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The Optimist' Travel on our new service 'The Optimist' and enjoy the seaside town of Whitby! 'The Optimist' services are pre-booked, steam-hauled, with limited capacity. Services will depart from Pickering and will travel directly to Whitby where you will be able to disembark and enjoy 2.45 hours exploring the Yorkshire Seaside Town before returning back to Pickering. Tickets will be released in two-week blocks, as we closely monitor the situation. 'The Optimist' does not stop at any intermediate stations - Levisham, Goathland & Grosmont. Currently we are unable to offer any other journeys. Passengers can book either a private compartment (max 6) or travel in a standard TSO Carriage (min 1/max 4) with social distancing measures in place. Passengers include children from 1 years old. Service 1: Departs Pickering at 09:20 and returns from Whitby at 14:00, allowing approx 3 hours in Whitby. Service 2: Departs Pickering at 12:00 and returns from Whitby at 16:30, allow approx 2 hours 45 mins in Whitby.
The Cheshireman Saturday 14th November 2020 Join us on this interesting trip by vintage steam train to the historic city of Chester, an unusual destination from Bristol. We travel via the Severn Tunnel, the South Wales Main Line, the scenic Welsh Marches route, and the Shrewsbury to Chester line. There will be over three hours to explore Chester. Our train will be hauled throughout by A1 class steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado. We leave Bristol Temple Meads at around 07:00 hauled by 60163 Tornado. Our steam locomotive will be working hard as we climb to Filton Abbey Wood, where we stop to pick up more passengers. We then head westwards along the South Wales Main Line, passing through the Severn Tunnel into Wales, and continuing to the outskirts of Newport. Here we turn northwards, crossing the river Usk, and join the Welsh Marches route. We stop at Cwmbran and Abergavenny for more passengers to join the train before we begin the challenging climb of the Llanvihangel bank. Our steam locomotive will be in full cry all the way to the summit! We pass many sites where there were once railway stations along this route and the longest section without a station today is between Abergavenny and Hereford, where we stop for our steam locomotive to take on water. There is some truly beautiful scenery as we travel through Herefordshire and into Shropshire, passing towns such as Leominster, Ludlow, Craven Arms and Church Stretton. We continue to Shrewsbury, where the ?listed? Severn Bridge Junction Signal Box is the largest remaining mechanical signal box in the world. We take the Chester Line from Shrewsbury and stop at Chirk for our steam locomotive to take on water. We pass through Ruabon and Wrexham before arriving at our destination, the beautiful Roman City of Chester. There will be over three hours to explore the walled city that contains a number of medieval buildings and is famous for its 14th Century ?Rows?, the first floor level galleried walkways connecting shops and cafes. Other places of interest include the Castle, the Cathedral, and the picturesque racecourse, located between the city walls and the river Dee. Whilst we have been exploring the city, our steam locomotive will have been serviced and turned at Chester ready for the return journey. Our train leaves Chester at around 17:00 returning by the same route and stopping at the same stations as on the outward journey, to set down passengers.
The Cheshireman Saturday 21st November 2020 This tour offers an opportunity to travel by a special charter train to the historic city of Chester and visit the Christmas market there. The train will be steam-hauled throughout from London Euston to Chester by an A1 class Pacific No. 60163 Tornado. We will follow the route of the famous expresses such as the Royal Scot along the West Coast Main Line (WCML) to Crewe and then onwards to Chester. We return to London from Chester steam hauled throughout with Tornado. ?The Cheshireman? will leave London Euston at around 07:00 steam hauled behind Tornado. Initially on departure we shall hear our locomotive working hard on the climb up Camden Bank. We continue through Watford Tunnel into rural Hertfordshire. We stop to pick up further passengers at the 1960s ?new town? of Milton Keynes, where passengers from Watford Junction will join by service train. At Hanslope Junction, we leave the West Coast Main Line (WCML) and take the Northampton loop line where we stop again for passengers. We continue northwards and pass the Daventry Railfreight Terminal (DIRFT) before rejoining the WCML at Rugby, a further pick up stop, and the birthplace of rugby football and the jet engine. We then follow the Trent Valley Line to Nuneaton, our final stop to pick up passengers. We pass through Lichfield, notable for its three-spired medieval cathedral, and soon after Rugeley is Shugborough Tunnel. This has ornamental grand entrances, the result of conditions required by the Earl of Lichfield for building the line across his estate. We continue northwards through Stafford to the famous railway junction town of Crewe where we take the North Wales Coast Line to Chester. There will be around four hours to explore the Roman city of Chester, one of the most visited places in the UK. Chester lies on the River Dee, close to the border with Wales, and is one of the best preserved walled cities in Britain. The city contains a number of medieval buildings and is famous for its 14th Century ?Rows?, the first floor level galleried walkways connecting shops and cafes. Other places of interest include the Castle, the Cathedral, and the picturesque racecourse, which is located between the city walls and the river Dee. Our special train, hauled on the return journey by our steam locomotive Tornado, leaves Chester late afternoon for the journey to London Euston. We stop at the same stations as on the outward journey to set down passengers, and this tour promises to be a memorable day out behind Tornado along the West Coast Main Line. *Passengers from Watford Junction will travel by service train to Milton Keynes on the outward journey.
The Gloucester Christmas Market and Cardiff Tuesday 24th November 2020 Join us on this scenic rail tour by steam train through the Thames Valley, the beautiful Cotswold Hills and along the river Severn, hauled by A1 Pacific 60163 Tornado. Our destinations will be the cathedral city of Gloucester, and Cardiff, the vibrant Capital of Wales. We should experience some fast running along the ex-GWR main line and some challenging climbs through the Cotswolds. Choose which destination to alight at to sample the Christmas Markets at this festive time of the year. Our steam hauled train leaves London Victoria in the morning and we make our way via Clapham Junction to Staines, our first call for more passengers. We take the Reading line and make further calls at Ascot and Reading. Following the Thames Valley, we head for Didcot, our final pick up station. Our journey continues through the Vale of White Horse to Swindon, where we take the Golden Valley line through Kemble and Tornado then tackles the steep climb to Sapperton Tunnel. On arrival at Gloucester, passengers have the choice of alighting here to visit the city with its centrepiece the 14th century cathedral. There is also the extensive Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market to explore, alongside the many shops and attractions that the city has to offer. Our steam hauled train will call at Gloucester on the return to pick up passengers who choose to spend the afternoon here. Our journey will continue from Gloucester towards Cardiff along the banks of the river Severn through Lydney and Chepstow as we head for Wales via Newport. The Cardiff Christmas Market is located in the heart of the city along the pedestrianised streets of the main shopping area. Enjoy the atmosphere of the market with its craft staffs, food and drink outlets and fairy lights to add to the festive feel. We will return from Cardiff steam hauled by Tornado, and will pick up at Gloucester before returning via the Golden Valley route once again to Didcot, Reading, Ascot, Staines and terminating in London Victoria, ending what promises to be a varied and enjoyable day out. PLEASE NOTE - The operation of the Christmas Market at Gloucester and Cardiff is outside of our control we understand that the organisers are hopeful they will take place, however it will be dependent on Government advice given at the time.
The Christmas Sussex Belle Thursday 26th November 2020 Join us on a special train to celebrate the Festive Season in style. Our train travels from London Victoria to the Sussex coast, crossing the North and South Downs and passing through the beautiful countryside of the Weald. It will be steam hauled by either former LMS Black 5 No. 45305 or 45212. This is a wonderful way to enjoy a leisurely lunch whilst appreciating the scenic views from your carriage window. Our day out begins when our train leaves London Victoria station at around 10:30, hauled by steam locomotive No. 45305 or 45212. We journey south along the main line towards Brighton passing through East Croydon, Redhill, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges and Haywards Heath. The route crosses the Weald, an ancient area of woodland scattered with farms and villages. We leave the Brighton line at Keymer Junction, just after Wivesfield, and head south-eastwards through Cooksbridge to Lewes. Here we join the East Coastway Line that runs from Brighton to Eastbourne, Hastings and Ashford. We pass through the South Downs, an area characterised by rolling chalk downland and recognised as one of the most important chalk landscapes in England. We head to Eastbourne where our steam locomotive will be serviced and there will be time to visit this popular South Coast seaside town. The seafront consists almost entirely of Victorian hotels, which along with its pier and bandstand, give it a timeless appeal. The town is situated immediately east of Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Great Britain and an area of outstanding natural beauty. This sheltered position contributes to Eastbourne?s title of the sunniest place in Great Britain. We leave Eastbourne, diesel-hauled and head along the Sussex Coast through Normans Bay, Cooden Beach, and Bexhill to Hastings. Hastings can claim fame through its connection with the Norman Conquest of England, and also because it became one of the medieval Cinque Ports. The town is sometimes referred to as the birthplace of television since the pioneer of television, John Logie Baird, lived there. Our train reverses direction of travel at Hastings and leaves with the steam locomotive in charge. We continue our journey heading north through Crowhurst and Battle, and then passing through Mountfield Tunnel. Robertsbridge station was formerly a junction station with the Colonel Stephens? famous old Kent and East Sussex Light Railway. We pass through Royal Tunbridge Wells, a spa town situated on the northern edge of the High Weald. At Sevenoaks, we take the line through Bat and Ball station, which was named after a local inn that no longer exists. We join the line from Ashford at Otford, and the Chatham Main Line at Swanley. Our tour ends when we arrive back at London Victoria at around 17:20.
The York Yuletide Express Saturday 28th November 2020 Join us for a main line steam run from London?s Ealing Broadway to York and an opportunity to experience the Festive Season?s activities. The city of York is world famous for its variety of visitor attractions and home to the National Railway Museum. We travel north via the Midland Main Line, and our train will be hauled between London and York by A1 class Pacific No. 60163 Tornado, and from York to London on the return by LMS Princess Coronation Class steam locomotive No. 46233 Duchess of Sutherland. Our train leaves London Ealing Broadway at around 06:10 hauled by ?Tornado? and travels around West London to Dudding Hill Junction, where we take the Brent curve and join the Midland Main Line (MML) at Cricklewood. We head north and stop at St. Albans, Luton, Bedford and Kettering, to pick up further passengers. We leave the MML after Kettering and take the former Midland Railway Nottingham direct line. We pass through Corby Station, opened in 2009 to replace the original which was closed in 1966. We climb to the famous Harringworth Viaduct, the longest masonry viaduct in Britain. From the end of the viaduct there is a long, stiff climb up to Wing Tunnel and then it is downhill to Manton Junction, and through Rutland?s county town of Oakham. Our last stop to pick up passengers is at Melton Mowbray. We continue to Syston Junction and take the sharp right curve to join the MML from Leicester. We pass through Loughborough and join the Erewash Valley Line at Trent Junction. After Chesterfield we take the ?old road? via Barrow Hill to Rotherham and continue through Conisbrough to Doncaster. Here we join the East Coast Main Line and can expect a fast run to York, where we arrive in the early afternoon. York is well known for its Minster, Castle and city walls. The snickelways, famous medieval alleys and narrow streets, and The Shambles, are well worth exploring. The National Railway Museum, the many shops and museums, ensure that there is something on offer for everybody. Our train leaves York at around 17:15 and returns to Ealing Broadway hauled by 46233 Duchess of Sutherland. We stop at the same stations as on the outward journey, to set down passengers. PLEASE NOTE - The operation of the Christmas Market at York is outside of our control we understand that the organisers are hopeful it will take place, however it will be dependent on Government advice given at the time.
London to Bath at Christmas London Paddington to Bath and Bristol TRAVELLING SAFELY We fully expect to operate this trip in November with our usual level of service. Please rest assured we are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment on board, whilst adhering to Public Health regulations. We will be in touch with all customers prior to your trip, with further information about what to expect on board and what to bring with you. Locomotive Built for the London & North Eastern Railway, 61306 Mayflower is one of two surviving B1 Class locomotives. Whilst this locomotive is rostered for the trips listed, it cannot be guaranteed.