Cheltenham [CHM]

Merchant Navy 35006 'Peninsular and Oriental SN Co' awaiting departure from Toddington on the 14.35 to Cheltenham Racecourse, 17th June 2021
Merchant Navy 35006 'Peninsular and Oriental SN Co' awaiting departure from Toddington on the 14.35 to Cheltenham Racecourse, 17th June 2021

Welcome to Cheltenham Branch - the home Branch of the RCTS.

The Society was born in 1928 by a group of enthusiasts having a get together close to Great Western Railway's Malvern Road station in the town. From those seeds the Society expanded to embrace the whole country.

On platform 1 at Cheltenham's Lansdown station, a plaque is attached to the wall to commemorate the birth of the RCTS by our founders Aubrey Broad and Les Lapper.

For a number of years the Branch itself was a sub-Branch of Bristol, but in 1963 - being able to get home at night from Bristol became tricky, so the locals started to hold meetings in Cheltenham. The Cheltenham Branch was formed in its own right a year later.

Today we have regular live meetings at The Victory Club in town (see our events page below for details). We have a selection of Society publications and 2nd hand books available for sale. Our meetings are on the 3rd Thursday of each month between September and April. We look forward to seeing you, if you are able to come along.

Being a close neighbour, a number of our members are also volunteers at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, based just up the road at Toddington. The photo features our resident Merchant Navy awaiting departure from Toddington.

What's on


Click the venue name to see more


Stephen Wilson

Richard Morris
John Howland

Richard Neale

Meeting reports

Annual Business Meeting and Members Entertain

02 May 2022

The Branch Annual Business Meeting took place on 21st April. Reports were received from the committee on Branch activities and financial transactions during the previous 12 months, a much improved…

Read More

The Anniversary Tour – 2018

18 Mar 2022

Steve Ollive was welcomed back here on 17th March to present his coverage of the 2018 Anniversary Tour in which he and a small group of RCTS friends, including Richard…

Read More

The Hixon Level Crossing Disaster – 1968

18 Feb 2022

Malcolm Garner came on Thursday 17th February to describe the circumstances surrounding the “Hixon Level Crossing Disaster – 1968”. In the 1960s British Railways embarked on a programme of replacing…

Read More

The Final Journey

21 Jan 2022

“The Final Journey – the Untold Story of Funeral Trains” was the subject for Nicolas Wheatley on 20th January. Nicolas has, since his last visit, published a book with this…

Read More

The Great Train Robbery

17 Dec 2021

Ian Boskett from Tewkesbury has studied the events of the early hours of 8th August 1963 and the subsequent investigations and enquiries and presented his thoughts on The Great Train…

Read More

Worcestershire Steam 1950-1964

30 Nov 2021

Chris Wilkinson from the Worcester Locomotive Society came on 18th November to present some images of Worcestershire Steam 1950-1964. Centred on the City of Worcester we travelled out on the…

Read More

Lansdown Junction in the 1950s

21 Oct 2021

Presenter: Dr Peter Darke On 21st October we welcomed Dr Peter Darke to present his thoughts on “Operations at Lansdown Junction in the 1950s”. Peter had spent time as a student…

Read More

Rail Operations in the U.S.A.

16 Sep 2021

Presenter: Sholto Thomas Our first live meeting for 19 months was a presentation on “Rail Operations in the U.S.A.” by Sholto Thomas. Describing many enjoyable trips to the States, Sholto…

Read More

20th April 2021 · Branch AGM followed by:- “Railway Holidays in the West Country, Part 1 – Cornwall”

20 Apr 2021

Presenter: Stuart Warr We held our Branch AGM, virtually, on 20th April attended by 12 Branch members and 21 guests from other Branches and Societies. Minutes of the previous meeting…

Read More

16th March 2021 · “The Gwili Railway”

16 Mar 2021

Presenter: Iain McCall Iain McCall introduced us to “The Gwili Railway” on 16th March. This standard gauge preservation line in West Wales was the first to get going in the…

Read More