GWSR “Speed to the West” Cotswold Festival of Steam

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The GWSR’s annual Cotswold Festival of Steam has once again chosen an imaginative theme going with Speed to the West, with guest locos representing classes who pulled the heavy holiday express trains at the height of rail travel

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Headlining the event will be two of Bulleid’s light pacifics, 34007 ‘Wadebridge’ courtesy of the Mid-Hants Railway above and recently overhauled 34092 ‘Wells’ courtesy of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway below.

Bulleid unrebuilt West Country Class 34092 City of Wells Aisgill Settle and Carlisle 1988 (3)

The gala organising team have really struggled with setback after setback and many disappointments, all of which would have been great guest locos. However, they’ve finally managed to source a 3rd gala visitor, in the form of 6960 Raveningham hall from the WSR. An ex-resident on the GWSR, she will be most welcome, and also fits in with the theme of the gala, regularly pulling holiday express trains. I’m sure she will be seen with the “Cornishman” headboard over the weekend.

6960 Raveningham Hall

And of course this will be supplemented by the GWSR’s home fleet of locomotives, there are still some footplate ride tickets available but this popular attraction is selling out fast.

Dinmore manor:

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4270:

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5542:

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and 2807:

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Finally on the locomotive front, 35006 P&O will HOPEFULLY be in light steam at Winchcombe in the C+W yard available for viewing from the C+W workshops, which will be open for the duration of the event:

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In addition to the locos, of course, there will be plenty of other stuff going on. The Narrow gauge railway at Toddington will be running over the three days:

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Our freight train will be running the full length of the line with brake van rides between Cheltenham and Toddington well worth a go:

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Along with the freight train three other trains will be operating along the line, our first set comprising Chocolate and Cream coaches, our second set comprising Maroon coaches (Hopefully all now repainted) and our third set; another Chocolate and Cream rake, which has really come on since last year.

As is usual, there will also be a selection of traction engines at Winchcombe over the weekend:

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As you can see, it’s an event not to be missed if you can help it. If you have any questions about attending, leave a comment below and I’ll try and answer it as quickly as possible. I will be in the carriage and wagon workshops at Winchcombe on the Saturday and Monday manning the fort, so do come along and say hello.

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