Pathfinder Tours have been happily based in Gloucestershire for many years, offering a wide programme of special trains for those who just love to travel by rail, or perhaps want a relaxing day out to a destination or event of great interest. We even cater for those with an enthusiastic interest in the country's complex rail system, whether the modern scene or looking back to the days of steam.
In these modern days, where 'green' and 'environmental impact' have become buzz words, we believe that we can be proud of offering great days out whilst lessening the impact on our surroundings. 500 passengers, one locomotive and twelve carriages certainly seems a better deal than maybe 200 plus cars... and it is a more relaxing journey, especially if you are the car driver!
The core Pathfinder Team deal with the organising and administration in our small comfy office at Woodchester, twixt Stroud and Nailsworth on the A46. Come the day of running and we have a great team of volunteer stewards who immensely enjoy looking after the days passengers. Some of the Pathfinder Team are shown below...
Meet the Office Team
"I am General Manager of the company, and have many years experience of organising special excursion trains. You will often see me leading the volunteer team of stewards aboard the trains, doing our best to give everyone a memorable day out.
Away from the rails I love nothing more than enjoying a competitive game of league tennis for my club at Chalford Hill!"
"Hi, I'm Wendy! I run the booking office along with my colleagues Joy and Sue. My hobbies include gardening, walking, jogging and looking after my grandchildren."
"I have been involved with Pathfinder Tours for as long as I can remember, having travelled on the trains with my Dad [Peter] - as I have grown so has my involvement! In 2005 I began stewarding and in 2010 I joined the office team. I now work part time for Pathfinder Tours, where my roles vary from promotional work to taking your bookings. On many trains you will find me leading the team of volunteer stewards.
I also work part time as a primary school teacher where I work with 5 to 7 year olds. In my spare time I enjoy horse riding, shopping and socialising with friends."
Our Family of Stewards
"I have been stewarding with Pathfinder Tours for 20 years and enjoy all types of trains (particularly those hauled by English Electric locomotives). In this time I have got to know a lot of passengers. I have a Railway Engineering background and my other interests include Bus Preservation and Brass Bands."
"I work for Network Rail as a signalman but enjoy stewarding for Pathfinder Tours in my free time. I have been involved with the company since 1984 when they were known as F&W Railtours and I have been stewarding for a number of years."
"On retiring in August 1999 I joined the Pathfinder team. My first excursion as a steward was the 'Eclipse Venturer'. I have a general interest in the railways, although steam traction is my favourite. My other interests include football, cricket, bird watching and travel within the United Kingdom. It is always good to see customers returning for future tours and I regard many of them as friends."
"Over the years, as a long standing Pathfinder customer, I had occasionally carried out the odd casual stewarding duty, that was, until I was asked if I would like to volunteer as a steward for Pathfinder Tours and The Torbay Express. Fortunately coming from a railway family and having taken early retirement from a career in railway engineering, this wasn’t a problem; railways and travelling by train are in the blood. Every excursion is different, every destination is different, each one of the passengers is an individual, but the intention is always the same, to provide a memorable and enjoyable day out."
"I am a postmistress in a rural Wiltshire Post Office and enjoy being involved with stewarding for Pathfinder Tours as often as I can. I am also a member of the support crew on 60163 'Tornado' and am part of the A1 Trust sales team. In my free time I enjoy jive dancing! I look forward to welcoming you aboard one of our excursions in the near future."
"'The compulsive urge to travel is a recognised psychical condition. It has its own word, dromomania, and I’m glad to say I suffer from it.’ - wrote Michael Palin in 1989. I make no apology for admitting to a form of this condition for more years than I care to remember. Trains, planes and automobiles – and anything else for that matter – to places near and far, have always been firmly on my agenda. I look forward to welcoming you aboard a Pathfinder excursion, for whatever reason you choose. However, I cannot promise that Michael Palin will be there to keep you entertained!"
"Having been a traveller on Pathfinder/F&W for many years, I got involved with stewarding in 2005. I enjoy the way people from many varied backgrounds come together to help deliver a memorable day out for the customers. My railway interest was developed by my secondary school being right next to the Great Western Main Line, so break times were spent trainspotting! My main interests are diesel locomotives, particularly anything English Electric. I helped start the Fifty Fund, a class 50 preservation project and was secretary for 15 years. Away from the railway my day job is with a major drinks manufacturer in Mid-Somerset. My other hobbies involve following the (mis)fortunes of Yeovil Town Football Club and Somerset County Cricket Club."
"The first excursion that I stewarded was in September 2000, but before that I was involved with running the bar on the train. This previous role gives away the fact that I enjoy real ale, and to this end I have in the past worked at a number of beer festivals such as the 'Glastonwick Beer and Music Festival' and the 'Great British Beer Festival'. In the last few years my growing family (wife, four children and three cats) and busy work schedule now take up most of my time. My eldest two sons like to come and help out on excursions. Work takes me around Europe so I seem to travel on more trains in Germany than the UK these days!"