Skip to main content

We are proud to present 'The Welsh Marches Express'

Site Underline

From Salisbury, via Bath and Bristol, join Tornado for a spectacular trip along the scenic Welsh Marches Line, visiting the medieval market towns of Ludlow and Shrewsbury.

Site Underline

Sunday 1st October

Site Underline

Join us from:

Bristol Temple Meads

Bath Spa




Our Destinations

Our Destinations


Famously described by Sir John Betjamin as 'The loveliest town in England', Ludlow boasts some 500 listed buildings, and the mix of half-timber and Georgian era buildings are a treat for all who visit. The compact town centre is best explored on foot, and there is a wide and varied array of shops from ironmongers to high fashion. Where the town once prospered from the wool trade, it is now a foodie paradise, with more Michelin Starred restaurants than any other town in the country. You don’t need to book a table for a slice of the action, as the town has plenty of butchers, bakers and delicatessens for you to take a few tasty morsels home with you. If your taste leans more to culture, then there is no shortage of historic buildings to visit from the many impressive churches to the Castle where many a monarch (including Henry VIII) spent their youth, Ludlow is certainly a fascinating town to explore.



Equally historic and interesting is Shrewsbury. Birthplace of Charles Darwin, the county town sits within a loop of the river Severn making the centre compact and ideal for exploring on foot. With over 600 listed buildings, including the Old Market Hall, Castle and Abbey, there is plenty to satisfy even the keenest culture vulture. The centre is a shopper’s heaven, with designer, high-street and independent shops, punctuated with superb cafes and restaurants. Shrewsbury Castle dates to c.1067 and is highly recommended to those interested in military history as it houses the Soldiers of Shropshire Museum, documenting 300 years of the British Army. To really understand Shrewsbury, the Museum and Art Gallery has exhibitions exploring the archaeology, geology, fossils, social and industrial history of the town. Alternatively, head to the open space of Quarry Park and relax in the beautiful gardens next to the river.

It really is a tough choice between the two Salopian towns!

Ticket Classes

Ticket Classes

Passage is available in Premier Dining, First Class and Tourist Class on board our vintage MK1 carriages.

Premier Dining offers luxury with a Great British Breakfast served on the outward journey and a four course sumptuous supper on the return. All meals are cooked fresh on board by our elite team of chefs.

First Class passengers take their seats in traditional compartments with roomy upholstered seats. Tea, coffee and light snacks are served through the journey, although you may wish to bring a picnic.

Tourist Class seats are all situated at tables for 4, with large picture windows adjacent - ideal for watching the scenery slip by. An on board buffet car is available for refreshment.

Our Journey

On this tour with Tornado, the journey is a destination in itself, as the lush rolling countryside of the English-Welsh border can be viewed both sides of the train. 

Our train will depart diesel hauled from Salisbury station, heading west onto Warminster and Trowbridge to pick up further passengers. We traverse the scenic Avon Valley to reach Bath. From there it’s a quick dash along Brunel’s mainline where Tornado joins the train. We also reverse here and there is a chance to photograph the steam locomotive. 

With Tornado at our head we are away again and soon climbing the challenging Filton Bank and heading on through the Severn Tunnel. This is the U.K. rail network’s longest tunnel and sees us emerge into Wales. Before Newport, we turn north and head onto the picturesque Marches route where we pass through Cwmbran and Abergavenny before tackling the fierce climb to Llanvihangel. 

We descend from the summit across into England and arrive into Hereford station to take water for Tornado. Our journey continues north again, along the border between England and Wales, before we call at Ludlow for those passengers wishing to visit the medieval town. The last stretch of our journey is to Shrewsbury, passing through the picturesque towns of Craven Arms and Church Stretton, before arriving in Shropshire’s county town.

Our return route retraces our outward journey.

Approximate times for our destinations:

Ludlow: 13:00hrs - 17:30hrs

Shrewsbury: 13:45hrs - 16:45hrs