Published: 21st May 2016
The Cosford Air show is one of the largest such events and takes place adjacent to the railway station there. This year it is on Sunday 19th June and the station is on the route between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury served by London Midland, Arriva Trains Wales and Virgin services. They have worked with Network Rail to try and make it easier to travel to the event by rail by running additional services.
London Midland will be running three extra services (588 seats) to Cosford in the morning and 4 (784 seats) in the afternoon while the other train companies will also be boosting their services.
The airshow means that passengers using nearby stations such as Bilbrook, Codsall and Albrighton may find it tricky to get on any trains, never mind getting a seat on the airshow day and if this is you, the train companies advise that you should allow an extra hour for your journey.
Passengers in the Cosford and Shrewsbury areas will need to be aware of anticipated overcrowding disruption on this route every Saturday until 16 July.
This is because some trains will run with fewer carriages than normal between Shrewsbury and Birmingham as a result of essential bridge repairs over the River Severn at Shrewsbury Station. This bridge dates back to1898 and carries all the lines through Shrewsbury – hence the disruption.
London Midland Shrewsbury-Birmingham services will be busier than usual because less carriages will be used.
But if you are travelling onto the Cambrian lines via Welshpool into Mid-Wales via Shrewsbury on Arriva Trains Wales services, it’s a bus service between these two places which will increase travelling time.
The ‘Marches’ route between Shrewsbury, Hereford and Newport will also be closed on Saturdays 18 and 25 June plus Sundays 19 and 26 June when again, buses will replace trains between Newport and Shrewsbury.
The nearest station to the festival is Castle Cary served by Great Western trains running between London Paddington and the west of England and on the Bristol-Weymouth cross-country route.
Once you get to Castle Cary, a very small station, there is a festival shuttle bus available operating while rail services are running, from Wednesday 22 June to Monday 27 June. A festival bus service will also operate from Bristol Temple Meads station costing £15 each way. It is very important to understand that Castle Cary station has NO left luggage facilities and no parking will be allowed there for the festival duration and that NO facilities will be available for passengers there.
Extra trains will be serving Castle Cary but there will be queues there so be prepared to wait!
If you have a festival ticket, but not a rail ticket, buy one in advance from redspottedhanky.com as this will save you a lot of hassle queueing at the station and may well make your journey less stressful. The normal hourly service from Paddington and Reading will be boosted as will services from Bristol Temple Meads with an extra 50 trains running giving over 10,000 extra seats each way to make the travelling easier.
GWR General Manager West David Chrome explains:
“A great many people turn up on the day, wishing to travel on the busiest services – when they could have saved some money, and enjoyed a more pleasurable journey by booking in advance and travelling on an earlier train.”
You will need to be able to carry your luggage so only bring what you can carry and will fit on the festival bus and travelling to the event, you will need to cross an old footbridge. Should you book a ticket with a railcard, bring the railcard and keep your mobile device charged with the booking details in case you lose your ticket.
If your luggage cannot be carried on the bus from Castle Cary to the festival site you may have to leave it behind but do bring lots of patience to negotiate the queues at Paddington, Castle Cary and Bristol.
The only things that cannot be predicted are the weather, and the length of the queues!