'The Honeybourne Line'
The Railway Station
Glos GL54 5DT
Running through sleepy hamlets and villages in pretty Cotswold countryside is the GWR heritage railway. No – ‘GWR’ does not stand for ‘Great Western Railway’ but is the trading name of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.
Trains run regularly between Toddington and Cheltenham Racecourse Stations, stopping at Winchcombe and passing through the 693 yard (634 metre) Greet Tunnel.
Each service has a buffet car and the line also runs Elegant Excursions (Wining & Dining lunch and dinner specials). Check the official website for details.
At various times during the running season, the line hosts a variety of well known locomotives including the 'City of Truro' and also the 'Black Prince' which is owned by the artist and wildlife conservationist David Shepherd.
Plan Your Visit
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Gotherington is the only station that is not wheelchair accessible and has no disabled toilets. Full details available at Web: GWR Accessibility
The line is closed to public running from 1 January to the first weekend in March for maintenance. It is also closed on 25 December. On non-operational days a talking timetable is available on Tel: 01242 621 405
For weekend and mid week running timetables click on Web: GWSR - General Information and select the current year timetable in the left hand menu.
Go to Web: GWR Fares
Go to Web: GWR Online Bookings
The North Gloucestershire Railway Company is co-located with the GWR, adjacent to Toddington Station. The 2 foot narrow-gauge line runs services at peak times during the season. Go to Web: Toddington Narrow Guage Line
The GWR Line
Toddington Station is the current northern terminus and the main operating base. It is here that the steam engines, diesels and DMUs are restored and maintained. The yard is always busy and is not open to the public. However, there is plenty to see as engines go about the business of shunting and being watered.
The station has a Tea Room, Railway Shop and Museum:
- The Flag and Whistle Tea Room is open on most operating days and offers a range of light snacks including sandwiches, ploughman's lunches and hot soups. Also on offer are coffee and tea with home-made cakes and all the usual snacks such as crisps, ice creams, sweets and cold drinks.
- The Railway Shop is located on Platform 1. It has a good range of books, magazines, videos, models, toys and souvenirs. Open on operating days.
- The small Museum is located in a former GWR Collett Brake Coach dating from 1935. It houses a display of memorabilia and early scenes of the railway.
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Toddington was once a major fruit distribution centre the building reminds one more of a country Great Western Railway station. The train passes the maintenance workshops on its way to Gotherington.
After passing Didbrook Village there are good views of the Cotswolds from both sides of the train.
Winchcombe Station is actually at Greet and about a mile away from the ancient market town of Winchcombe. Although painted in the GWR livery this station building is conspicuously different in style. It once stood at Monmouth Troy railway station in South-East Wales and was moved, brick by brick, to replace the dismantled Winchcombe Station. It is the headquarters of the carriage and wagon department and vacant lines are used to store the rolling stock.
Shortly after leaving Winchcombe the train enters Greet tunnel which is the second longest on a preserved railway. Lovely views of the Vale of Evesham and the distant Malvern Hills await the passenger as the train emerges from the tunnel.
The train passes the village of Gretton and hamlets of Stanley Pontlarge and Far Stanley. After a long straight through Dixton cutting the train passes through the original Gotherington station which was closed in 1965. The original GWR is now privately owned so the Heritage Railway uses the opposite platform.
For details, go to Web: GWR Gotherington
The extension through Bishops Cleeve to Cheltenham has increased the line to a 20 mile (32 kms) round trip. Work is currently underway extending the line northwards to Broadway which will add another ten miles (16 kms) round trip to the distance.
The volunteers who run this line have great ambitions for the GWR. They have already completed the line as far as Cheltenham Spa Race Course and intend to eventually extend as far as Stratford-upon-Avon to the north.
The GWR is an enjoyable day out for anyone staying in the Cotswolds, near the Cities of Gloucester and Cheltenham Spa or Tewkesbury. Good motorways make it accessible from as far away Birmingham (45 miles, 72 km) and Bristol (50 miles, 80.5 km).
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1242 621 405
There is ample parking available at Toddington Station and also at Cheltenham Racecourse station.
For excellent 'Getting There' information go to Web: Finding the GWR
Google Maps - Toddington Station