Three Railway Touring Company Trips For 2022

Our tour program for 2022 is coming together. We have already published the tours with The British Pullman, a Belmond train – see here. We can now announce three additional tours which are being organised by The Railway Touring Company.

The first is The Atlantic Coast Express on Saturday 2nd July 2022:-

Join us on this classic rail journey, following part the route of the old Atlantic Coast Express (ACE) that ran from London to the seaside resorts of Devon and Cornwall in South West England. We will leave London Waterloo steam hauled in the morning and make our way to Exeter where there will be a break to visit the historic city centre. Our return route will be via Bristol, Bath and Salisbury back to London Waterloo. Ex Southern Region ‘Merchant Navy’ Class locomotive No. 35028 Clan Line will haul this special train, recreating some of the excitement of the days of the ACE.

Departing from London Waterloo, we will thread our way steam hauled through the west London suburbs towards Woking and Basingstoke, where there will be stops to pick up passengers. We continue to follow the London & South Western Railway’s main line to Salisbury and Exeter, following the route of the old ACE expresses.

After the Salisbury water stop, we will follow the main line through to Templecombe, which will give Clan Line an opportunity to get up to its maximum permitted speed. We will pass the Yeovil Junction steam centre as we continue westwards and take on the challenging 1 in 80 climb up Crewkerne Bank.

After Axminster, there is further adverse climbing as we encounter the testing eight miles of mainly 1 in 80 up to Honiton Summit. Descending gradients then lead to Exeter, where we will have an afternoon break to visit this historic city, with its Cathedral at the very centre of the city.

With Clan Line serviced ready for our return journey, we will now follow the Great Western Railway’s Exeter to Bristol route, which includes the long climb up Wellington Bank towards Taunton. A fast run across the Somerset Levels then brings us to Bristol. We pass through Bath and Westbury before reaching Salisbury once again. The ACE will now retrace our earlier steps back to London Waterloo, setting down as outwards, and thus ending a varied and interesting day out over classic railway routes with a Southern Region Express steam locomotive.

To book, visit the Railway Touring Company’s website.

The second is The End of Southern Steam on Saturday 9th July 2022:-

This day trip by steam train provides the opportunity to visit the popular seaside resort of Weymouth for the afternoon. This special train to mark the 55th anniversary of the end of Southern steam will be hauled by steam locomotive No.35028 Clan Line from London Victoria to Yeovil. We continue to Weymouth diesel hauled before our steam locomotive hauls us back to London via Bournemouth.

Our train leaves London Victoria station at around 08:45 behind our splendid steam locomotive, No.35028 Clan Line. We travel out of London through the suburbs and then stop for further passengers at Woking and Basingstoke.

At Worting Junction we take the West of England Main Line to Andover and Salisbury.
At Wilton Junction the line becomes single track. We cross the edge of Salisbury Plain and pass through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Tisbury and Gillingham in Dorset.
We cross Gillingham Viaduct and pass through Buckhorn Weston Tunnel before Templecombe, where once the iconic Somerset & Dorset Railway passed beneath our line.

Travelling westwards through north west Dorset we pass through Sherborne, one of the most beautiful towns in England, before continuing with the train to Yeovil Junction where the steam locomotive will be serviced at Yeovil Railway Centre.

Our train leaves Yeovil Junction, hauled by a diesel locomotive, and runs southwards through Maiden Newton towards Dorchester and the large seaside resort of Weymouth. There will be a break here to visit the town, with its many attractions and restaurants, before we return to London Victoria steam hauled.

Our return route will be via Bournemouth, Southampton and Eastleigh back to Basingstoke and Woking to set down passengers, followed by journey’s end at London Victoria.

To book, visit the Railway Touring Company’s website.

The third is The Cotswold Venturer on Saturday 27th August 2022:-

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 Staines and then from Reading via the Great Western Main Line to Didcot and Swindon. We then run via the Golden Valley line through Kemble and Stroud, which will include the steep climb up to Sapperton tunnel. We will also return via the same route.

Our steam train leaves London Victoria at around 07:45 hauled by steam locomotive No.35028 Clan Line and head through the west London suburbs via Hounslow towards Staines, where we pause to pick up passengers. We make our way via Ascot to Reading and via the Great Western Main Line towards Didcot to pick up more passengers.

We follow the GWR main line through the Vale of White House to Swindon where we branch off to take the Golden Valley route towards Cheltenham. After Kemble, the line starts to climb steeply towards the summit at Sapperton Tunnel. The pleasant Golden Valley scenery, with its steep sided leafy valley walls, runs down the gradient through to Stroud. At Standish Junction we join the Midland Railway’s Bristol to Birmingham line and head for Cheltenham Spa.
Here, we will call to set down passengers who may wish to visit this attractive Regency spa town, noted for its Pump Rooms, many museums and the nearby famous racecourse.

The Cotswold Venturer continues northwards through to Worcester Shrub Hill station, were we will spend the afternoon here whilst Clan Line is turned and serviced. There will be plenty of time to explore this fine city. 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 has long associations with the composer Sir Edward Elgar.

Our steam train leaves Worcester Shrub Hill in the late afternoon and returns by the same route to Cheltenham Spa where we will pause to pick up passengers who chose to leave their earlier. We head southwards away from Cheltenham, by-pass Gloucester, and then join the Golden Valley route at Standish Junction. We pass through Stroud and climb up through the picturesque Stroud Valley to Sapperton Tunnel where the gradients increase dramatically to 1 in 74 at Chalford. We continue through Kemble and on to Swindon where we join the ex-Great Western Main Line. We call at Didcot, Reading and Staines to set down passengers, before arriving in London Victoria.

To book, visit the Railway Touring Company’s website.

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