Monday, 14 March 2016

The Cotswold festival of Steam: Swindon Built

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is delighted to announce some of the details of the Cotswold Festival of Steam gala, taking place at the late May bank holiday weekend (28th - 30th).  

The title for the gala will be "Swindon Built", remembering the 175 years that have elapsed since Sir Daniel Gooch, the GWR's Locomotive Superintendent selected the site at Swindon for locomotive and rolling stock repair and construction.
We are well placed at the GWSR to host such an event, as all of our operational home fleet has some connection with Swindon Works.

Home Fleet:


Churchward, 2-8-0, 28XX Class, 2807

To start with, in Churchward 2-8-0, 2807, we have the oldest Swindon Works built steam loco capable of being steamed.  2807 entered traffic in 1905 and continued in service until 1963, an impressively long working life.  She is the oldest loco to have been saved from Barry Island Scrap Yard.  2016 is also the centenary of the first 100 wagon freight train in the United Kingdom, hauled by sister loco 2808. To commemorate this event, it is proposed that on some days, 2807 will be renumbered to be 2808.  The 2800 class was principally designed for use on long haul freight services.
2807 during a recent 'Christmas Cracker' event


Churchward 2-8-0T, 42XX Class, 4270

Another Swindon Built Churchward locomotive is 2-8-0T, 4270.  She was outshopped from Swindon Works at the end of 1919 and remained in traffic until 1962.  She is notable for having retained her original inside steam pipes.  The 42XX class was designed to cope with increasingly large coal trains in the South Wales valleys, using a Swindon number 4 boiler and sperical joints on the coupling rods between the intermediate and trailing wheels permitting the negotiation of relatively tight bends.
4270 on a demonstration goods train at Toddington


Collett, 4-6-0, Manor Class, 7820, Dinmore Manor

Swindon Works continued manufacturing GWR designed steam locos, even after nationalisation in 1948.  An example of this of Collett designed 4-6-0, 7820, Dinmore Manor, built in 1950, the first of a batch of 10 Manors built by BR, following on from the 20 built by the GWR prior to WWII.  Manor class locomotives were a mixed traffic design, designed with a lighter axle weight (17 tons) which permitted them to travel across a number of cross country routes and branch lines which the heavier Hall and Grange 2 cylinder 4-6-0 locomotives were not permitted on.
Dinmore Manor in action at Chicken Curve


Bulleid, Pacific, Merchant Navy class, 35006, Peninsular & Oriental S.N. Co

The final member of our home fleet that it is anticipated will be in steam for the "Swindon Built" gala is at first sight an impostor, Bulleid, Merchant Navy Class, 35006, was indeed built Eastleigh, but in the early days of her preservation, some engineering work on various components took place at Swindon Works, before it was closed in 1986.  A slightly tenuous link to Swindon Works perhaps, but a link nonetheless. This will be 35006's first gala appearance in steam.

35006 on static display at Winchcombe during last year's gala.


The Guest Locomotives:


Riddles, 2-10-0, BR Standard 9F Class, 92214

The first of our guest locomotives to be announced is Riddles, BR Standard 9F Class, 92214.  This locomotive is a perfect fit with our theme, being the youngest surviving Swindon built steam locomotive currently capable of being steamed.  The BR Standard 9F's were the last of the standardised locomotive classes built for British Railways during the 1950's and intended for use on fast heavy long distance freight trains, though some were used on passenger services too, most notably the very last Swindon built steam locomotive, 92220, Evening Star which hauled the final 'Pines Express' over the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway.  92214 entered traffic on 31/10/59 and was withdrawn less than 6 years later on 30/09/65 in the closing months of steam on the Western region of British Railways.  Fortunately she was sent to Barry Island scrap yard (along with all of our home fleet), from where whe was ultimately saved.  92214 comes to us courtesy of the Great Central Railway.

Riddles, 2-10-0, BR Standard 9F, 92214

We anticipate being able to make further announcements regarding two further guest locomotives in the relatively near future.

Keep an eye out for further announcements regarding the locomotive line up both here, on the main GWSR website and on Twitter.


  1. No 7903 or 5542 from the home fleet? Cheep speculation a king or an Earl to follow, very exciting.Graham

  2. 5542 will be heading off for the Dartmouth Steam Railway in early April and won't be returning for the gala. 7903, Foremarke Hall has returned to Toddington (blog post to follow in a few days time) however it cannot be guaranteed to be ready in time for the gala.

  3. Thanks for that, fingers crossed for 7903, I passed it at Tysley Thursday, looks good so far. Graham

  4. I think for the first train out of Broadway....flying Scotsman !

    1. Not allowed on non mainline connected railways tough, more's the pity. :(

  5. And the return of the "Mickey Mouse " mogul, last here in 1993. Nice little engine!