steam on the GWSR!


  • Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway resumes services on 9th March

  • Timetabled trains operate on 186 days – and trains will cover some 33,600 miles


As March heralds spring the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway is springing into action once again as services resume on 9th March for the 2019 season.


But, over the winter shut-down, the railway has been busier than ever, even if no passenger trains have been running.


Stations have been tidied up, some track has been relaid, work has been continuing at the multi-award winning Broadway station and the lineside has been tidied up with fencing and drainage work continuing. There has also been a hectic schedule of steam and diesel locomotive maintenance as well as progress to add additional carriages to the railway’s immaculate rolling stock fleet.


What’s more, a new cafe will be open for business at Broadway station from 9th March, offering a range of light refreshments. It joins the ‘Flag & Whistle’ restaurant at Toddington station and the ‘Coffee Pot’ cafe at Winchcome as well as catering on many train services. 


Colin Fewell, the GWSR’s commercial director, says: “The railway is looking absolutely spick and span for the start of the season and we are gearing up for another very busy year.


“Our timetable shows that we are operating public services on 186 days this year involving around 1,200 round trips of our 14-mile line. That adds up to some 33,600 miles by historic steam and diesel locomotives and rail-cars. And that excludes specials such as the Cheltenham Festival race trains and fish-and-chip services.


“What’s more our line runs through some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain!”


Over the 2018 season the railway carried a record 144,000 passengers – a 42% increase on the previous year, thanks to the opening of Broadway station which picked up two major accolades at the recent Heritage Railway Association Awards in Birmingham.


“Our railway – which is almost exclusively and, uniquely for the major heritage railways, run by volunteers. It offers more for visitors to enjoy than ever,” Colin Fewell points out. 


“Will 2019 be another record year? After the excitement of opening Broadway station almost a year ago, some days saw nearly double the number of passengers carried compared with similar days last year. We are unlikely to see that again but, on the other hand, news is getting out that the line runs between two of the Cotswolds’ most important centres – Cheltenham and Broadway. So who knows – we’re ready for anything and our volunteers are as determined as ever to give our visitors a five-star day out!”


The first train of the season departs the railway’s headquarters at Toddington at 10.00 on Saturday 9th March bound for Cheltenham and is scheduled to be hauled by the railway’s popular Great Western Railway-designed engine no. 7903 ‘Foremarke Hall’. That’s followed by a 10.15 departure for Broadway with the line’s early 1960s-built diesel railcar service.


The first service from Cheltenham Racecourse departs at 10.55 and the first from Broadway at 10.50, the two trains passing each other at Winchcombe.


Full details of the railway’s timetable and fares, and special events over 2019, can be found at www.gwsr.com




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


ISDN available. A selection of copyright free pictures on this dropbox link (example below):https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kbyihxdgvk6wrke/AAA346j0IAEdWGy7eUGhFMZTa?dl=0 


Picture: Hall class no. 7903 ‘Foremarke Hall’ and King class no. 6023 ‘King Edward II’ in the glorious Cotswolds near Didbrook with a train from Cheltenham to Broadway on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (please credit Paul Begg if you use this picture)