Breathtaking landscape and nostalgic steam locomotive haulage combine in one of our most exciting and varied tours by special train.
Our train will be hauled from Hellifield to York via Carlisle by either 45699 Galatea or 45690 Leander. Passengers will experience the magnificent and world famous Settle to Carlisle Railway, travel on the 180-year old Tyne Valley Line, and speed along the East Coast Main Line. It is all here for a thrilling day’s excursion.
Our train leaves Leicester, diesel hauled, early in the morning and stops to pick up more passengers at Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Beeston, Ilkeston, Alfreton and Chesterfield. We continue through Leeds and Skipton to Hellifield, where we change locomotives. A steam locomotive replaces the diesel locomotive on our train for the journey over the spectacular Settle to Carlisle Railway.
Between Hellifield and Carlisle there is scarcely a level mile but our powerful steam locomotive will negotiate the 78 miles of rising and falling gradients in truly classic style. Settle Junction marks the beginning of one of Britain’s most arduous climbs, a total of 15 miles, mainly at a gradient of 1 in 100. This will be a tough test for our locomotive, which we will see – and hear – working very hard! We cross the breathtaking Ribblehead Viaduct, high above the valley floor, and enter Blea Moor Tunnel. The route runs high above valleys, and over numerous viaducts to Dent, the highest main line station open in England. We make the final climb to Ais Gill Summit, all 1,169 feet of it, the dramatic peak of our journey! We descend through the valley at Mallerstang and then drop down through Kirkby Stephen to Appleby, where our steam locomotive pauses to take on water.
We can expect a fast run downhill from Appleby along the Eden Valley to Carlisle, where we arrive at around 14:00. There will be time to explore the ‘Border’ city with its many attractions that include the castle, cathedral, Tullie House Museum, the pedestrianised English Street and the Lanes Shopping Centre.
We leave Carlisle at around 16:00 and take the scenic Tyne Valley Line towards Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The Newcastle & Carlisle Railway opened this line in June 1838 and it runs eastwards, following the River Tyne just a few miles south of Hadrian’s Wall. We pass through Wylam, the birthplace of railway engineer George Stephenson, before we join the East Coast Main Line at Low Fell. We can expect some fast running as we head south through Durham and Darlington to York. Reluctantly, we shall have to say farewell to our steam locomotive at York. Here a diesel locomotive replaces our steam locomotive for the remainder of the return journey. We will stop to set down passengers at our outward stations before arriving back at Leicester late evening.
* Ilkeston passengers will travel by service train to Alfreton to join the train on the outward journey.
Premier Dining includes a full English breakfast and a four course dinner silver served at your seat.
First Class includes morning coffee with a variety of tulip muffins and afternoon tea with a savoury of the day followed by a selection of cakes and fancies.
Standard Class includes a reserved seat usually at a table for four.
Tables for two can be guaranteed in Premier Dining and First Class for a supplement of £25 per person (subject to availability).
A buffet car is available and serves tea, coffee, snacks and light refreshments.
Approximate timings shown
|East Midlands Parkway||06:45||22:50|