Join us on this scenic rail tour by steam train through the beautiful Cotswold Hills.
Our destination is the cathedral city of Worcester, located on the banks of the River Severn and internationally famous as the home of Worcestershire Sauce. We travel outward via the Golden Valley line through Stroud and Kemble and also return the same way, which will include the steep climb up to Sapperton tunnel.
Our steam hauled train leaves London Paddington at around 07.40 hauled by A4 class Pacific steam locomotive No. 60009 Union of South Africa and heads down the ex-Great Western Railway (GWR) main line. We stop at Slough, Reading and Didcot to pick up more passengers. Our journey continues through the Vale of White Horse to Swindon, where we take the Golden Valley line through Kemble and up the climb to Sapperton Tunnel. We bypass Gloucester and head northwards through Cheltenham to Abbotswood Junction, were we leave the main line to Birmingham and head for Worchester Shrub Hill.
There will be more than three hours to explore the fine city of Worcester. The River Severn runs through the city and is overlooked by the 12th century Worcester Cathedral. The site of the final battle of the Civil War between Oliver Cromwell and King Charles II was here. It is also the home of Royal Worcester Porcelain, and the birthplace of the composer Sir Edward Elgar is nearby at Lower Broadheath.
Our steam hauled train leaves Worcester Shrub Hill in the late afternoon and returns to London via the Golden Valley line. We follow the former Great Western Railway route from Standish Junction and climb steadily through Stroud before the gradients increase dramatically to 1 in 74 at Chalford. We continue to climb through the Golden Valley at a gradient of 1 in 60 prior to entering Sapperton tunnel at the summit of the climb.
On easier gradients, we descend through Kemble and onwards through Wiltshire to the former railway town of Swindon. We will now retrace our earlier route through the Vale of White Horse back to Didcot and Reading. Our final part of the journey calls at Reading and Slough before arriving back in London Paddington in the evening.
Premier Dining includes a full English breakfast and four course dinner silver served at your seat.
First Class includes morning tea or coffee with a bacon/breakfast roll and a Danish pastry and an afternoon service of tea or coffee with a savoury of the day followed by a scone with butter and jam.
Standard Class includes a reserved seat usually at a table for four.
Tables for two can be guaranteed in first class and premier dining for a supplement of £25 per person (subject to availability).
A buffet car is available and serves tea, coffee, snacks and light refreshments.
Approximate timings shown