The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

26 April 2008




Some time ago, Teresa booked tickets for one of the Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Railway’s fish and chips specials ‘The Cheltenham Fryer’.  There are several of these during the season, but they are very popular and are soon booked up.  We have a short walk across the road and arrive at the station at about 6.30 pm.


(Click pictures to enlarge)



We have tickets to ride …



… on production of which, we were shown to an old-style first-class compartment in a corridor carriage.


Before the train departed, we had time to look round the station and the yard.




Our engine for the night, the British Railways 9F class 92203 Black Prince.  It was built at Swindon in 1959 and is now owned by the artist David Shepherd, and is normally resident at Toddington. 





Roger next to a period kiosk, now housing railway memorabilia.





(Left) Built in Brighton in 1945, the visiting Southern Railway West Country class 4-6-2 locomotive no. 34007 Wadebridge sits on a trailer in the yard





(Right) The visiting Great Western Railway 45xx class

2-6-2 tank engine no. 5542 in the sidings.  Built in 1928.









The train departed at 7.0 pm.  The line passes by Didbrook and Hailes, then through Winchcombe Station (not stopping) and the Greet tunnel.  It then runs past Gretton, Stanley Pontlarge and Prescott (of the hill climbs).  Next, slowing down but not stopping, it goes through Gotherington Halt, where the station building has been converted to a private dwelling by a railway enthusiast.  Finally, it approaches Prestbury Park Racecourse via Woodmancote and Bishop’s Cleeve.


Throughout the journey there are views over the Vale of Evesham and of the Malvern Hills to the west, and up to the Cotswold escarpment to the east, luckily, all bathed in evening sunshine.




On arrival at the Cheltenham Racecourse terminus, fish and chips are delivered to our compartment.  We prepare to tuck in with relish.






Before leaving, we have time to look round the small station, and watch Black Prince move from the back to the front of the train for the return journey.





We leave at 8.45 pm to return to Toddington.  By now it is nearly dark, and we look for the lights of the roads and the settlements as we pass.


A very pleasant trip ends at about 9.30 pm, and, of course, we have a very short walk back home.



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