Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway gets into the Christmas spirit

Credit: GWSR

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway has announced a bumper Santa Special season at the end of November.

There will be Santa Steam Specials from Cheltenham Racecourse or Railcar Specials from Toddington station. Over 70 Santa Specials will be running, and a special charity train for children from Acorns Childrens Hospice, Maggies Cancer Care and Riding for the Disabled.

To cope with all the people on the Santa Specials this year, over 10,000 Mince Pies have been ordered!

The charity Santa Special leaves Cheltenham Racecourse at 11.00 on Sunday 24th November. The Santa Special trains for everyone start on Saturday 30th November and run every weekend as well as Friday 20th and Monday and Tuesday, 23rd and 24th December, up to Christmas, with many trains already SOLD OUT!

Tickets for the diesel railcar service are £16 (adults and children) and £17 for the steam train.  Full details of the services, ticket availability and how to book are on the railway’s website at

What did the officials say?

Steam locomotive department volunteer Chris Blake who is spearheading the special train sais:

“We bring such a lot of delight for children throughout December but many miss out on the opportunity to enjoy something like this because of illness or a disability.”


“This is the sixth year we have done this.  It brings such a huge amount of pleasure to these special youngsters.  It makes a real difference not just to their lives but ours too.”

Chief Elf organiser Colin Fewell, said:

“Many families come year after year to enjoy the steam train journey from Cheltenham Racecourse station to the railway’s Christmas wonderland at the North Pole with a chance for a chat with Santa Claus himself.”


“This is a volunteer-run railway and I believe it’s because of that families feel so welcome when they visit us.”


“Our staff give up their time because they want to.  We all enjoy the delight and wonder on youngsters’ (and grown-ups) faces – not only when they see the steam engine pulling their train but also visiting Santa in his specially converted railway coach at Winchcombe!”


“The diesel railcar offers a quite different but equally enjoyable experience and is limited to just 25 children per train so there’s plenty of opportunity to chat with Santa during the journey.”


We expect to get through around 10,000 mince pies,”

“To say nothing of gallons of tea and coffee – and sackfuls of carrots for Santa’s reindeer.”

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