AN ICONIC steam locomotive will travel through Whitchurch this week as it hauls the St David's Day Welsh Marches Express to Cardiff.

Traversing the breath-taking beauty of the Welsh Marches, Saphos Trains said it offers a totally unique tour to celebrate St David’s Day on Wednesday, March 1.

The service will travel from Holyhead in North Wales, through the rolling hills of the pretty Shropshire countryside dividing England and Wales for a visit to the capital city of Cardiff.


And while the entire service won't be hauled by a steam loco, the return journey through Whitchurch, Wem and Prees should both be.

"Crossing the Cheshire Plain and through historic Shrewsbury, we join the Welsh Marches line and at Church Stretton there are outstanding views of the Long Mynd, continuing past magnificent Stokesay Castle and the historic towns of Ludlow, Hereford and Abergavenny," Saphos trains said, with tickets starting at £165.

"We enter South Wales and the county of Monmouthshire with superb views of the Brecon Beacons as the black mountains tower over the train. At Newport we cross the river Usk, continuing to Cardiff for an afternoon break."

What time will the steam loco be in Whitchurch?

According to, the express will leave Holyhead at 6.05am and get into Shrewsbury at 9.18am.

It will then pass through Craven Arms at 9.48am, Woofferton at 9.59am, Leominster at 10.05am, Moreton-on-Lugg at 10.13am and get into Hereford at 10.23am.

It will then leave the city at 11.12am, passing Tram Inn at 11.22am and Pontrilas at 11.28am.

It will get into Cardiff Central at 12.41pm.

After more than two hours in the Welsh capital, the express will return through Pontrilas at 4.27pm, Tram Inn at 4.33pm and arrive in Hereford at 4.41pm.

It will then leave at 5.33pm, passing through Moreton-on-Lugg at 5.42pm, Leominster at 5.51pm and Craven Arms at 6.35pm.

It is due to travel through Wem at 7.13pm, Prees at 7.16pm, and Wrenbury at 7.27pm.

It will arrive back in Holyhead at 11.22pm.

Which steam loco will it be?

Saphos Trains hasn't yet said which steam locomotive it will use.

Its website said: "The train is steam hauled from Hereford to Newport on the outward journey, then from Cardiff to Crewe on the return by one of our immaculately restored pool of engines."

It could be the world famous LMS Royal Scot Class, No 46100 ‘Royal Scot’, West Country Class, No 34046 ‘Braunton’ or Britannia Pacific Class, No 70000 ‘Britannia’.