Cotswold Rail[1] was an English company, based in Gloucester, which arranged the spot-hire of shunting and mainline locomotives.

Cotswold Rail
ServicesLocomotive spot-hire
ParentAdrian Parcell
SubsidiariesAdvenza Freight


47316 Cam Peak at Doncaster Works in July 2003
Anglia Railways liveried 47714 at Norwich station in 2005
43070 at Bristol Temple Meads station in August 2006

Cotswold Rail was founded in 2000, initially as a broker for rolling stock. In June 2000, it offered 13 Class 141 Pacers for sale.[2]

In 2001, some Class 08 shunting locomotives were purchased, which were hired to both industry and main-line railway companies.[3]

Cotswold Rail also purchased a fleet of Class 47 locomotives. From June 2002 until June 2009, it provided Class 47s for Anglia Railways (and its successor National Express East Anglia), as rescue locomotives, and to haul Mark 2 sets on summer Saturday services from Norwich to Great Yarmouth.[4][5]

In 2004, Cotswold Rail leased 12 former Virgin Trains Mark 3 carriages from Rolling stock company Porterbrook.[6][7]

In April 2005, the company acquired leased some Class 87 electric locomotives.[8] A fleet of ten locomotives was planned, for spot-hire work, charter operations, and a new intermodal freight flow. However, all locomotives were returned to the leasing company (Porterbrook) in 2006.

In September 2005, two former Virgin CrossCountry High Speed Train sets were leased.[9] These were returned in August 2006.[10]

In 2005, Cotswold Rail purchased Advenza Freight, primarily for its safety case, which allowed it to operate freight services.[11] In 2007, the railtour promoter, Steamy Affairs, was purchased.[12]

As a result of HM Revenue & Customs successfully applying in October 2009 to have Advenza Freight wound up over unpaid taxes,[13][14][15] Cotswold Rail entered voluntary administration in January 2010.[16]



Cotswold Rail's livery adopted a silver livery, with red and blue bands. It named its locomotives after geographical features, such as Cam Peak and the Fosse Way, or after music industry personalities, namely John Peel, Joe Strummer and Captain Sensible.



In 2006, Cotswold Rail leased the closed Gloucester Horton Road depot.[17] The facility, which had last been used in 1992, was next to Gloucester station. It was also the location of the company offices, and usually played host to stabled company-owned locomotives.

Blue Pullman


In 2007, Cotswold Rail acquired rights to the Blue Pullman service, setting up The Blue Pullman Train Co,[18][19] using Blue Pullman-liveried coaches purchased following the receivership of the previous operator, FM Rail. Cotswold re-launched the Blue Pullman service in February 2007, using its silver Class 47s.[20][21]


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 4083559 Cotswold Rail Engineering Limited
  2. ^ "Cotswold Rail plans sale of all Class 141s". Rail Magazine. No. 385. 14 June 2000. p. 66.
  3. ^ "New look Cotswold". The Railway Magazine. No. 1204. August 2001. p. 9.
  4. ^ "47714 returns to the main line with Anglia". Rail Magazine. No. 438. 26 June 2002. p. 58.
  5. ^ "DRS launches Thunderbird contract". The Railway Magazine. No. 1300. August 2009. p. 75.
  6. ^ "Cotswold takes on Mk3 set". The Railway Magazine. No. 1246. February 2005. p. 39.
  7. ^ "Cotswold charter". Rail Express. No. 106. March 2005. p. 39.
  8. ^ "Cotswold takes on five Class 87s". The Railway Magazine. No. 1250. June 2005. p. 77.
  9. ^ "Cotswold to take on HST sets". The Railway Magazine. No. 1254. October 2005. p. 68.
  10. ^ "Cotswold relinquishes HST set". The Railway Magazine. No. 1266. October 2006. p. 72.
  11. ^ "Heartland Rail prepares for re-launch". Rail Express. No. 119. April 2006. p. 27.
  12. ^ "Cotswold Rail expands its portfolio with Steamy Affairs". Rail Express. No. 131. April 2007. p. 4.
  13. ^ "Gone for scrap: Advenza Freight calls in the receivers". Rail Magazine. No. 629. 21 October 2009. p. 6.
  14. ^ "The taxman calls time on Advenza Freight". Rail Express. No. 162. November 2009. p. 6.
  15. ^ "Advenza goes out of business". The Railway Magazine. No. 1304. December 2009. p. 9.
  16. ^ "Cotswold Rail goes into liquidation". Rail Express. No. 165. February 2010. p. 7.
  17. ^ "Cotswold Rail secures Gloucester Horton Road for main depot". Rail Express. No. 120. May 2006. p. 13.
  18. ^ Companies House extract company no 6050562 Archived 23 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine The Blue Pullman Train Co Limited
  19. ^ "Blue Pullman". The Blue Pullman Train Co. Ltd. Archived from the original on 26 December 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  20. ^ Cotswold Rail website Archived 9 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine Blue Pullman launch announcement, retrieved April 2008
  21. ^ "Blue Pullman battle lines drawn". The Railway Magazine. No. 1272. April 2006. p. 91.