CROWDS gathered at Andover station on St George’s Day to see the Cathedrals Express start and finish a journey from the town for the very first time.

On Wednesday the train pulled away from Andover at 7.30am, hauled by West Country locomotive 34046 Braunton, heading to Oxford, Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Engine enthusiasts lined the platform to witness the start of the historic trip with younger visitors given the chance to board the engine and chat with the drivers.

This is believed to be the first time that a train has gone direct from Andover to Stratford-upon-Avon and North West Hampshire MP Sir George Young was also in attendance and boarded the train for a tour of the engine.