Doesn’t everyone love a ride on a steam train? The idea of getting somewhere: the sense of freedom, adventure, nostalgia. Well, now you can go further on a steam train from Cheltenham all the way to Broadway when an extra part of The Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) opens this Good Friday 30th March.
The ‘Return to Broadway’ is the result of a 1.3m effort by volunteers to restore the line to the village of Broadway for the first time since 1960. The new Broadway Station will be connected with Cheltenham Racecourse station 15 miles away. You can enjoy the first trains on the route over the Easter weekend with extra services and celebrations.
We went this Sunday: a beautiful spring day a few days before the opening and what a great day out! We can hear the whistle of the steam train from our house so it was exciting even before we got there. We arrived at the Cheltenham Racecourse Station to get the 10.55 to Toddington.
The heritage railway is entirely volunteer operated; the guards, drivers and ticket collectors are all so friendly. There are plenty of places to sit on the old-fashioned train, including separate carriages. The train takes you through spectacular Cotswold scenery: views of the Malvern Hills and little villages with stops at stations along the way.
Whilst on the train, you can walk around and visit the buffet car. My husband enjoyed a Return to Broadway ‘Celebration’ beer so there’s something for everyone!
The journey to Toddington took about 40 minutes and we got off at the station to have a picnic in the nearby children’s play park. There are lots of other things to do there, including visiting small museums, vehicle displays and there is also a tea room. On getting the train back, the driver allowed us up front to see the engine! If it’s not too busy, it’s always worth asking.
I expect it will be a lot busier this Friday with the opening of Broadway and over the Easter holidays with an ‘Easter Eggspress’ but there are plenty of trains running. Trains run most days from now until November with lots of things coming up this year, such as a Lego weekend and Days Out with Thomas. A highly recommended day out for all the family!