IN PICTURES - Shakespeare Express from Worcester to Stratford, hailed a great success - The Stratford Observer

IN PICTURES - Shakespeare Express from Worcester to Stratford, hailed a great success

Stratford Editorial 7th Jul, 2024   0

THE DECISION to trial the starting point of the Shakespeare Express in Worcester and give passengers a longer journey time has been hailed a huge success by operator Vintage Trains, writes Neil Gordon.

The announcement comes after the popular steam train passed through Droitwich and Bromsgrove last week while heading to Stratford-on-Avon from Worcester’s Shrub Hill Station, rather than from its usual starting point of Birmingham.

Vintage Trains sales and marketing manager Alex Knudsen said: “The new starting point of Worcester for the Shakespeare Express on Sunday was a fantastic success and it has been wonderful to hear the positive feedback from those who travelled with us, especially for our locomotive and on-train staff.

“It was great to see so many people at the stations we passed through and some of the footage from the storming run up the Lickey Incline is excellent.”

The Shakespeare Express arrives back at Worcester from Stratford-on-Avon. Picture Steve Tucker.

Castle class steam locomotive 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe hauled the train in morning with class 47 diesel locomotive number D1955 providing assistance at the rear, as it headed to Stratford-on-Avon where passengers enjoyed a four-hour break.

Paul and Dorothy Troth along with friends Gareth and Viv Wigley all from Bromsgrove treated themselves to the train’s Pullman Dining experience which included a cooked breakfast on the outward journey and afternoon tea on the return leg.

Paul said: “We all enjoyed a brilliant day with this being the first time I had been up the Lickey Incline and in to New Street station behind a steam locomotive since the 1960s.

“It brought back fond memories and it was good to see so many people along the route.”

Castle class steam locomotive 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe at Stratford-on-Avon. Picture by Paul Troth.

And on Sunday evening the diesel locomotive returned the train to its Birmingham base with the steam engine powering from behind.

Despite being booked in platform 1 at Bromsgrove for operational reasons on both journeys, the train twice passed through non-stop due to late departure from Worcester.

Alex added: “We are already starting work on another potential future run of The Shakespeare Express from Worcester, so watch this space.”

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