News Channels
Recent comments
News archive
Local news

Born in 1949? Celebrate with a 60-year-old Steam Engine and travel free on the GWR this weekend!

This weekend on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway – ‘The Honeybourne Line’ – celebrates a rather special lady’s 60th birthday.

The ‘lady’ is engine no. 7903, named Foremarke Hall.  And to help her celebrate, there’s a free ride on the 10-mile line on 4th and 5th July for anyone who was born in 1949!

Locomotive no. 7903 Foremarke Hall certainly looks good for her age and she is working on both days.  She was completed at Swindon works in 1949 and today is resplendent in early British Railways green livery. 

But Foremarke Hall’s life was short-lived, as Jim Clarke, chairman of the Foremarke Hall Group, which owns the engine, explains. 

“She spent much of her short life working trains out of Paddington and at one time held the post-war record for taking a train from London to Plymouth in under four hours.  But in the 1964 the end of steam came and when just a teenager, was condemned to a South Wales scrap yard, where she spend years rusting away.

“We rescued the engine in 1981 and spent the next 25 years rebuilding her.  Five years ago we completed the work and brought Foremarke Hall to Toddington, where she is now very much alive and has performed regularly ever since.”

Malcolm Temple, commercial director of the GWR adds: “It’s a delight to celebrate this milestone.  We depend very much on engines owned by individuals and groups such as the Foremarke Hall Group, to power our trains.  There’s no doubt that Foremarke Hall is a big attraction.  She’s big, beautiful and has lots of shining brass and we’re very proud that she is a resident on our equally beautiful railway.

“It has to be said that the engine looks a lot fitter than some of us volunteers who have reached our sixth decade!”

There’s no catch with this offer – anyone who’s 60 this year can travel free, accompanied by a fare-paying passenger, on 4th or 5th July.  Turn up at any of the GWR’s booking offices (Toddington, Winchcombe (Greet) or Cheltenham Racecourse) with proof that you were born in 1949!  

There are two trains operating on Saturday and Sunday.  The service hauled by Foremarke Hall departs:


From Toddington, 11.30; 14.15 and 16.35

From Cheltenham, 12.15; 15.00 (and 17.20, but no return service)


From Toddington, 10.30; 13.00 and 15.15

From Cheltenham, 11.15; 14.00 and 16.00

Foremarke Hall Birthday CakeForemarke Hall Birthday CakeThe Foremarke Hall group celebrate with a party on the 15.15 train from Toddington on Sunday – complete with cake.  The engine, of course, will have a piece fed into her firebox!

For more information visit

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway plc
The Railway Station,
GL54 5DT

Telephone: 01242 621405

Source: Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway plc


Other Local news
Cotswold Event Calendar
Event days are highlighted above. Click on a date to see events for that day.
News by Keyword