Monday, 17 January 2022

Catching Up

Sometimes you blink and suddenly three months have passed without you even realising! When you have barely been at the railway during that time as well, beyond getting caught in a blizzard and guarding a few Santa trains, the time definitely seems to fly by.
Roger braves the blizzard to check 4270. 7903's crew were hiding
So, what’s been happening? Well, the GWSR steam dept is currently in the thick of its winter maintenance programme. Long time readers will know, the railway shuts from New Year to March, and the department and owning groups set upon their engines to work on general annual maintenance, plus any of those jobs that take a little bit longer to get done.
It certainly felt very festive for the first Santa trains of the year
November’s Gala was a terrific success, and the promised “memories from the Gala” should hopefully still be created and published as planned. This member of Team Blog is currently dealing with a more than stressful house move which has drained the creative spirit, so bear with me.

Cheltenham Racecourse once again opened to the public, so our standard November race trains ran smoothly, just before the south end of the line closed for a very large crane at Winchcombe.
Winter always makes for some stunning pictures
This meant that the usual Santa’s from CRC couldn’t run again this year. The slightly significant detail that the crane was sat over the points at the south end of Winchcombe station meant we needed to run with our compatriots in the Diesel department in order to get back from the North Pole. From a guard’s perspective, it made for a nice break from the norm. From the footplate, we’ll I’m not actually sure as the universe saw fit to deprive me of my Santa footplate time, for once not just because of Covid!
7903 awaiting the off
The Santa trains themselves were a great success, and were very much enjoyed by the crew who enjoyed the complimentary hot drinks and mince pies. Upon the cancellation of the post Christmas trains, I heard a rumour that that week’s crews got even more mince pies than normal, which I presume were heartily enjoyed! For now, we settle and let the engines enjoy their holiday. 
Mince pie anyone?
Readers, I shall confess now I’m not sure when the next update will be posted. Whilst hopefully the aforementioned house move bears fruit, it will eat up my weekends for the foreseeable, potentially until we are back running again, and I very kindly gave my spies time off for good behaviour! If any more spies fancy popping out of the woodwork, they know where to find us!

A belated Happy New Year everyone, here’s to 2022!



  1. Thanks for the update Bryony, very welcome, and H N Year to you too !

  2. Happy new year Bryony. Hope house move goes smoothly. Thanks for the updates

  3. Good to have your name up there again Bryony.

  4. Well, you turn around & five months have gone somewhere since the last time the Steam Dep't graced these pages. Come on, people, put finger to keyboard, - there are loads of us out here who'd like to know what's going on.