City of Truro
April 2nd 2004

 An invitation to the GLOUCESTERSHIRE AND WARWICKSHIRE RAILWAY gave me the opportunity to see the recently overhauled "City of Truro" being presented to the people who had been instrumental in achieving the repair together with those who had helped pay for it. The scheme had been fully promoted by STEAM RAILWAY magazine who had played a big part in the fund raising. It has been a tremendous achievement and to cap it all the 4-4 0 will be out on the main line on a recreation of the Ocean Liner Express - a train on which it is reputed to have achieved a speed of over 100 m.p.h., a claim constantly disputed by non-GWR fans! When I arrived at Toddington Station the locomotive was brewing up for the first of three trips to Cheltenham Racecourse Station some ten miles away.

The engine was sporting an acknowledging headboard in front of the copper capped chimney.

An uneventful run was supplemented by a welcome coffee and biscuits thanks to the excellent buffet facilities on the train. The locomotive detached and ran round the train.

Ready to return to Toddington with a clear road ahead.

 Back at base and the City of Truro was handed over to the care of G&WR representatives with speeches from those involved at the National Rail Museum and Steam Railway magazine.

 The crowd listened intently.

 After a nice lunch, taken outside in the warm sunshine, the train was ready to leave on its second run to the racecourse and some photographic runs past.

En route.

 Arrival again at the racecourse station and the crew prepare the loco for its run round the stock..

Having run round, the engine propelled the stock back onto the southern headshunt to allow the first run past, this time the headboard was left in place.

 Full steam ahead onto the loop and through the difficult dappled sunlight..

 Another reversal and a second run past, this time without the headboard.

 The third and final run past and how sad that fellow photographers can't remember to keep their elbows down - this is a growing problem with the increase in digital cameras with large screens..

 The final reversal before bringing the stock into the platform for the return to Toddington.

 On the way back I managed to get a reasonable shot of one of the two class 37 diesels based on the G&WR - a return to see them working is a must! A great day all round and a very good impression of the railway and its extremely helpful and friendly staff. Definitely not a hint of my pet dislike on preserved railways - uniform fever. Congratulations to all on the G&WR.