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The Cambridge & Norfolk Explorer Saturday 01 May 2021 NEW DATE - A day out to East Anglia with a pair of class 37s and a choice of off-train options. Joining Stations: Eastleigh, Romsey, Salisbury, Warminster, Westbury, Trowbridge, Chippenham, Swindon & Didcot Parkway. Event Details NEW DATE - SATURDAY, 01 MAY 2021 This is a lovely day excursion to the delights of East Anglia, offering both organised off-train options or time to explore your choice of cathedral city. With everyone aboard our excursion train, formed of classic mark I carriages, we take a rail routing along the Thames Valley, then across London and through Hertfordshire before arrival into Cambridge, followed by Ely then Norwich. The return journey will retrace the outward. Option A - CAMBRIDGE (1120/1740): Explore this renowned university city with its colleges, museums and castle. Perhaps try punting or take a stroll along the River Cam. Option B - SANDRINGHAM HOUSE (Supplementary fare - Adult ?29/Junior ?20): From Ely by coach, with a local guide, transfer to the Sandringham Estate for a three hour visit to this famous royal residence and gardens. Option C - ELY (1140/1720): Visit this cathedral city, the second smallest in England. Known as the ?Ship of the Fens? and home of Oliver Cromwell. Explore this beautiful city with its museums, art galleries and waterside area. Option D - NORFOLK BROADS CRUISE (Supplementary fare - Adult ?20/Junior ?15): Transfer from Norwich by road coach direct to Wroxham for a cruise along the River Bure, with commentary. Option E - BURE VALLEY RAILWAY (Supplementary fare - Adult ?17/Junior ?12): Enjoy a ride from Wroxham to Aylsham along this narrow gauge line. Road coach transfer from, and back to, Norwich is included. Option F - NORWICH (1250/1620): Get to know this historic city on the River Wensum; a modern cultural hub with a variety of museums, art galleries, a castle, cathedral and hidden green space.
The Doctor Syn Saturday 1 May 2021 In response to many requests from our friends in the Midlands, here is an unmissable railtour from Derby and other Midland Main Line stations, travelling around West London for a meander around the railways of Kent. It is named after the mythical Doctor Syn, a notorious Romney Marsh vicar who turned to smuggling to help fund his parish in Dymchurch. After our final joining station of St Albans we take an interesting route through the London suburbs via Brent, Dudding Hill, Acton Canal Wharf, Kew, Clapham, Factory Junction, Nunhead and Lewisham. Heading out of the capital now, and with the Thames Estuary never far away, we pass Dartford and Gravesend to reach Hoo Junction. Here we begin a journey along our first freight-only line, the eleven mile branch through the ?Hundred of Hoo?. The surroundings are remarkably rural for most of the way, passing through peaceful farmland, but with the tall chimneys of the riverside oil refineries clearly visible in the distance. Our train runs to the former passenger station at Grain, closed in 1961. We head back through Dartford to Lee, where we take the sharply curved Lee Spur leading on to the South Eastern Main Line. We then travel via Chislehurst, Swanley, Maidstone East and Ashford, where we can step off the train for twenty minutes or so to stretch our legs. Heading south to Appledore we reach our second freight-only branch, the nine mile Dungeness line. We will be crossing the largest expanse of shingle in the world, of international conservation importance. It is the only English habitat of bombus subterraneus, the short-haired bumblebee. Look out for the derelict remains of Lydd Town station as we head for the end of the line at Dungeness, with its iconic lighthouses dominating the distinctive terrain. We return via Ashford and Tonbridge before retracing our outward route around London then northwards on the Midland Main Line. The train will be formed of the attractive blue and grey liveried InterCity carriages and will be topped and tailed with DB Class 66 locomotives. There will be three classes of accommodation, First Class Dining, First Class Non-Dining and Standard Class. As a special offer on what we hope will be the first of several more Midland starts, we have knocked ?20 off the usual First Class Dining fare!
The Pennine Limited Saturday 8th May 2021 Join us on this varied and interesting tour from East Anglia to the border town of Carlisle. We shall feature steam haulage by a Carnforth pool locomotive from Hellifield to Carlisle and return. This will include the world famous Settle & Carlisle Railway, one of the great railway journeys in Britain. There will be time in Carlisle before returning to Hellifield, steam hauled, with diesel haulage back to Norwich. We leave Norwich early in the morning and make our way across rural Norfolk to York diesel-hauled, calling at Wymondham, Attleborough, Thetford, March and Peterborough to pick up passengers. We shall then make our way northwards towards the Leeds area where we pick up the Aire Valley line through Skipton to Hellifield. Here we will attach our Carnforth pool steam locomotive for the run to Carlisle over the famous 72-mile long Settle to Carlisle line. Passing over Settle Junction, we begin one of the most arduous climbs on Britain?s railway network, a total of 15 miles mainly at a gradient of 1 in 100. Once through Settle station, there are magnificent views across the Fells to the Pennine Three Peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. We cross the breathtaking Ribblehead Viaduct, high above the valley floor, and enter Blea Moor Tunnel. We pass through Dent Dale and the highest station in England at Dent, travelling through tunnels and crossing valleys on lofty viaducts. There are as we make the final ascent to Ais Gill Summit (1,169 feet). We travel high above the valley at Mallerstang and then drop down through Kirkby Stephen to Appleby, where our locomotive takes on water. Appleby is a historic market town, which lies in a loop of the picturesque river Eden. Continuing through the meandering Eden Valley to Carlisle will have around two hours to explore the Border City, possibly visiting the castle, cathedral, Tullie House Museum or the Lanes Shopping Centre. Our train leaves Carlisle for the return journey at around 16:15 and climbs almost continually for just under 50 miles back up to Ais Gill summit. We stop, en route, at Appleby for our steam locomotive to take on water ready for the arduous climb to Ais Gill Summit. Once through Garsdale and spectacular Dent Dale, we pass through Blea Moor tunnel and cross Ribblehead Viaduct once again. We shall now retrace our earlier route back to Hellifield, where we shall reluctantly have to say goodbye to our steam locomotive. We now continue our journey back to Norwich with a diesel locomotive, setting down at our earlier calling points.
The Cumbrian Explorer We are delighted to offer a wonderful journey from the home of Tornado in Darlington crossing some of the most scenic railway in England. The train takes us across the dramatic landscape of the Settle and Carlisle Railway, before returning along the stunning Cumbrian Coast. Saturday 8th May Join us from: Darlington, Thirsk, York, Leeds and Skipton. Book online below, or call our booking office on 01325 488215 This journey has been fondly nicknamed ?The S & Sea? as it crosses the often abbreviated Settle and Carlisle Railway, as well as taking in the beautiful scenery of the Cumbrian coast. Image: David Lund We depart from historic Darlington North Road station as well as Darlington?s main Bank Top station, before continuing south to Thirsk, York and Leeds. Here we turn north and head via Shipley and Skipton before traversing the ?Roof of England? and the world famous Settle to Carlisle Railway. With its long climb to the stunning Ribblehead Viaduct, it?s many tunnels and views across the Yorkshire Dales and Eden Valley the Settle and Carlisle is rightly one of the greatest railway journeys in the world. After a break of around two hours in Carlisle we depart south and this time take the Cumbrian Coast route. We exchange the mountainous scenery of the S&C for the longest coastal route in the UK. The railway line twists and turns as it follows the Irish Sea before turning more inland as we pass Barrow and head for Carnforth. Tornado leaves us here and we are diesel hauled for the return to Darlington setting down at outward stations. Not to be missed, early booking is recommended for this incredible tour.
Shrewsbury in Springtime Saturday 15 May 2021 This is an ideal springtime day out, offering you a choice of three top-class destinations, namely Shrewsbury, Attingham Park (NT) or Ironbridge and Blists Hill Museum. If there was ever a tour that could claim to offer something for everyone, surely this is it! Our journey takes us via Peterborough where we veer westward to pass through the ancient county of Rutland and on via Leicester and Nuneaton. We skirt Birmingham via the surprisingly rural Sutton Park Line, and once past Wolverhampton we head through lovely countryside bound for Shropshire. SHREWSBURY Is it pronounced ?Shroozbury? or ?Shrowsbury?? It?s not worth worrying about as even people who live here don?t agree. What can?t be disputed is that it?s a really delightful place, famous for its beautiful gardens, its frontage on the meandering River Severn and of course for its connections with its most famous citizen Charles Darwin. There?s a great range of shops and plenty of welcoming bars and cafes, and the river cruise is especially pleasant. The station is not far from the centre, so it really is an ideal place to while away an afternoon. You will have some four and a half hours at leisure. IRONBRIDGE AND BLISTS HILL MUSEUM Coaches meet our train at Telford Central. Our first stop is in the village of Ironbridge where you can see and walk across the famous bridge that has come to symbolise the Industrial Revolution and its birthplace. You?ll have time to pick up a souvenir or two before rejoining the coaches for a very short journey to Blists Hill Museum, a truly amazing recreated Victorian town. Here you?ll experience what life was like when Britain ruled the world. Meet some (almost) real Victorians in their authentic shops and cottages, buy curious goods from a bygone era and watch tradespeople in action in their atmospheric workshops and factories. You will have well over two hours here. ATTINGHAM PARK Another of our National Trust Specials - visit a lavish 18th Century Mansion shaped by a story of love and neglect Built for the first Lord Berwick in 1785, Attingham was owned by one family for more than 160 years. As fortunes rose and fell they proved themselves to be spenders, savers and saviours, leaving a tantalising story of love and neglect whose mark still shows in Attingham?s fascinating rooms today. Outside, discover the tranquil space of the Walled Garden and bring some produce home with you from our shop. Or walk through the woodlands and deer park to see what wildlife you can spot. At Telford Central coaches will be waiting for the transfer to Attingham Park, taking around twenty five minutes. You will have around four hours to explore this enchanting place. Attingham is now owned by the National Trust and we are pleased to offer an appropriate discount for NT members. ALL OFF TRAIN OPTIONS MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE.
The Jolly Fisherman Saturday 15th May 2021 Join us on this unusual tour to the east coast of England and the popular seaside resort of Skegness. We plan to recreate the Jolly Fisherman experience that was a popular excursion planned by the Great Northern Railway. We will head northwards from London?s King?s Cross station with the world famous Flying Scotsman hauling us along the East Coast main line to Peterborough, Boston and then to Skegness. With contrasting scenery all the way, what better way to spend the day than travelling on a traditional seaside express to the bracing east coast. We leave London King?s Cross in the morning, and head northwards along the ECML, picking up at Potters Bar, Stevenage and Peterborough. Here, we leave the ECML at Werrington Junction and head across rural Lincolnshire along the former Great Northern line towards Spalding, a town noted for its flower growing industry. We continue along the Great Northern & Great Eastern Joint line via Helpringham to the market town of Sleaford, where we will pause to run round our steam locomotive. Following a reversal, we now head eastwards along the former Great Northern line towards Boston, noted for its famous landmark of St Botolph?s church, otherwise known as the Boston Stump. We take the remaining section of the former East Lincolnshire line that once went through to Louth and Grimsby, but now it only runs as far at the junction at Frisby with the Skegness line. The line is very straight and flat for miles and is pleasantly rural in outlook as we head for Frisby, where there is a sharp curve towards Skegness all that is left of the remaining side of a former triangular junction. We will make a stop at Wainfleet should you wish to visit this attractive town with its interesting Batemans Brewery visitors centre. It is then just a short distance to our afternoon destination at Skegness. Time will be available to visit the resorts many attractions, including the promenade, the clock tower and the Jolly Fisherman statue and fountain. There are ample restaurants and many typical seaside shops to visit, or just have a quiet stroll along the sea front. After an afternoon in Skegness, we will retrace our earlier route back to Sleaford, where we will continue to Grantham and join the ECML. After a spirited climb up to Stoke tunnel, we now head for Peterborough, before heading back to London, setting down at our outward calling points. We can expect some fast running from Flying Scotsman as she runs up to her maximum speed along the ECML. Our arrival back in London King?s Cross will reluctantly bring to an end a splendid day out to the seaside on the Jolly Fisherman Express.
The Jorvik Express For the first time, passengers from Liverpool are invited to step aboard our steam train and enjoy a wonderful tour with Tornado. Pausing for passengers in Manchester before crossing the beautiful Pennine landscape, the train heads to the historic city of York. Famed for its historic buildings, museums and many well established bars and eateries, our guests are sure of a superb day out. Saturday 15th May Join us from: Liverpool, Newton-le-Willows and Manchester Victoria. Book online below, or call our booking office on 01325 488215 Our route follows almost all of the famous Liverpool and Manchester Railway designed by George Stephenson and home to the Rainhill trials and Rocket. From Manchester we tackle the steep climb of Miles Platting before traversing the outer suburbs and heading via Romiley for the picturesque Hope Valley line. After passing through the glorious scenery of the Peak District we head north from Sheffield passing Swinton and Church Fenton before arriving into York. Passengers visiting York can take time to explore the city centre with the historic Minster and Shambles, enjoy the many shops or even a river boat trip on the Ouse. For a real rail adventure, The National Railway Museum stands close to York Station and passengers may wish to visit the steam giants of the past. Our return journey takes us via Wakefield before we stop for water at Brighouse. On departure we are routed via the scenic Calder Valley line passing Hebden Bridge and onto Rochdale before arriving at Manchester Victoria. From there our return route is as our outward. As the date of this tour coincides with the bank holiday weekend commemorating the 75th Anniversary of VE day, our train will have a 1940s feel and passengers are encouraged to dress accordingly.
The Cumbrian Freighter Saturday 22 May 2021 NEW DATE - Visiting the Cumbrian Fells and Settle & Carlisle Line, with the added interest of some rather unusual routing along the way. Joining Stations: Banbury, Leamington Spa, Dorridge, Birmingham New Street, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay & Wigan North Western Motive power is expected to be a pair of DB Cargo Class 66s in Top?n?Tail mode throughout. Event Details NEW DATE - SATURDAY, 22 MAY 2021 We hope to announce a further three sections of track that will add nicely to this interesting itinerary and negotiations with the private owners are underway. Passengers booked on the train have been contacted about the revised date and we would again like to thank them for their patience and understanding. During regular journeys over these popular routes our trains cruise along at a steady pace whilst passengers appreciate the beautiful scenery, but this time we include traversal of some of the loops and spurs along these routes that do not usually see regular visits from passenger trains. From Wigan we take a northbound route over the Settle & Carlisle Line, with a two hour early afternoon break in Appleby. Then onto the Carlisle area to join the west coast main-line for the run through the Cumbrian Fells and homeward. Routing Highlights: Blackburn King St. Thro? Siding; Up & Down Goods; Hellifield Down Goods; Blea Moor Up Goods Loop; Appleby Down & Thro? Siding; Carlisle Goods Lines London Road Jn to Currock Jn (rev) to Upperby Bridge Jn; Several Up loops out of Plumpton, Eden Valley, Shap, Tebay, Grayrigg, Oxenholme, Ouebeck and Oxheys; Shap Hardendale Rounding Loop (rev) then Harrison?s Down Goods Loop. Several other non-passenger lines may be added to this list.
The Cumbrian Mountain Express Saturday 22nd May 2021 The Cumbrian Mountain Express provides a wonderful opportunity to get out and about during the spring, summer and autumn months, with the added bonus of steam haulage over the Northern Fells, including the spectacular Settle & Carlisle Railway. We have a high speed journey down the West Coast Main Line to Carnforth, hauled by a blue class 86 electric locomotive. We then enjoy a circular steam tour outwards via Shap to Carlisle and back via the Settle and Carlisle line.?? We return from Preston to London behind our blue electric locomotive.??? We leave London Euston at around 07:10 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. Here, we will change over our electric locomotive for today?s steam locomotive, taken from the Carnforth pool. Leaving Carnforth, we pass the Brief Encounter caf? and commence the climb of our first severe gradient up to Grayrigg. We then travel through the beautiful Lune Gorge to Tebay, gaining speed for the ascent to Shap. This well-known section of the WCML has a gradient of 1 in 75 and in the former days of steam locomotives banking engines from Tebay were often used to assist trains. 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 and join the Settle & Carlisle Railway, one of the most well known and best loved stretches of railway line in Britain. We soon begin climbing, and then at Appleby, we stop for our steam locomotive to take on water. The climbing continues through scenic Kirkby Stephen towards the highest railway summit in England at Ais Gill, 1169 feet above sea level. We pass over high viaducts, including the famous one at Ribblehead, and through many tunnels. There are magnificent views across the Fells and to the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. We should have a fast run out of the hills, through Settle, until we stop again for our locomotive to take on water.?? ??Our journey continues through Hellifield, Clitheroe to Preston where we say goodbye to our steam locomotive. We pass though Wigan and Warrington en route to Crewe hauled by our blue class 86 electric locomotive with a fast run following to London. 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 Pennine Explorer Join us on ?The Pennine Explorer?, as we travel from the East Midlands to Carlisle and return including the magnificent Settle and Carlisle Railway. Our tour also includes a fast run with Tornado along the East Coast Main Line from York before taking the stunning Tyne Valley line that crosses Hadrian?s Wall through the beautiful Northumberland scenery. Saturday 22nd May 2021 Join us from: Leicester, East Midlands Parkway, Derby, and Chesterfield. Book online below, or call our booking office on 01325 488215 Our tour begins from Leicester and we travel on through Derbyshire before Tornado joins our train near Chesterfield. From York we rush along the East Coast Main Line passing Darlington and Durham. We then follow the route of Hadrian?s Wall as it criss-crosses the railway en-route to 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 world renowned Settle and Carlisle Railway, following this remote but scenic line through the Dales, traversing soaring viaducts and thundering through tunnels along this masterpiece of Victorian engineering. Once we have passed Settle Junction and its historic signalbox we head south through Skipton to skirt Leeds and Wakefield. We say goodbye to Tornado on the outskirts of Chesterfield before continuing our journey with a diesel locomotive as we return passengers to their outward stations.
The Tinsley Tugger Saturday 29 May 2021 We are delighted to offer our customers this classic Forgotten Tracks trip to industrial South Yorkshire. With the long daylight hours afforded by early summer, we have taken the opportunity to cover a myriad of non-passenger lines in the area. We start the day by racing along the East Coast Main Line behind a diesel locomotive designed for 125mph running. In the sizeable marshalling yards south of Doncaster our exploration of the non-passenger network begins in earnest but first we must swap our traction and so powerful freight locomotives, designed for strength rather than speed, will take over the reins. Avoiding Doncaster station by using the freight only curve we will then head towards Sheffield and the once extremely impressive Tinsley Yard. We will cover both the North and South access curves here and we hope to run over one piece of very rare track if time and the operational conditions on the day allow it. After Tinsley we make our way over the border into Derbyshire and on to Chesterfield, of twisted spire fame, for a late lunch time leg-stretch break of around an hour. Once back on-board we return to South Yorkshire and complete what we believe is the first passenger train visit to Rotherham Steel Terminal. Following a very detailed and sure to be fascinating exploration of numerous non-passenger lines, we head south passing through the huge Toton Yard complex before commencing a lovely early summer?s evening run through rural Lincolnshire before arriving back in the Doncaster area. Here our freight locomotives will hand the reins back to an express passenger example, ready to return us home at high speed under fading light. Our route is expected to be: Finsbury Park p/u - Stevenage p/u - Peterborough p/u - Newark North Gate p/u - Doncaster Decoy Down side - Bridge Street Curve - Hexthorpe Goods - Mexborough - Roundwood Chord - Rotherham Central - Tinsley Yard (rev) - Woodburn Junction (rev) - Beighton Junction - Chesterfield (break) - Beighton Junction - Rotherham Steel Terminal (rev) - Beighton Junction - Chesterfield - Toton Yard - Nottingham - Newark Castle - Lincoln - Doncaster Decoy Up side (rev) - Newark North Gate s/d - Peterborough s/d - Stevenage s/d - Finsbury Park s/d A number of Goods Loops are expected to be covered during the day. The traction for this special charter train is also of interest because we expect to use all three of the different classes of diesel locomotive in the DB Cargo fleet: A Class 67 on the high speed ECML sections, a Class 60 as the main tour locomotive and a Class 66 to aid with the reversals.
The South Devon Explorer Saturday 29th May 2021 The South Devon Explorer offers an exceptional day out travelling by train from stations in Berkshire to Plymouth in South Devon. We travel along the famous ?sea wall? from Dawlish to Teignmouth and over the South Devon banks through Totnes. The special train will be hauled from Bristol to Plymouth and back by steam locomotive No. 6233 Duchess of Sutherland. Our train starts from Woking in Surrey and will be diesel hauled from there to Bristol. En route, we stop at Guildford, Reading and Newbury to pick up more passengers. The route follows the river Kennet through attractive countryside and then runs beside the Kennet and Avon Canal for some distance before we make our final stop for passengers at Westbury. We change motive power at Bristol where steam locomotive No. 6233 Duchess of Sutherland will take over the train. We shall soon be speeding along through the Somerset countryside and across the Somerset Levels to Taunton, where we make a brief stop for our steam locomotive to take on water. Our steam locomotive will be working hard as we climb to Whiteball Summit on the Somerset and Devon border before descending through the Culm Valley to Exeter. We then follow the Exe Estuary, passing the picturesque Cockwood Harbour, and run along the famous sea wall from Dawlish to Teignmouth. This is one of the most famous and scenic stretches of railway line in Britain, which gained international prominence when part of it was washed away in the 2014 storms. After Newton Abbot, we follow the South Devon line to Plymouth. Immediately we start to climb the very steep gradient of Dainton Bank. The climb twists and turns all the way to the summit at Dainton Tunnel. A short reprieve for our fireman follows as we descend the gradient to Totnes, which will allow time to get the boiler pressure up for the next climb of Rattery Bank. Gradients as steep as 1 in 47 run for four miles to Rattery before they ease off for the remainder of the climb to the summit at Wrangaton. Running along the southern edge of Dartmoor, we descend towards Plymouth, our destination for the afternoon. There will be time here to visit this modern city, with its many attractions, including the Hoe with Smeaton?s Tower, the old Barbican area with the Mayflower Steps, and the many shops in the city centre. Our return journey as far as Taunton will be steam hauled by Duchess of Sutherland. The first real challenge faced will be the ascent of the 1 in 42 gradient of Hemerdon Bank just outside Plymouth. There is also the climb to Dainton Tunnel from Totnes, followed by the return run along the Dawlish sea wall to Exeter. From Taunton, the train will be diesel hauled back to Woking. We stop at the same stations as on the outward journey, to set down passengers.