Join us on this new tour that provides an excellent opportunity to travel across the country from east to west, visiting the historic city of Chester.
Apart from its cultural attractions, including the Cathedral, Castle and the Medieval Rows, Chester is a well established shopping mecca, with a large choice of designer and main stream shopping on offer. Our steam hauled train will be pulled by British Railways built Pacific 4-6-2 No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell from Norwich to Chester via an interesting route, offering Standard, First Class and Dining options.
Our journey commences at Norwich around 07:00 where we take the line to Ely, calling at Wymondham, Attleborough and across the Fens to the market town of Thetford. We then make a further pick up at Brandon before we bypass Ely to call at March and Peterborough. We now follow the cross country line through Stamford, a town of outstanding architectural and historic interest that is of national importance. The town has over 600 listed buildings, more than half of the total for the County of Lincolnshire.
We continue westwards and pass Rutland Water towards Oakham, the small county town of Rutland. Entering Leicestershire, we run through Melton Mowbray, famous for its pork pies, and head for Leicester, our final pick up station. We follow the main line to London St Pancras for a while as far as Wigston Junction, where we branch off on the Nuneaton and Birmingham line.
Our route now takes us westwards through Hinkley to Nuneaton, where we join the West Coast main line. Heading northwards, our steam locomotive can now get up to top speed as we head for Tamworth and Lichfield. Lines split at Colwich Junction and here we follow the WCML through Shugborough Park to round Queensville Curve at Stafford. The four tracks continue northwards through rural Staffordshire, with Oliver Cromwell working hard as it tackles the long climb to Whitmore Summit. After a few more miles, we slow down and approach the major railway junction of Crewe.
Our final part of the journey takes us across the Cheshire Plain through Beeston Castle, with its lofty 13th castle overlooking the railway and the Shropshire Union Canal. In no time at all, we arrive at Chester, where there will be a break of around four hours for passengers to visit the city with all its attractions. We then return from Chester at around 17:30 for the steam hauled run back to Norwich, retracing our outward route.
Premier Dining includes a full English breakfast and a four course dinner silver served at your seat.
First Class includes morning coffee with a Danish pastry and afternoon tea with a savoury dish followed by a selection of fancies and cakes.
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 £22 per person. (subject to availability)
Approximate timings shown.