Open main menu

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

ServicesLocomotive spot-hire
ParentAdrian Parcell
SubsidiariesAdvenza Freight


Cotswold Rail was founded in 2000. It initially acted as a broker for rolling stock. In June 2000 it offered 13 141 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 a rescue locomotive 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 Porterbrook.[6][7]

In April 2005, Cotswold Rail 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. This allowed it to operate freight services.[11] In 2007, railtour promoter Steamy Affairs was purchased.[12]

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


Cotswold Rail's livery adopted a silver, with red and blue bands livery. 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, was also the location of the company offices and usually played host to stabled company owned locomotives.

Blue PullmanEdit

In 2007 Cotswold Rail acquired rights to the Blue Pullman service, setting up The Blue Pullman Train Co[18][19] using the Blue Pullman liveried coaches purchased following the receivership of its previous operator FM Rail. Cotswold re-launched the Blue Pullman service on 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 issue 385 14 June 2000 page 66
  3. ^ "New look Cotswold" The Railway Magazine issue 1204 August 2001 page 9
  4. ^ "47714 returns to the main line with Anglia" Rail issue 438 26 June 2002 page 58
  5. ^ "DRS launches Thunderbird contract" The Railway Magazine issue 1300 August 2009 page 75
  6. ^ "Cotswold takes on Mk3 set" The Railway Magazine issue 1246 February 2005 page 55
  7. ^ "Cotswold charter" Rail Express issue 106 March 2005 page 39
  8. ^ "Cotswold takes on five Class 87s" The Railway Magazine issue 1250 June 2005 page 77
  9. ^ "Cotswold to take on HST sets" The Railway Magazine issue 1254 October 2005 page 68
  10. ^ "Cotswold relinquishes HST set" The Railway Magazine issue 1266 October 2006 page 72
  11. ^ "Heartland Rail prepares for re-launch" Rail Express issue 119 April 2006 page 27
  12. ^ "Cotswold Rail expands its portfolio with Steamy Affairs" Rail Express issue 131 April 2007 page 4
  13. ^ "Gone for scrap: Advenza Freight calls in the receivers" Rail issue 629 21 October 2009 page 6
  14. ^ "The taxman calls time on Advenza Freight" Rail Express issue 162 November 2009 page 6
  15. ^ "Advenza goes out of business" The Railway Magazine issue 1304 December 2009 page 9
  16. ^ "Cotswold Rail goes into liquidation" Rail Express issue 165 February 2010 page 7
  17. ^ "Cotswold Rail secures Gloucester Horton Road for main depot" Rail Express issue 120 May 2006 page 13
  18. ^ Companies House extract company no 6050562 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 issue 1272 April 2007 page 91