THE railway locomotives that kept Britain moving during the age of steam will be celebrated at the Cotswolds' own preserved line later this year.

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway will be hosting its own festival of steam over the late May bank holiday weekend - with one of the stars of the show being a Black Five steam loco.

The engine, number 45305, will be heading a line-up of at least eight engines planned to be working on the line, which runs between Cheltenham and Laverton.

The festival, themed Workhorses of Steam, is the latest of the railway's three-day May steam galas. The events have enjoyed steadily rising visitor numbers, with over 4,500 tickets sold for last year's record-breaking event.

Ray O’Hara, the Chairman of the organising committee, said“We’re thrilled that 45305 is coming to the railway – in fact, it is only the second time that a Black Five has visited our line in preservation, although they did traverse the route in later British Railways steam days.

“This 125-ton engine is owned by the 5305 Locomotive Association and is normally based at the Great Central Railway, Loughborough and we’re grateful to them for allowing us to run it on our line. It will be delivered by road a few days before the event.

“We’re negotiating with other locomotive owners to further the Workhorses of Steam’ theme and expect to announce them soon. With the home fleet as well, we expect to field at least eight locomotives in steam.”

An intensive service including three passenger train sets as well as a freight train will ply the 12-mile line and ensure a bank holiday weekend packed with interest and excitement.

A range of activities and entertainment will be on offer at all of the railway’s stations, while a free classic bus service will link the Network Rail Cheltenham Spa station with the GWSR’s Cheltenham Racecourse station.

Tickets for the event are now available where full information about the event can also be found. Advance tickets cost £21(adult, one day); child £6 (one day) and family £51 (two adults, three children, one day).