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10th May 2015

The coach met us at Rose Hill as usual and we waited until 07.04 before leaving on our journey down to the Gloucester & Warwickshire Steam Railway.  As the coach supplied by Coopers Tours had toilet facilities on board we made a straight run down to Toddington Station.  Arriving in plenty of time 09.22 to enable tickets to be purchased and for people to use the facilities or have a cuppa.

The first train of the day was hauled by 2807 a grand old lady built in 1905, and was rescued from Barry scrapyard.  She has been in regular service here since her rebuild was completed 3 years ago.  

Our visit day’s timetable was a mainly steam timetable with two engines doing the honours, 2807 was one and the other was 4270.  The line was open all the way from Cheltenham Race Course station through to Laverton - however access from Toddington to Laverton was via a diesel rail car unit only.

I caught the 10:00 train hauled by 2870 through to Cheltenham Race Course station – arriving at 10:34 which became the 10:55 to Toddington.

They have done quite a bit to improve facilities at the Race Course station and work in progress could be seen on the other platform.  As the station is now apparently in full use for race-goers the new platform will be beneficial as they will be able to run more than one train into the station.

Nice to see a heritage railway being able to extend it line and improve services locally.

On the way back to Toddington we passed 4270 at Winchcombe station.

Also spotted 45159 and D5343.

I eventually caught the 12:05 railcar to Laverton and return so can now say I have travelled the full length of the line as it is at the moment. Not all by steam granted.

When the railcar got back to Toddington I got off and legged it across to the Narrow gauge railway to get a ride on that.  It was £3.00 for the fare.  It was diesel hauled - Hunslet A497 from Milford Haven, but never mind, and it left the station at 12.35 for the trip up its line.  It stopped at California Crossing station and the Narrow Gauge Museum  which was open and as the entry was free I was able to have a really good look round and get some photos of their steam engines and also a couple of shots of engine in the main loco yard.

Also seen in shed were No 15, (steam), petrol loco “Ivan” – Ruston loco no 6 and an ex Tallyllyn engine works no 101T023

At their California Crossing I also had a look round their signal box and watched the 32mm gauge layout run before getting back on board for the trip back to Toddington.

I then headed up to the loco viewing area and had a good look round and took some photos.

List of engines seen in yard:

E6036, 5542, 2874, 8137, 11230, 372, 7820

I think I managed to get all of them, apologies if I missed any.

I then went into the shed and although I was able to view all the engines there were a couple I could not get the number of as access was restricted. Only managed to get one reasonably decent shot of an engine. In shed:

1693, 5081, 37215, 47376 Freightliner 1995

Sorry numbers only.

Spotted D2182 at Winchcombe

After my look around the yard I headed for the Flag & Whistle café where I had my lunch – Roast Beef and Yorkshire as it was on offer – very nice too and had a nice cup of tea

After lunch I went back down to Toddington station, had a look round the stalls and got a shot of 2807 on the 13.32 train.  I then had a nose around the shops where I purchased a “Thomas” hat for Lewis as his “Canada” one is getting a bit small for him.

I made my way over to the station for the 14:40 train and stayed on board that one for the full round trip to the race course station and back to Toddington.

I then caught up with my parents and we went into the Flag & Whistle and had a cuppa whilst waiting for the last train of the day to come in before heading towards the coach.  This was the Heritage Diesel 47376 – Freightliner 1995 - which came in on time at 17:20.

Once everyone was on board the coach left at 17:29 for our return journey to Chesterfield. On our return journey we had our usual raffle and the following list is of the winning numbers

Raffle prizes as follows:

First Prize:                  Ticket number 129

Second prize:             Ticket number 193

Third prize:                 Ticket number 57.

Once again we had a pleasant straight run through to Chesterfield and arrived in town for 20:00.

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