Saturday 24th May – Sunday 1st June – Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway “The Friendly Line in the Cotswolds” at Toddington, Winchcombe and Cheltenham Racecourse Stations.
The 2008 Cotswold Festival of Steam marks four important milestones – 40 years since the end of steam on British Railways – 40 years since David Shepherd took delivery of “Black Prince” – 60 years since the nationalisation of Britain’s Railways – 100 years since the first through expresses ran over the Stratford-Cheltenham line between the Midlands and the West Country.
The Festival takes place over two weekends – Saturday, Sunday and Monday 24th – 26th May and Saturday and Sunday 31st May – 1st June. Between the two weekends a normal timetable will operate using visiting locomotives. While the main focus is on steam locomotives, on Sunday 1st June at approx 15.00, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will make a flypast at Toddington Station with the Lancaster bomber and Hurricane and Spitfire fighters.
There will be eight steam engines working during the Festival but the star visitor to this year’s Festival is Southern Railway Lord Nelson Class 4-6-0 No. 850 Lord Nelson. This magnificant 142 ton engine, a Southern Railway express locomotive, is owned by the National Railway Museum (NRM) and was, when built in 1926, the most powerful locomotive of its type in the UK.
Lord Nelson is joined by GWR City Class 4-4-0 City of Truro, also owned by NRM, and now 105 years old. No 3440 was the first locomotive in the world to be recorded travelling at over 100 mph.
The other six locomotives are – GWR Small Prairie 2-6-2T No. 5542 with auto trailers 163 and 178, GWR 5600 class 0-6-2T No. 5619, BR (W) Modified Hall class 4-6-0 No. 7903 Foremarke Hall, SR West Country Pacific No. 34007 Wadebridge, LMS 4F 0-6-0 No. 44422 and BR 9F class 2-10-0 No. 92203 Black Prince.
All the other attractions and special events held during the Festival and the timetable and fares for each day can be seen on the GWR web site www.gwsr.com
Source: Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway PLC
The Railway Station, Toddington, Gloucestershire GL54 5DT
Telephone 01242 621405