The Cotswold Express will place the correct locomotive in the correct setting; a double-chimney Castle back on home-ground steaming through the picturesque Cotswold Hills. The outbound journey departs Tyseley, heading through the heart of Birmingham, turning south past Kidderminster and Worcester. After a spirited run through Cheltenham, we turn east past Stonehouse and Stroud before heading through the Golden Valley and up the demanding and twisting climb of Sapperton Bank towards the summit at Sapperton Tunnel. Emerging into the daylight, we find ourselves on level ground as we steam past the mouth of the canal tunnel and Tunnel House towards Kemble.
After passing through this classic Great Western station, we steam along the newly re-doubled track towards the birthplace of our engine, Swindon. After a short sprint along Brunel’s billiard table, we near Didcot where we leave the Great Western Mainline and turn towards our afternoon break in the University City of Oxford. Here you will have over 3 hours to explore the sights of The City of Dreaming Spires; see the Venice-inspired Bridge of Sighs or visit the Ashmolean Museum.
Departing Oxford, we turn along the recently re-doubled North Cotswold line through the postcard garden towns of Charlbury, Moreton-in-Marsh and Evesham, before rejoining the old Great Western Railway route back towards Worcester Shrub Hill. At Worcester, there is a possibility we may be joined by heritage “modern traction” for an assist up Old Hill bank and thence back to Tyseley, but we haven’t required it in recent years!
Steam hauled throughout by No: 7029 ‘Clun Castle’.
|Saturday 21st April ‘The Cotswold Express’ with No. 7029 ‘Clun Castle’|
|Tyseley Warwick Road||07:52||20.23|
|Birmingham Snow Hill||08:21||20.04|