The 'Asparagus Express' is coming to Gloucestershire

Celebrating the start of The British Asparagus Festival, asparagus enthusiasts can take a ride on a steam train carrying the first crop of the spring vegetable from Broadway to Cheltenham this April 2024.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
Hop on board the 'Asparagus Express' as it travels from Broadway to Cheltenham this April 2024, marking the start of The British Asparagus Festival.

Reviving a beloved historic tradition, Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway is bringing the 'Asparagus Express' to Gloucestershire this spring. 

The British Asparagus Festival kicks off on St George's Day, Tuesday 23 April 2024, when a GWSR steam train will carry the Vale of Evesham's first asparagus crop of the year from Broadway to Cheltenham, to be delivered to students at National Star

Proceedings start at the Fleece Inn in Bretforton at 9.30am, when visitors can enjoy music and dancing, as well as a gathering of classic cars, before heading off to Broadway station to hop on board.

The train departs at 11.35am, travelling through the glorious Cotswold countryside, with special guests Gus and St George on board to parade the asparagus through the carriages en route, before it arrives at Cheltenham Racecourse

On arrival, the asparagus will be handed to students from National Star college to transform into tasty dishes for StarBistro. The train then heads back to Broadway at 12.55pm.

GWSR's marketing manager, Catherine Johnson, said: 'The GWSR is thrilled to be involved in this fantastic event, celebrating the beautiful asparagus our region grows — it is great to be involved in the transportation of this on our fantastic locomotive and supporting National Star is an added bonus.

'In the past, asparagus was transported to market over our railway from the Vale of Evesham so we are turning the clock back.'

National Star's chief executive, Lynette Barrett, added: 'Preparing young people with disabilities for adulthood is what National Star is all about. An important part of that preparation is learning about healthy eating, understanding the importance of local seasonal food and of course how to prepare balanced and tasty meals.

'We are thrilled that the British Asparagus Festival has chosen StarBistro at National Star as the final home for the first hundred-round of Vale Asparagus. National Star students will be at the ready to transform the asparagus into delicious soup and then enjoy their efforts!'

Gloucestershire joins the likes of Buckingham Palace, Worcester Cathedral and the European Parliament in Brussels, which have all hosted The British Asparagus Festival team in the past to present the first hundred-round to a variety of worthwhile causes. 

Tickets for the Asparagus Express are available to book online at GWSR's website and cost £24.70 for an adult rover; £9.50 for children aged five to 16; and £4 for dogs. 

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