The Cumbrian Mountain Express
Wednesday 22nd May 2013
Recreating the early days of steam rail tours in the 1980’s when travelling over the Settle & Carlisle Railway was the icing on the cake in the main line ‘steam’ calendar. 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 to Preston via the Settle and Carlisle line. We return to London behind our blue electric locomotive.
Now being hauled by Princess Coronation Class 'Pacific' 4-6-2 No.46233 "Duchess of Sutherland".
We leave London Euston at 06:26 with electric traction, and speed north along the West Coast Main Line (WCML). We stop to pick up passengers at Watford Junction, Milton Keynes, Rugby (where passengers from Northampton join by service train), Nuneaton, Crewe and Preston. We continue north along the WCML to Carnforth where we change locomotives and 46233 "Duchess of Sutherland" will take over our train.
On leaving Carnforth we climb the first severe gradient up to Grayrigg, and then travel through the beautiful Lune Gorge, gaining speed for the ascent to Shap. There is always a chance that we will beat these gradients’ record times, so hang on to your hats! After crossing the Cumbrian Fells we descend to Penrith, and then head for Carlisle. There will be around an hour and a half in Carlisle, providing time to explore this ancient city.
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 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 and Blackburn to Preston, where we say goodbye to our steam locomotive. Our blue class 86 electric locomotive takes over the train for a fast run to London. We stop at the same stations as on the outward journey to set down passengers.
Actual timings shown
Premier Dining includes full English breakfast, light lunch and four course dinner silver served at your seat.
First Class includes morning coffee with a Danish pastry and afternoon tea with scones, jam and cream, along with a selection of finger sandwiches.
Standard Class includes a reserved seat at a table for four.
A buffet car is available and serves tea, coffee, snacks and light refreshments. Tables for two can be guaranteed in first class and premier dining for a supplement of £20 per person. (subject to availability)http://www.railwaytouring.co.uk/bookings/BookingForm_UK.aspx?Action=New
The Railway Touring Company
14a Tuesday Market Place