Final locomotive line confirmed for GWSR Cotswold Festival of Steam Cheltenham Toddington Winchcombe

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The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) has confirmed the full range of locomotives for its Cotswold Festival of Steam in June.

The Somerset & Dorset Remembered Festival will take place from June 3-5.

GWSR expects nine locomotives to be running, working an intensive schedule on the 14-mile line, which will include non-stop double heading runs, demonstration freight trains and shunting at Winchcombe station.

Ian Crowder, GWSR spokespersonsaid: “This is shaping up to be a particularly exciting and spectacular event after a two-year hiatus in our annual Cotswold Festival of Steam. The Somerset & Dorset theme was planned for our 2020 festival, which had to be cancelled.

“Four of our five visiting engines were associated with the old Somerset & Dorset line, a challenging route over the Mendips between Bournemouth and Bath. It was a lovely, busy railway that offered direct access to the south coast from the Midlands via Somerset.It was heavily used by Midlands and North holiday traffic, but fell victim to the infamous Beeching Cuts of the 1960s.It is greatly missed – especially by people in the communities it served in the old days.

“Our small organizing team are extremely grateful to all the owners for allowing their locomotives to visit GWSR for this special event.”

An added feature will be the Bentley that once belonged to the late photographer Ivo Peters.

Ian Crowder continued: “During the last few years of S&D many outstanding photographs of trains in the Mendips have been taken by Ivo Peters. He often included his Bentley in the pictures he took. The car is now owned by Julian Birley BEM, and we are delighted that he can bring the car to the event.”

Julian Birley is currently chairman of the Bala Lake Railway Trust and former chairman of North Norfolk Railway plc.

A range of other attractions include exhibits; model railway; the stands of the preservation society; beer tent and refreshments; Toddington Narrow Gauge Railway; ‘behind the scenes’ tours of Toddington Locomotive Works and Winchcombe Carriage & Wagon Works; as well as opportunities for footrest rides (pre-booked) and freight train van rides.

Visiting locomotives include:

• Standard BR 9F class 2-10-0 no. 92203 Black Prince

• Rebuilt SR West Country class 4-6-2 no. 34028 Whirling Stone

• Ivatt class 2 2-6-2T no. 41312

• Sentinel 4wvb no. 7109 Joyce

• Ivatt class 2MT 2-6-0 no. 46521

The resident steam locomotives will be:

• Rebuilt SR Merchant Navy class 4-6-2 no. 35006 Peninsular and Oriental SN Co

• Modified ‘Hall’ class 4-6-0 no. 7903 Foremark Room

• ‘Mansion’ class 4-6-0 no. 7820 Dinmore Manor

• GWR 4200 class 2-8-0T no. 4270

All locomotives are subject to availability.

Advance tickets are on sale at www.gwsr.com/tickets_Please.html and will also be available during the day. Footrest rides on resident locomotives will need to be pre-booked, while brake van rides will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis during the event.

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