The High Peak Explorer

Saturday 17th March 2018

Prices from: £109

This special steam hauled tour commences at Carnforth and follows a winding route over the Pennines via Copy Pit to Buxton, in the High Peak of Derbyshire, and with a more direct run back to Carnforth, via Manchester.

Departure Date: 17-Mar-2018
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One of the highlights will be the rare opportunity to traverse the newly reinstated Todmorden Curve by a steam hauled train. Also, we will take our train along the Hindlow freight line to the quarry in the heart of the Peak District. There will be time in Buxton for you to visit its historic and cultural sights.

Our morning departure from Carnforth will be along the West Coast Main line through Lancaster to Preston. After Preston, we make our way up Hoghton Bank towards Blackburn and then eastwards towards Accrington and Burnley.  Beyond Burnley, we will cross the Pennines via the summit of Copy Pit.  Both locomotives will need to work very hard against the 1 in 68 gradient to haul our train to the summit, 749 feet above sea level.  We will now descend the gradient towards Todmorden, where we will take the reinstated curve that connects into the Rochdale and Manchester line.

We now make our way towards Manchester, passing through Rochdale before we leave the main line at Brewery Curve and head for Denton, where there will be a water stop. We continue via Stockport and follow the Hazel Grove Chord to join the former Midland Railway route through Disley Tunnel and onwards to New Mills. Here we climb steadily towards Chinley where we take the Peak Forest line through Dove Holes Tunnel. We pass through the vast Tunstead Limestone Quarry and then join the line through Ashwood Dale to Buxton. We will take an afternoon break in Buxton to explore the attractions of the highest market town in England, including the Pump Room, The Crescent, Pavillion and its extensive gardens.

With our steam locomotives now serviced, we will now traverse the remaining section of the former London & North Western Railway’s line to Ashbourne, running to the present limit of this freight only line at Hindlow Quarry. With gradients up to 1 in 60, this will require our locomotives to be in ‘top and tail’ mode to overcome the steep climbs. We shall then return to Buxton where we will retrace our outwards steps back through Peak Forest to Chinley, Stockport and Denton. At Brewery Curve, we will head down Miles Platting Bank for Manchester Victoria.

Our return route back to Carnforth will be via Preston and Lancaster, ending a varied and interesting day out in the Peak District.

*By service train to Blackburn.


Train Fares

Fares Adult Junior Family
Premier £259 £175 £780
First £169 £112 £506
Standard £109 £76 £332

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 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)

Train Timings

Approximate timings shown

Station Outward Return
Carnforth 06:45 21:20
Preston 07:40 20:25
Blackburn 08:30 -----
Manchester Victoria 07:40 19:45
Buxton 12:25 14:15