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 Buxton and Copy Pit, and then back to Carnforth.


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 see double-headed steam running at speed along the West Coast Main line through Lancaster to Preston. We will call at Manchester Victoria to pick up and then make an expected all out climb of the 1 in 47 gradient of Miles Platting Bank as we make our way towards Denton, where we will pause for water. 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.  After Peak Forest we join the former line from Millers Dale and Matlock and head for Buxton. We will take an afternoon break 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 take the remaining section of 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 reserves back to Buxton where we will retrace our outwards steps back through Peak Forest to Chilnley, Stockport and Denton. At Brewery Curve, we will avoid Manchester and follow the line through Rochdale to Todmorden, where we will take the recently reinstated curve here to join the Copy Pit line. Both locomotives will need to work very hard against the 1 in 65 gradient to haul our train to the summit at Copy Pit, some 749 feet above sea level.

We return to Preston and Carnforth via Accrington and Blackburn to conclude our varied and interesting day out on the High Peak Explorer. Passengers from Manchester Victoria will return by service train from Blackburn station.

*By service train from 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 05:30 21:20
Preston 06:25 20:25
Blackburn ------- 19:50
Manchester Victoria 07:40 21:00
Buxton 11:30 14:20