In November, the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway will round off its 40th Anniversary celebrations with a Mixed Traction Gala.
Over the weekend of 6th and 7th November, four steam and four diesel locomotives will run an intensive timetable, with more than 30 arrivals and departures at Toddington each day.
The intensive timetable will feature express trains, double heading, eight locomotives and also the railway’s workshops will be open for visitors to have a look in.
The narrow-gauge railway at Toddington will also be operating over the weekend too.
At Winchcombe, the Carriage and Wagon Workshops will be open.
It is also hoped that the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway will also be able to run a demonstration freight train over the weekend.
The GWSR PLC was founded in 1981 to purchase and rebuild the former Stratford-upon-Avon to Cheltenham mainline as much as possible. The line was closed in 1976 and infrastructure removed between 1979 and 1980.
The vacant trackbed was then released by BR and a new company took ownership of the derelict Toddington station yard and organised a successful share launch.
Since then, the railway has grown year by year, with today’s railway running for 14 miles between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway.
Locomotives set to be in operation over the weekend are:
- GWR Churchward 2-8-0T no. 4270, built in 1919
- SR Bulleid Merchant Navy class 4-6-2 no. 35006 Peninsular & Orental SN Co, built in 1941
- BR(W) Hawksworth Modified Hall class 4-6-0 no. 7903 Foremarke Hall, built in 1949
- BR (W) Collett Manor class 4-6-0 no. 7820 Dinmore Manor, built in 1950
- BR Sulzer Type 2 (Class 24) no. 5081, built in 1960
- BR Sulzer Type 4 ‘Peak’ (Class 45) no. 45149, built 1961
- BR Brush Type 4 (Class 47) no. 47105 no. 47105, built 1962
- BR English Electric Type 3 (Class 37) no. 37215, built 1963
Mike Solloway, a member of the event organising team, commented: “The weekend offers something for everyone!
“It’s unusual in the UK heritage railway movement to see events running a mix of both steam and diesel locomotives. We usually run pure diesel or steam events and this is the first time we have organised a gala like this for many years.
“I think it’s an exciting formula that perfectly celebrates the achievements of our railway’s thousands of volunteers over the past 40 years who have created the wonderful railway we enjoy today.”
Concludes Mike Solloway: “It is a truly astonishing story – the re-creation from almost nothing – of a vibrant heritage railway that has become one of the leading tourist attractions in the Cotswolds.
“Some of our original volunteers are still with us 40 years on. I am humbled by their dedication and vision which enables us to enjoy what we have today and the celebtrations of November 6th and 7th pay tribute to all that they have achieved.”
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