Heritage Diesel Gala 28th to 30th July 2017
Please note: access to all stations (including the Flag & Whistle Cafe) is by ticket only.
Join us at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway for another 3 day summer festival of heritage diesel traction at the end of July, recreating that past era of locomotive hauled trains now long since disappeared from the national network. We hope you will come and enjoy some of the 900 miles of heritage diesel running along the former Western Region main line from Bristol to Birmingham from our magnificent collection of vintage diesel locomotives, and enjoy the open days of our facilities at Toddington and Winchcombe.
One of the highlights of the gala will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the introduction into service of one of the first diesel locomotives to work on British Railways, the venerable class 20, the first of which being launched into traffic way back in July 1957. Still finding a niche use on the national network today, this rugged and reliable locomotive has been a familiar sight operating in pairs hauling freight trains around the country including along the Honeybourne line before it closed in 1976, and also to countless numbers of holiday makers in the East Midlands and elsewhere hauling summer holiday passenger trains to our seaside resorts throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Guest class 20 no.D8098 in original green livery visiting from the Great Central Railway, will be pairing up with our resident D8137 (also in green) to recreate those holiday trains from times past and celebrate 60 years of one of the most successful locomotives to run in the UK.
Also visiting from the Great Central Railway, will be class 25 locomotive no.D5185 in green livery, a development of our own class 24 no.5081, which will this year be sitting out the event, having been withdrawn for a long term overhaul project. D5185, a first time visitor to the line will be an ideal replacement and will at times, pair up with our class 26 locomotive on some trains, recreating a scene from the Scottish Region in the 1970s. In service too once again will be several locomotives restored to service in recent years after long restoration projects - class 37 locomotive D6948, class 45 no.45149 and class 26 no.D5343.
Using the extension from Toddington northwards towards Broadway (which is not normally currently available to locomotive hauled trains), we will be giving a full 26-mile round trip on certain services, which together with passing trains in our loops at Gotherington, Winchcombe and Toddington allows a 40 minute frequency of service along the entire line. This year, we will be operating up the northern extension even further towards Broadway, to Little Buckland only a mile short of the eventual goal next year of Broadway station.
For the haulage enthusiast, our regular timetable allows a wide variety of 'moves' to be made throughout the day in pursuit of your favourite traction. For the general visitor and enthusiast alike, come and re-live the atmosphere of travel by British Rail (remember them?) from 30 and 40 years ago. The 1960s, 1970s and 1980s live again!
New: Timetables with loco allocations published - click on the link below.
There will be something for everyone - for families looking for a great day out as well as for the railway and diesel traction enthusiasts.
The majority of our fleet of heritage diesel locomotives are now well over 50 years old so the event also pays tribute to the history of British electrical and mechanical engineering from the 1950s and 1960s - a time when Britain was still at the forefront of locomotive technology and exported railway locomotives all over the world. At Toddington, you will be able to visit our diesel maintenance shed and see up close 1963-built class 47 locomotive no.47105 and 1960 built class 24 no.5081 under overhaul and our single car diesel multiple unit built in 1957 W55003 and formerly used on the Honeybourne line currently being refurbished.
The best way to buy tickets for the event is in advance on-line. Avoid any queues on the day and benefit from an on-line discounted price – one day adult tickets are available for just £20! Multi-day rover tickets offering substantial savings are also available if booked in advance. On-line booking closes on the 22nd July. Alternatively just turn up and pay on the day (adult tickets £23).
On the Sunday, you can even enjoy the unique experience of driving under supervision one of our classic mainline diesel locomotives within the confines of Cheltenham Racecourse station limits for the princely sum of £10.
Just use the quick-links below to get the information you need.
|Getting There||Timetable||Tickets Please!|
|Locos & Coaches||What's Happening Where?||Sales Stands|
On these pages you will find latest news, information about the locomotive line-up, timetable, details of fares, where to stay, attractions at the railway's stations, how to get a lineside pass…just about everything you need to know!
These pages will be updated right up to the event itself as we add more news and information. If not all of the pages are populated yet, please keep coming back to keep yourself up to date!