Access Statement for Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway
This access statement does not contain personal opinions as to our suitability for those with access needs, but aims to accurately describe the facilities and services that we offer all our visitors.
To download a PDF copy of this statement, click here.
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway is a volunteer-run heritage railway offering a round trip of over 28 miles. It operates between Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire and Broadway in Worcestershire through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Cotswolds.
The railway has four main stations. These are Cheltenham Race Course at its southern end, Winchcombe, Toddington and Broadway. There are also short platform halts at Gotherington and Hayles Abbey Halt with no facilities other than a small shelter at each of them. Gotherington is located about halfway between Winchcombe and Cheltenham Race Course stations. Hayles Abbey Halt is situated between Toddington and Winchcombe stations. We look forward to welcoming you. If you have any queries or require any assistance please phone 01242 621 405 or email email@example.com.
- For full details and maps of how to reach us please see the Planning your visit/Finding Us section of our website. Alternatively, you can plan your journey by car or public transport using the Google Maps website https://maps.google.com: in the search box simply enter your postcode, then ‘to’ and the postcode for one of our stations to get directions. Our postcodes are GL50 4SH for Cheltenham Race Course station, GL54 5LD for Winchcombe station, GL54 5DT for Toddington station and WR12 7DF for Broadway station.
- Local buses serve the four main GWSR stations. You are advised to check with the relevant transport operator before planning your journey. These are Stagecoach, phone 0871 200 22 33, Johnsons Coaches phone 01564 797 070 NN Cresswell phone 01386 48655 (8am - 5pm Mon-Fri)and Pulham & Sons (Coaches) phone 01451 820369.
- Our station booking offices Broadway, Toddington and Winchcombe are atroad level. Cheltenham Race Course Station booking office is at platform level accessed via a 125yds/115m long ramp.
Directions to Cheltenham Race Course station
- The nearest mainline railway station to the GWSR is Cheltenham Spa. It is over 2.5 miles/4km from Cheltenham Race Course station (a walk of at least 1 hour). However, Stagecoach services D and E operate from Monday to Saturday from the forecourt of Cheltenham Spa railway station to Cheltenham Race Course Park & Ride, with a bus every 10 minutes.From the Park & Ride it is about a half a mile/0.8km walk to the GWSR Cheltenham Race Course station. The walk is along the racecourse internal road, and is sign-posted, but you may be directed by racecourse security to take the footpath adjacent to the main road which will involve climbing over a style to gain access to the station. Our booking office is atroad level, whilst the platforms and main station buildings are reached by aslope. Visitors travelling by public transport who prefer not to walk a long Page 3 of 10 Updated 2nd August 2021 distance are advised either to use a taxi or to use Winchcombe or Toddington stations instead. Taxis are available at Cheltenham Spa mainline railway station. If you require an accessible taxi you can approach a member of the mainline station staff. Alternatively call a taxi company such as Dial-a-Cab – 01242 242424, Central Taxis – 01242 228877 or Spa-Tax – 01242 807666. Remember to book the return taxi ride as there is no taxi rank at the GWSR Cheltenham Race Course station.
Directions to Winchcombe station
- Winchcombe Station is situated in the village of Greet and is served by the Pullham's 606 Service on Monday to Saturdays except Public Holidays.The buses depart from the Pittville Street, Cheltenham Spa. Passengers should get off the bus stop opposite Winchcombe Station. The service runs to this timetable. Stagecoach also operate a Monday to Saturday service from Cheltenham Spa, North Street to Winchcombe town. The closest stop to the Railway is the Old Police Station which is a 10 minute walk away. The W timetable can be found here.
Directions to Toddington station
- Toddington station is located a 5-minute walk east of the B4632/B4077 roundabout. It is served by the Pulham's 606 service which runs Monday to Saturday to this timetable.
Directions to Broadway station
- Broadway station is located on the western edge of the village, a 15-20 minute walk from the centre. Broadway is served by the NN Cresswell’s Rural 4 bus service from Evesham Bus Station (Stand E), Mondays to Saturdays, and Johnsons Excelbus Service 1. Further details of bus services in Broadway are available on the Visit Broadway Bus Services web page. Please check the bus companies’ timetables for details.
Car parking and arrival
- There is ample free car parking at both Cheltenham Race Course and Toddington stations and limited free car parking at Winchcombe station.
- There are dedicated parking spaces for Blue Badge holders close to the station entrances at Toddington and Cheltenham Race Course stations anda very small number of spaces at Broadway station. Broadway, Toddington and Winchcombe car park surfaces are tarmac. Cheltenham Race Course car park surface is loose stone.
- Toddington station car park is accessed off the B4077, 170 yds/155m east of the B4632/B4077 roundabout at Toddington.
- Winchcombe Station car park is accessed off the B4078 Greet Road at Greet just north of Winchcombe.
- Cheltenham Race Course Station car park is within the grounds of the racecourse and accessed off the A435/B4075 roundabout via the signposted racecourse internal road system. On Sundays and certain race days, the entrances to Cheltenham Racecourse can be crowded so allow extra time when planning your visit. Also, if your visit coincides with a large event at Cheltenham Racecourse you may be required to park in the designated car park on the north side of the station, with a signed access off the A435 Evesham Road.
- At Broadway, parking is in a council-run ‘pay-and-display’ car park off the B4632 (WR12 7DH) on the other side of the railway bridge less than a5-minute walk from the station. It has 2.05 metre high gantries. Parkingthere costs £5 and includes a £3 voucher redeemable against the price of one railway ticket. The £3 voucher attached to the pay and display car parking ticket is only valid if presented to the Broadway station booking office on the same date as on the parking ticket and is not valid in conjunction with any other discount or voucher.
- We would encourage disabled visitors in the Broadway area to travel to Toddington to board our trains, where ample facilities are available.
- The nearest alternative long stay pay and display car park is an approximately 10 minute walk away at the Broadway Milestone Ground Car and Coach Park (WR12 7HA) off Childswickham Road. The cost of parking a car there for the day is £5.
- There is no parking at Gotherington or Hayles Abbey Halt stations.
- Trains are hauled by steam locomotives except where indicated on the timetable. Some services are provided by a diesel railcar and occasionally a heritage diesel locomotive is used to haul trains. Check the Calendar and Timetables to see the different services that are operated.
- The locomotives, carriages and diesel railcars used are all lovingly restored heritage equipment. Trains mostly consist of British Rail Mark 1 coaches from the 1950s and 1960s. Most steam and diesel hauled trains include a buffet car.
- The standard doors into the carriages have an open width of about 2ft 5in/58cm. There are two steps up into the carriages from the platform and each step is about 7in/18cm high. Our volunteers will always be happy to provide a ramp to enable passengers in wheelchairs and anyone who cannot climb the steps to board the trains via the double doors – just ask. Please note that the maximum width of wheelchair that can be accommodated on these ramps is 79cm/2ft 7in).
- The locomotive hauled trains have compartments which have been specially adapted for wheelchair passengers and their helpers. However the spaces in these adapted carriages are allocated on a first come, first served basis and so availability cannot be guaranteed. Standard single carriage door with steps (left)and ramp access to double doors Specially converted accessible carriages with spaces for people in wheelchairs Page 7 of 10 Updated 2nd August 2021
- The railway is particularly proud of the specially converted accessible carriage attached to the chocolate and cream carriage set. This carriage has space for people in wheelchairs in the main body of the carriage.
- In the heritage diesel railcars, wheelchair users need to use the Guard’s section, where visibility through the windows is restricted. Access is achieved via double doors and a 79cm/2ft 7in wide ramp.
- Carriage doors are designed to be slammed shut. Most doors are opened via the handle on the outside. Passengers inside the carriages have to lower the door window to gain access to the handle. The door handles have strong springs inside them to make sure they cannot open accidentally and anyone experiencing difficulty in opening a door should ask a member of the volunteer staff to open it for them.
- Both Toddington and Winchcombe stations have two platforms in regular use. Platform 1 is the one nearest to the booking office and toilets. However, some trains will depart from Platform 2 on the opposite side of the tracks. Platform 2 is normally accessed via a footbridge. For anyone with problems using a footbridge, a member of the station staff will be more than happy to show you where you can cross the line via the barrow crossing at the end of the platform.
- Cheltenham Race Course and Broadway stations normally have one platform in use located on the same side of the tracks as the booking offices. A second platform has been constructed at Cheltenham RaceCourse station and is occasionally used at special events. Station staff will be more than happy to show you where to cross the line via the barrow crossings at the end of the platforms.
- A second platform is being constructed at Broadway station but is not yet in use.
- There is a fully accessible Heritage Trail around the yard at Toddington station giving details of the history and background of various parts of the Toddington station footbridge (left) over to platform 2 and barrow crossing at the end of the platform Page 8 of 10 Updated 2nd August 2021 grounds. Ask for a free copy of the leaflet available at Toddington station booking office. The leaflet gives the location viewing points and the route of the Heritage Trail.
There are separate gents, ladies and fully accessible toilets for use by the public at all stations except Gotherington and Hayles Abbey Halt (where there are no toilets). The accessible toilets all have lateral transfer space and grab rails. There are also baby’s nappy changing facilities within the fully accessible toilets.
If you have a little more time to spare, another option for a light snack is to break your journey at the 1950s style Coffee Pot Tea Room. Refreshments may be eaten inside the Tea Room or at tables under the platform canopy whilst watching the trains come and go. The Coffee Pot Tea Room also stocks biscuits, crisps and speciality ice-creams. A similar Refreshment Room has been built at Broadway station where hot and cold drinks, cakes and light snacks are available. There is a refreshment building on Platform 1 at Cheltenham Race Course station offering hot and cold drinks along with crisps, cake and chocolate snacks.
Refreshments are normally available from our restored Buffet coaches on steam and diesel hauled trains and sometimes in the railcar services. The refreshment coaches are usually located near the middle of the train. Hot beverages and cool drinks in cans or cartons as well as a wide range of snacks and sweets are on sale, or if you prefer we have a selection of wines, beers, lagers and ciders including our very popular locally brewed"Rail Ale". On our chocolate and cream carriage set, we can also normally provide hot bacon rolls and toasted teacakes. Wheelchair access is not possible through the narrow corridors between carriages to the Buffet coaches. Instead, our on-train catering staff can normally deliver ordered items to people in other carriages.
The railway has a shop selling souvenirs, toys, gifts and railway related items of interest at Toddington station. Toddington station shop is located next to the Booking Office. The entrance door is 2ft 11in/90cm wide and inside there is plenty of room for wheelchairs. It has a wide selection of new books covering the GWSR and LMS regions. New publications relevant to our area are also offered. The titles available cover every aspect of railway operations - locomotives, sheds, stations, carriages, etc.
Winchcombe Discovery Coach
Leave the train at Winchcombe to visit our new Discovery Coach. You will earn more about the history of our railway as well as seeing a fabulous model of Toddington station and lots more. Wheelchair and pram friendly.
Speak to a volunteer member of staff if you have any queries. Safety is our primary objective.
- We are making major improvements to the railway and have already extended the line nearly 5 miles/8 km northwards from Toddington to the historic Cotswold town of Broadway. We have rebuilt the station and signal box there and are now constructing a second platform and footbridge there. We have recently finished our new Function and Education Centre at Winchcombe Station. We have also provided a second platform at Cheltenham Race Course station to enable us to provide a greater frequency of trains.
- Our plans for the future include swelling the volunteer ranks, improved infrastructure to improve the working facilities for volunteers, new facilities for storage and restoration of heritage items, enhancing the visitor experience, and further bridge repairs.
- Your comments are welcome.