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The Yorkshireman Saturday 6th March 2021 Join us for a main line steam run from west London Victoria station to York. 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 stopping at stations to pick up further passengers. Our train will be hauled between London and York by A1 class steam locomotive no. 60163 Tornado. Our train leaves London Ealing Broadway at around 06:25 hauled by Tornado and travels around West London through Acton Wells and and Neasden South Junction. At Dudding Hill Junction we take the Brent curve and join the Midland Main Line (MML) near 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. We stop to pick up passengers at Melton Mowbray before 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. Our final boarding point for passengers is at Alfreton. After Chesterfield we take the ?old road? 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 London Ealing Broadway diesel hauled. We stop at the same stations as on the outward journey, to set down passengers.
The Cumbrian Coast Express Saturday 13th March 2021 Our journey will combine the scenic grandeur of the Cumbrian Fells with the exposed Cumbrian coastline that skirts the western edge of the Lake District. We have a high-speed journey down the West Coast Main Line to Carlisle, hauled by a blue Class 86 electric locomotive. We then enjoy a steam tour from Carlisle back to Carnforth via the Cumbria Coast. We return from Carnforth to London behind our blue electric locomotive. We leave London Euston at around 07:00 with electric traction, and speed north along the West Coast Main Line (WCML). We stop to pick up passengers at Milton Keynes (where passengers from Watford Junction join by service train), Rugby (where passengers from Northampton join by service train), Nuneaton and Crewe. We continue north along the WCML to Preston, our final stop to pick up passengers. We pass through Lancaster and along the edge of Morecambe Bay before we arrive at Carnforth. Leaving Carnforth, we pass the Brief Encounter caf? and commence the climb up to Grayrigg. We then travel through the beautiful Lune Gorge to Tebay, before the ascent to Shap. After crossing the Cumbrian Fells we descend to Penrith, and then head for Carlisle. There will be time available in Carlisle to explore this ancient city with its cathedral and castle, plus an assortment of shops and cafes. We leave Carlisle steam hauled and our return steam hauled journey to Carnforth takes the scenic coastal route around the Cumbrian Coast. After Maryport, we run along the shoreline through to the industrialised district of Workington, once a centre for the production of iron and steel. There are spectacular cliff edge views as we journey southwards from Workington through to Whitehaven, with the Isle of Man visible on a clear day across the Irish Sea. We run very close to the shoreline for several miles prior to St Bees, famous for its priory and school. We pass Sellafield, where the British Nuclear Fuels plant dominates the landscape. At Ravenglass, we meet up with the narrow gauge Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway which is normally steam operated. At Millom, we head inland and follow the sweeping estuary through Foxfield and Kirkby in Furness. We will avoid Barrow in Furness by taking the ?Park? cut off line to Dalton in Furness. After Ulverston, we cross Leven Viaduct and curve along the edge of the bay through to Grange-over-Sands. There are more views across Morecambe Bay as we cross the lengthy Kent Viaduct at Arnside and approach Carnforth. Here, we shall say farewell to our gallant steam locomotive and our blue Class 86 electric locomotive will take over for a fast run to London Euston. We stop at the same stations as on the outward journey to set down passengers. * Passengers from Watford Junction will travel to Milton Keynes by service train to join our train. **Passengers from Northampton will travel to and from Rugby by service train to join our train.
The Cheshireman Saturday 20th March 2021 This tour offers a wonderful opportunity to travel by a special charter train to the historic city of Chester. The train will be steam-hauled throughout from London Euston to Chester by Princess Coronation Class locomotive no. 46233 Duchess of Sutherland. We will follow the route of the famous express such as the Royal Scot along the West Coast Main Line (WCML) to Crewe and then onwards to Chester. We can expect some spirited running down the WCML to Crewe. Be sure to book early to join us on this historic occasion. ?The Cheshireman? will leave London Euston at around 07:00 steam hauled behind Duchess of Sutherland. 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 Duchess of Sutherland, leaves Chester late afternoon for the return 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 one of excitement as Tornado is allowed to reach its maximum permitted speed along the WCML. *Passengers from Watford Jct will travel by service train to Milton Keynes on the outward journey.
The Edinburgh Flyer Saturday 20th March 2021 A rare opportunity is on offer with this special steam hauled train using an A1 Class Pacific No. 60163 Tornado running at speed both ways from York to Edinburgh and return. There will be time in Edinbugh to visit the sights before we return south. Our steam hauled journey will commence at the historic city of York, with its long association with railways, including the location of the National Railway Museum. Heading north away from York, we will travel down the East Coast main line through to Northallerton, where 60163 Tornado will build up speed to its maximum on the straight alignment of the tracks. We will pause at Durham momentarily to pick up further passengers, before heading towards Tyneside and over the river Tyne to Newcastle, our final pick up point. Leaving Newcastle, we head northwards and pass through Morpeth, with our speed running at the maximum along this former LNER racetrack, the preserve of the A1 & A4 Pacifics up to their withdrawal in the mid 1960s. With coastal views and quaint villages along the way, we make our way through Northumberland, with views of Bamburgh Castle and Lindisfarne Island shimmering in the distance. Continuing towards Berwick on Tweed, we cross the spectacular 28-arch Royal Border Bridge, designed by Robert Stephenson. Just after Berwick, we cross the border and enter Scotland. Tornado will now be getting steam up ready for the long climb up to Grantshouse, a stiff climb at gradients of 1 in 190/200 and a test of the stamina of locomotives heading towards Edinburgh. We pass through the Scottish Borders, with more costal views along the way before we reach Edinburgh, the Capital of Scotland. Time will be available here for passengers to visit the city and its many attractions, located near Princes Street Gardens, whilst Tornado is serviced for the return journey back to York. Apart from its many shops and restaurants along Princes Street, there are many sights to see and visit, including the Palace of Holyrood, the Castle on the Royal Mile, Galleries and Museums and Princes Street Gardens. We will return south with Tornado and follow our outward route. Highlight of the jorney back to Newcastle will be the southbound climb to Grantshouse, graded at 1 in 96 for over four miles. In no time at all, we will be back at Newcastle to set down passengers, followed by Durham and finally York.
The Cotswold Lion Saturday 27 March 2021 This springtime tour to the Cotswolds and the medieval City of Worcester, featuring off train options to visit the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway or the Elgar Birthplace Museum is now scheduled to run on Saturday 27 March 2021. The rolling Cotswold hills, thatched medieval villages and churches built of distinctive local yellow limestone make for an unforgettable scenic backdrop from the train window. This tour includes both lines that pass through this delightful part of the country, travelling outward via Oxford and the bucolic Cotswold Line and returning home by way of the ?Golden Valley?, the name for the line through Stroud and Kemble, coined by Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII, while on a train along this picturesque route in 1909. One option is to travel along the third Cotswold rail route also, the preserved Gloucester Warwickshire Railway, now running from Cheltenham to Broadway. At our destination, Worcester, the River Severn flanks the city centre. The fine cathedral dates from the 12th century; much of it is Norman, and the foundations are older still. King John, of evil repute, lies buried in the crypt. Worcester is famed for its porcelain. The Museum of Royal Worcester, standing on the former factory site, contains the finest collection of Worcester Porcelain in the world and has recently undergone a ?1.7 million refurbishment. The city boasts a notable collection of medieval and Tudor buildings centred upon Cornmarket, Friar Street and New Street. Here you will also find a great range of shops, cafes and historic inns, and Saturday is market day too. The walk from Worcester Shrub Hill Station to the city takes about twelve minutes and you have over four hours in which to explore. There is a wide range of joining stations, stretching all the way from Peterborough into the capital. Our train runs via the North London Line, then via the Great Western main line. We pass by the ?dreaming spires? of Oxford before continuing through the peaceful Cotswolds, through Charlbury and Evesham to reach Worcester Shrub Hill late morning. After our sightseeing break our return route is via Cheltenham. We glimpse Gloucester Cathedral then divert south-east through the idyllic Golden Valley, rejoining our outward route at Didcot. OPTION - THE GLOUCESTER WARWICKSHIRE RAILWAY: On this option you leave our train at Evesham for the nine-mile transfer to Toddington, headquarters of the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway. This is a fourteen mile standard gauge preserved steam railway running from Broadway through the Cotswold Hills via Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse. A ?rover? ticket is included in this option and with three trains in the operating circuit there will be lots of scope for designing your afternoon itinerary. Broadway station is just a ten minute level walk from the picture-postcard village of Broadway. At the end of the afternoon, the bus transfer is from Cheltenham Racecourse station to the main line station at Cheltenham Spa. This option includes bus transfer from Evesham to Toddington and from Cheltenham Racecourse to Cheltenham Spa, plus freedom of all Gloucester Warwickshire Railway train services during the afternoon. OPTION - ELGAR BIRTHPLACE MUSEUM: We are offering an optional visit to Elgar?s birthplace museum, just three miles from Worcester. The collections include manuscripts, scores, programmes and other items connected with Elgar?s music; family photographs; items from his travels and with his hobbies including golf and cycling; personal possessions; awards and honours, and film of his later years. It is a touching testimony to England?s finest composer. The supplement includes coach transfer from Worcester Shrub Hill. A reduced price is available for National Trust members. ALL OFF TRAIN OPTIONS MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE.
The Wensleydale Railway Saturday 27th March 2021 Our steam hauled journey today commences at Carnforth on the edge of Morecambe Bay. We will journey eastwards across the Bentham Line to Hellifield and onwards through Skipton to Leeds and then York. We then continue along the East Coast Main Line to Northallerton where we will join the 22-mile long Wensleydale Railway for a run through the highly scenic Yorkshire Dales to the line?s present terminus at Redmire. This will be a rare opportunity to visit the Wensleydale line by a through steam-hauled train. Leaving Carnforth first thing in the morning steam hauled by two Carnforh pool locomotives, we will take the Bentham Line and climb through Wennington and Giggleswick to Settle Junction, where we join the former Midland Railway route to Leeds. A pause will be made at Hellifield to top up our steam locomotive?s tender before we continue onwards towards Skipton, where there will be a stop to pick up passengers. We follow the Aire Valley through Keighley towards Leeds, where a further pick up will be made. A fast sprint will follow as we make our way northwards to join up with the East Coast Main Line that will take us onwards to York. At York we will need to reverse to join the Wensleydale line and we expect to run in ?top and tail? mode along the branch through the Vale of Mowbray as far as our first stop at Leyburn, where passengers have the opportunity to alight and visit the nearby attractive market town. The train will continue to the current end of the branch at Redmire, where the nearby 14th century Bolton Castle is visible on the edge of the town. After a short break in Redmire, we return to Leyburn for an afternoon break. Apart from its railway interest in and around the station, the attractive market town of Leyburn is just a short walk away, with its small Market Square offering a number of cafes and pubs, plus quaint tourist shops in its centre. After servicing our steam locomotives, we will return along the Wensleydale line back to Northallerton, were we will rejoin the East Coast Main Line for the run southwards back to York. We then continue steam hauled by the two locomotives, setting down at our earlier pick up points and thus ending a splendid day out travelling over Lancashire and Yorkshire scenic lines.
The Mancunian Saturday 27th March 2021 This tour offers a unique opportunity to travel by a special charter train to the bustling city of Manchester. The train will be steam-hauled throughout from London Euston to Manchester by LMS Princess Coronation Pacific No.6233 Duchess of Sutherland. We will follow the route of the famous express such as the Royal Scot along the West Coast Main Line (WCML) to Stoke on Trent and then onwards via Stockport to Manchester Piccadilly. We can expect some spirited running as we make our way northwards along the WCML. Be sure to book early to join us on this historic occasion. The ?Mancunian? will leave London Euston at around 07:00 steam hauled behind Duchess of Sutherland. Initially on departure we shall hear our locomotive working hard on the climb up Camden Bank. We stop to pick up more passengers at Watford Junction and then continue through Watford Tunnel into rural Hertfordshire. We stop to pick up further passengers at the 1960s ?new town? of Milton Keynes. At Hanslope Junction, we leave the West Coast Main Line (WCML) and take the Northampton loop line where we will stop for water and pick up further 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, where we will make a stop to pick up passengers. We pass through Lichfield, notable for its three-spired medieval cathedral and, soon after Rugeley, is Colwich Junction, where the line to Stoke on Trent leaves the WCML. We will now follow the former North Staffordshire line through the Trent Valley towards Stoke on Trent. This line has not seen many steam hauled trains in recent years, so this will be a new steam hauled route for many. After passing through the Potteries, we continue our journey northwards through the Harecastle tunnel and take the North Staffs line to Macclesfield at Kidsgrove junction. There is a long climb from Congleton through North Rode towards Macclesfield. Here, we now pick up the former LNWR route through Poynton to Cheadle Hulme, and then onwards to Stockport. At Stockport, we will cross the lofty Mersey Square viaduct and proceed through the suburbs of south Manchester before arriving at Manchester Piccadilly for an afternoon break. With the shops and attractions all nearby there will be something for everybody, including those who wish to shop in the Arndale Centre. There are ample pubs and restaurants for lunch, plus many museums and places of interest within easy walking distance of the city center. After out visit to Manchester, we will return to London steam hauled via our outward route through to Stockport, where we will now take the line via Sandbach towards Crewe. We will pause at Crewe to take on water before continuing southwards along the WCML. Highlight of this journey will be the long climb out of Crewe up to Whitmore summit. After passing through Stafford, we round Queensville Curve and head for Colwich Junction, where we pick up our outward route. We will set down at our earlier calling stations on the way. This tour promises to be a fitting tribute to the former LMS golden years along the WCML and its fine locomotives.
The Fen and Fells Flyer Re-dated from Spring 2020 due to the lockdown, this train will now run on Saturday 27th March 2021. Especially for our East Anglian customers, the train departs from Cambridge, Ely, March and Peterborough with a diesel locomotive at the head. We also call at Newark before reaching York, where Tornado will be waiting to take over at the front of the train. From York we take a fast run along the East Coast Main Line passing Darlington and Durham, with glorious views over the Norman Castle and the Cathedral. We then head west through Hexham as we follow the route of Hadrian?s Wall to arrive in the Border City of Carlisle. Here we have around two hours to explore the City with its fine museum and Castle, cosy public houses and various shops of interest. Our return journey takes us south via the iconic Settle and Carlisle Railway. Famed for its beauty within the rolling landscape of the Dales and North Pennines, the Settle and Carlisle Railway demonstrates the skill and determination of Victorian civil engineering prowess in challenging and inhospitable terrain. Highlights of the journey include Tornado hard at work to complete the climb to Ais Gill summit, the highest point of the line at 1,169ft, and our train also passes through the superbly restored Dent Station, the highest in England at 1150ft. To accommodate for the rolling landscape, the railway was built along many viaducts and cuts through long tunnels, the longest tunnel at Blea Moor is over two miles long! One of the most iconic sights on the route is the Ribblehead Viaduct; the 24 arches stretch a quarter of a mile over 100ft above the ground and offer spectacular uninterrupted views of the landscape. Much is said of the beauty and scale of this railway, but to fully appreciate it, it must be experienced first-hand. Once we have passed Settle Junction and its historic signalbox we head south through Skipton to skirt Leeds and Wakefield as we continue south to Doncaster where Tornado is detached. Our diesel locomotive will have made its way from York ready for the homeward run along the East Coast Main Line and across the Fens.