Under starters orders for the Cheltenham Festival

Tuesday 14th March 2017

Cheltenham Festival goers are under starter’s orders as they prepare to board Great Western Railway services, with the train operator providing enough extra seats to carry everyone in the grand stand 3.5 times over.

  • Over 23,200 extra train seats in total provided – enough to transport everyone in the Princess Royal Stand 3.5 times over; or 766 full private boxes
  • The additional trains would extend 5.8 miles end-to-end or 47 furlongs – almost twice the length of the Cheltenham Gold Cup
  • 27 extra toilets provided (including extra accessible toilets) at the station
  • 78 double decker buses will be on hand to transport customers between Cheltenham Spa and the festival –  with 4 buses leaving the station every 5 minutes
  • Over 40 additional station staff every day
  • 875 metres of crowd control barriers

Culminating in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday, the four-day festival between Tuesday 14 and Friday 17 March attracts thousands of supporters – many choosing to start their journey with a glass of Champagne on board a GWR service from London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa.

Providing 15 additional trains a day, adding over 5,800 extra seats, passengers are reminded that a queuing system will be in place at London Paddington taking customers towards Cheltenham and at Cheltenham Station for the return journey, enabling trains to be boarded safely.

Cheltenham Spa Station Manager Richard Morrish said:

“The Cheltenham Festival is one of the most popular in the race calendar, bringing over 50,000 people through the station in just four days.

“While our friendly and approachable staff will be on hand to help keep people moving, I would urge customers to allow time for their journeys, as a queuing system will be needed to allow passengers to board trains in safety.”

Trains will depart from London Paddington to Cheltenham at:

  • 07.36
  • 08.06
  • 08.36
  • 09.03
  • 09.36

Over 24 GWR trains will run after 1600, in additional to Cross Country services, to take race-goers home again. Passengers are reminded to check their latest connecting service before they travel.

Notes to editors

Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.

We’re currently seeing the biggest investment in the network since Brunel so we can offer more trains, more seats, and shorter, more frequent journeys and continue the network’s heritage of helping connect more businesses to new and prosperous markets. Through a series of initiatives we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities we serve and are committed to making a positive social impact in those regions. Learn how we're Building a Greater West at GWR.com. GWR is a FirstGroup company.