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The Galloway Fifties Saturday 05 June 2021 NEW DATE - Travel behind English Electric Class 50s to Stranraer. Joining Stations: Tame Bridge Parkway, Birmingham New Street, Stafford, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston & Carlisle Event Details NEW DATE - SATURDAY, 05 JUNE 2021 It is with much pleasure that Pathfinder presents this full day railcruise to the south west of Scotland, featuring a scenic route that is often ignored due to its extremity. We also return English Electric Type 4s to an erstwhile destination from some 50 years ago - Stranraer here we come! A range of West Coast Main Line (WCML) pick ups will allow our locos to reel off the miles to Carlisle, including over Shap. Beyond Carlisle we take ex- G & S.W.R. metals north via Dumfries and Kilmarnock, then turn 180 degrees to journey to the coast, Troon and onto Ayr. Then its towards Galloway, and over the undulating and twisting line that threads through the high hills before arrival at the end of the line, into the old Irish packet port of Stranraer. We cannot dwell here too long due to line capacity issues so, after photos, we re-trace this interesting route north back to Ayr / Newton-on-Ayr for a short afternoon break, before running over the Annbank freight line to Mauchline and south via Dumfries to Carlisle. It then remains for a fast setting down return along the WCML to the Birmingham area to conclude this unusual day out.
The Aln Valley Venturer Saturday 5 June 2021 We journey today to the Ancient Kingdom of Northumbria. On our way from London we glimpse such landmarks as York Minster, Durham Castle and Cathedral and Sir Antony Gormley?s striking ?Angel of the North? sculpture. Crossing the Tyne at Newcastle we soon arrive at Morpeth and then, after a few more minutes, Alnmouth. Cragside Set amidst a truly beautiful Northumbria landscape, enter the extraordinary world of Lord Armstrong, a Victorian inventor and innovator but also something of a landscaping genius. Discover the very first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity, still full of ingenious gadgets. The gardens are incredible too. One of the largest rock gardens in the world leads down to the Iron Bridge and this in turn leads to a formal garden. Quite a lot of walking is involved here, not all of it level. Coaches will meet the train at Morpeth for the 25-minute journey to Cragside where you will have around three hours to look around this most unusual property which includes a refreshment room and gift shop. There is a discount for National Trust members. The Aln Valley Railway The Aln Valley Railway Trust and its supporting Society were established to re-open the branch line from Alnmouth to Alnwick, primarily as a heritage railway tourist attraction. Situated around a mile from the centre of Alnwick, the railway in its current state runs from there to Greenrigg Halt (about half way to Alnmouth), and work on its extension is ongoing. Coaches will meet our train at Alnmouth for the transfer to Alnwick. From here a vintage bus will provide a shuttle service to and from the Aln Valley Railway?s Lionheart Station. You will also have time to explore Alnwick should you wish. Alnwick at Leisure According to Country Life ?Alnwick is the most picturesque market town in Northumberland, and the best place to live in Britain?. The town dates back to about AD 600 and retains much of its original character. Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England, after Windsor. It is popular with film-makers; Blackadder, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and Harry Potter are among films shot here. The Alnwick Garden is a complex of formal gardens adjacent to the castle. They have a long history under the Dukes of Northumberland but fell into disrepair until revived at the turn of the 21st century. The Garden now features various themed plantings designed around a central water cascade. It is the most ambitious new garden created in the UK post-war. The former railway station is now home to Barter Books, one of England?s largest and most famous second hand bookshops. Some visitors spend all day here! There will be a transfer coach from Alnmouth station to Alnwick town centre. You will have around four hours to explore. Free time in Alnmouth or Newcastle If you decide not to go for one of the aforementioned options then you could choose to spend the day in either picturesque Alnmouth or vibrant Newcastle.
The Buxton Spa Express Saturday 5th June 2021 Join us for a contrasting main line steam run from Ealing Broadway to the Peak Distict of Derbyshire and the spa town of Buxton. We will travel via the Midland Main Line to Kettering, and through Melton Mowbray, to Chesterfield, before heading westwards through the scenic Hope Valley and Peak Forest routes to Buxton. Our locomotive for the day will be A1 Class Pacific No. 60163 Tornado, which will be visiting unusual terrritory from its normal lines. Tornado will be attached at Leicester and will be detached at Barrow Hill on the return. Leaving Ealing Broadway early in the morning, diesel hauled, we join the Midland main line and pick up at St Albans, Luton, Bedford and Kettering. Heading northwards away from Kettering, we now head for Leicester. At Leicester Humberstone Road sidings, Tornado will be waiting to take us on our journey to Buxton. We pass through Loughborough and join the Erewash Valley Line at Trent Junction. After Chesterfield with its crooked spire we take the Hope Valley line at Dore. We pass through the heart of the Peak District before leaving the main line at Chinley East Junction and take the Peak Forest line past the huge stone quarry at Tunstead. We now run through Ashwood Dale towards Buxton, our destination for the afternoon. Buxton is famous as a market town and also for its spa waters and Georgian architecture. An interesting town to explore during your stay Tornado is serviced for the return journey. You will have ample time in Buxton, the highest market town in England, during the afternoon break for you to explore this attractive market town, famous for its spa waters in the Pump Room, The Crescent, and the Pavillion with its extensive gardens. We will return from Buxton via the former London & North Western route through Whaley Bridge to Stockport. After Denton, we head for Guide Bridge and Romiley before rejoining the Hope Valley line again to travel through the Peak District. Running through Sheffield, we leave the main line at Nunnery Main Line Junction and pass through Woodhouse, were we join the Barrow Hill line at Beighton Junction. Our steam locomotive Tornado will be detached at Barrow Hill and we will now return to Ealing Broadway diesel hauled, setting down at our earlier calling points.
The Scarborough Flyer Saturday 5th June 2021 This exciting trip by steam train offers an opportunity for passengers from the Greater Manchester and Sheffield areas to visit the seaside town of Scarborough. The circular route cuts across the rugged Pennine terrain to York, and then on to the popular east coast seaside resort of Scarborough. Our train will be hauled by a locomotive from the Carnforth Pool. Our train leaves Manchester Victoria, hauled by our lovingly restored steam locomotive, and heads for Romiley, where we stop to pick up more passengers. We join the former Midland Railway line across the Peak District and pass through Cowburn Tunnel into the beautiful Vale of Edale. We stop again at Hathersage, for more passengers, before passing through the 3?-mile long Totley Tunnel and arrive at Sheffield, our final stop for passengers. We then travel northwards through Swinton and Moorthorpe to York, where passengers will have the option of alighting here to visit the city or the National Railway Museum. Leaving York, we follow the River Derwent through pleasant Yorkshire scenery to Scarborough via Malton. The station at Scarborough features the longest station seat in the world! Scarborough is a Victorian spa town and the largest holiday resort on the East Yorkshire coast. It provides all the facilities that you would expect at an established seaside resort. It has two beautiful bays providing safe sandy beaches, and a busy harbour with an active fish quay. Our train leaves Scarborough late afternoon, hauled by our steam locomotive, for the return journey to Manchester. We travel westwards through Malton and Castle Howard to York. At Milford Loop we say farewell to our steam locomotive and continue our journey home diesel hauled. We stop at the same stations as on the outward journey, to set down passengers.
The Tynesider Saturday 12th June 2021 This excursion provides a rare opportunity to travel by special train from the North Lincolnshire area to Tyneside. The route is via the East Coast Main Line through York. Passengers have the option of spending time in Newcastle-upon-Tyne or staying on the train to travel over the Blyth & Tyne Railway line to Morpeth, a route no longer used by passenger services. Our train will be steam hauled from Cleethorpes to Newcastle and Morpeth and then back to York. Our train leaves Cleethorpes at around 07:30 hauled by a steam locomotive from the Carnforth pool. It stops at Grimsby, Barnetby and Scunthorpe, to pick up more passengers. At Stainforth Junction we take the direct Wakefield line avoiding Doncaster, normally used only by freight trains, to Applehurst Junction. Here our train branches off to the right to join the East Coast Main Line (ECML) at Joan Croft Junction. Soon we shall arrive in York where more passengers can join the train. There will be a half hour break for our steam locomotive to take on water. We continue steam-hauled northwards from York across the Plain of York where we can expect some fast running, especially through Thirsk and Northallerton. We pass through Darlington and Durham, famous for its Norman Cathedral, en route to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Here passengers may choose to alight and spend time visiting the city. It is famous for a series of dramatic bridges over the river Tyne and its quayside along the banks of the river. Other well known attractions include the Tyne & Wear Metro, Eldon Square Shopping Centre, Cathedral, Castle, Grainger Market, and the largest indoor shopping centre in Europe, the Metro Centre, located nearby in Gateshead. Our train continues, steam hauled, travelling north from Newcastle Central to Benton Junction. Here we leave the ECML and take the Blyth and Tyne Railway route which was chiefly constructed to link collieries in the area to the river Tyne. This is now a ?freight only? railway line, which parallels the Tyne & Wear Metro route to Northumberland Park and then runs northwards through Newsham to Bedlington. At Bedlington North Junction we branch left and head for Morpeth where we stop for our steam locomotive to take on water. We return to Newcastle-upon-Tyne via the ECML. We stop at Newcastle Central station, to pick up those passengers who chose to visit the city, before setting off across the river Tyne on the King Edward VII Bridge. We return south, steam hauled, up the ECML to York. Here a diesel locomotive takes over the train for the remainder of the journey back to Cleethorpes. We stop at the same stations as on the outward journey to set down passengers.
The Cotswold Venturer Saturday 12th June 2021 Join us on this scenic rail tour by steam train through the beautiful Cotswold Hills. Our destination is the cathedral city of Worcester, located on the banks of the River Severn and internationally famous as the home of Worcestershire Sauce. We travel outward via the Golden Valley line through Stroud and Kemble and also return the same way, which will include the steep climb up to Sapperton tunnel. ??? Our steam hauled train leaves London Paddington at around 07:40 hauled by steam locomotive No.60103 Flying Scotsman and heads down the ex-Great Western Railway (GWR) main line. We stop at Slough, Reading and Didcot to pick up more passengers. Our journey continues through the Vale of White Horse to Swindon, where we take the Golden Valley line through Kemble and up the climb to Sapperton Tunnel. We bypass Gloucester and head northwards through Cheltenham to Abbotswood Junction, were we leave the main line to Birmingham and head for Worcester Shrub Hill. There will be more than three hours to explore the fine city of Worcester. The river Severn runs through the city and is overlooked by the 12th century Worcester Cathedral. The site of the final battle of the Civil War between Oliver Cromwell and King Charles II was here. It is also the home of Royal Worcester Porcelain, and the birthplace of the composer Sir Edward Elgar is nearby at Lower Broadheath. Our steam hauled train leaves Worcester Shrub Hill in the late afternoon and returns to London via the Golden Valley line. We follow the former Great Western Railway route from Standish Junction and climb steadily through Stroud before the gradients increase dramatically to 1 in 74 at Chalford. We continue to climb through the Golden Valley at a gradient of 1 in 60 prior to entering Sapperton tunnel at the summit of the climb. On easier gradients, we descend through Kemble and onwards through Wiltshire to the former railway town of Swindon. We will now retrace our earlier route through the Vale of White Horse back to Didcot and Reading. Our final part of the journey calls at Reading and Slough before arriving back in London Paddington in the evening.
The Cambrian Coast Express 2021 Friday 18 June 2021 NEW DATE - A day out along the Cambrian Coast with stunning scenery. Joining Stations: Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway, Cam & Dursley, Cheltenham Spa, Worcester Parkway, Bromsgrove, Birmingham New Street, Wolverhampton, Telford Central, Shrewsbury. Event Details NEW DATE - FRIDAY, 18 JUNE 2021 For lovers of stunning scenery, the single track railway that wends across mid-Wales and then follows the Cambrian Coast, to Pwllheli is hard to beat. On leaving Shrewsbury enjoy the undulating views as our special train joins the Cambrian line heading west through the pleasant Borders countryside. Once into Wales the line climbs through narrowing valleys to a summit at Talerddig before a winding descent to Machynlleth. We soon cross and follow the Dovey Estuary to Aberdovey, before the climb to the Friog rock shelter is followed by descent to the famous wooden bridge across the sandy Mawddach Estuary into Barmouth. Our train then continues north through Harlech, with set downs at Minffordd and Porthmadog before reaching lines end at Pwllheli. The return retraces the outward route, giving you another opportunity to appreciate the fabulous scenery. We offer the following destinations for you to choose from: Option A - BARMOUTH (1300/1750): A compact resort and start of a circular trip, featuring a river ferry and a walk over Barmouth Bridge.. Option B - MINFFORDD & PORTMEIRION (1340/1705): Why not walk a mile (each way) and visit the Italianate village of Portmeirion, made famous by the Prisoner TV series of the 1960s (Pay admission charge on the day). Option C - PORTHMADOG (1350/1655): A very pleasant port and town, home to several narrow gauge railways. Option D - PWLLHELI (1430/1630): Market town of the Lleyn Peninsula with marina. And lines end of course!
The White Rose Saturday 19th June 2021 Join us for an exhilarating main line steam run from London?s King?s Cross to the historic city of York. York is world famous for its variety of visitor attractions and home to the National Railway Museum. Our train will be hauled from London to York by steam locomotive No.60103 Flying Scotsman and will be diesel hauled for the return journey back to London. ??? We leave London King?s Cross in the morning behind Flying Scotsman and follow the East Coast Main Line route of famous express trains of the past. We storm up the gradient through Gasworks Tunnel and Finsbury Park, and northwards, calling at Stevenage, Huntingdon and Peterborough to pick up more passengers. Our steam locomotive then tackles the 15-mile climb up the famous Stoke Bank. Here on 3rd July 1938, ?Mallard?, an A4 class ?Pacific?, achieved a world record speed of 126 mph when travelling in the opposite direction. Once over the summit we should have a good, fast run down the 20 mile descent to the Trent Valley and on through Grantham, Newark and Retford. We steam through Doncaster and continue northwards to our mid-day stop in York. There will be plenty of time for passengers to enjoy the city and all it has to offer. York has some major tourist attractions including the National Railway Museum, the largest museum of its type in Britain; the Castle; the Shambles; the splendid Gothic York Minster, one of the largest of its kind in northern Europe; and the city walls. There are a number of other interesting museums, quaint alleyways, and a good variety of shops. Our train leaves York late afternoon, and we will retrace our outward steps along the East Coast Main Line hauled by a diesel locomotive. We stop to set down passengers at the same stations as on the northbound journey, arriving at King?s Cross in the evening.
The Cumbrian Mountain Express Saturday 26th June 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.