The Cumbrian Mountain Express
Saturday 6th June 2015
This train will recreate 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 begin with a high speed journey down the West Coast Main Line to Carnforth hauled by a blue electric locomotive. Our train will then be steam hauled on a circular route via Shap to Carlisle and over the Settle and Carlisle line. We return from Farrington Junction to London behind our 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 Watford Junction, Milton Keynes, 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. At Carnforth we change motive power and Royal Scot class steam locomotive No. 46115 “Scots Guardsman” takes over the train.
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 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 from Hellifield to Clitheroe and Blackburn, where passengers for Preston leave the train. At Farrington Junction we say goodbye to our steam locomotive and the blue class 86 electric locomotive joins our train. We shall have a fast run up the WCML to London Euston with stops at the same stations as on the outward journey to set down passengers.
* Northampton passengers travel to and from Rugby by service trains
† Passengers for Preston return by service train from Blackburn on the return journey
Approximate 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 usually 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 £22 per person (subject to availability).http://www.railwaytouring.co.uk/bookings/BookingForm_UK.aspx?Action=New
The Railway Touring Company
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