Join us on this interesting trip by vintage steam train to the historic city of Chester, an unusual destination from Bristol.
We travel via the Severn Tunnel, the South Wales Main Line, the scenic Welsh Marches route, and the Shrewsbury to Chester line. There will be over three hours in Chester where Christmas festivities should be in full swing. Our train will be hauled throughout by a Britannia ‘Pacific’ steam locomotive No. 70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’ or Black 5 No. 45305.
We leave Bristol Temple Meads at around 07:00 hauled by a Britannia Pacific locomotive No 70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’ or Black 5 No 45305. Our steam locomotive will be working hard as we climb to Filton Abbey Wood, where we stop to pick up more passengers. We then head westwards along the South Wales Main Line, passing through the Severn Tunnel under the River Severn, and continuing to the outskirts of Newport. Here we turn northwards, crossing the River Usk, and join the Welsh Marches route.
We stop at Cwmbran and Abergavenny for more passengers to join the train before we begin the challenging climb of the Llavihangel bank. Our steam locomotive will be in full cry all the way to the summit! We pass many sites where there were once railway stations along this route and the longest section without a station today is between Abergavenny and Hereford, where we stop for our steam locomotive to take on water. There is some truly beautiful scenery as we travel through Herefordshire and into Shropshire passing towns such as Leominster, Ludlow, Craven Arms and Church Stretton.
We continue to Shrewsbury where the ‘listed’ Severn Bridge Junction Signal Box is the largest remaining mechanical signal box in the world. We take the Chester Line from Shrewsbury and stop at Chirk for our steam locomotive to take on water. We pass through Ruabon and Wrexham before arriving at our destination, the beautiful Roman City of Chester. There will be over three hours to explore the walled city which contains a number of medieval buildings and is famous for its 14th Century ‘Rows’, the first floor level galleried walkways connecting shops and cafes. Other places of interest include the Castle, the Cathedral, and the picturesque racecourse, located between the city walls and the River Dee, where ‘Winter Wonderland’ will be in full swing.
Whilst we have been exploring the city, our steam locomotive will have been serviced and turned at Chester ready for the return journey. Our train leaves Chester at around 17:00 returning by the same route and stopping at the same stations as on the outward journey, to set down passengers.
Look out for Father Christmas and his Elves who will be visiting the train during the day and handing out presents to all children on board. Please let us know your child’s age when booking.
Premier Dining includes a full English breakfast, light lunch and a four course dinner silver served at your seat.
First Class includes morning coffee with a Danish pastry and afternoon tea with a savoury dish followed by a selection of fancies and cakes.
Standard Class includes a reserved seat at a table for four.
A buffet car is available and serves tea, coffee, snacks and light refreshments. Tables for two can be guaranteed in first class and premier dining for a supplement of £22 per person. (subject to availability)
Approximate timings shown
|Bristol Temple Meads||07:00||22:35|
|Filton Abbey Wood||07:15||22:25|