Who can forget Compo, Clegg and Foggy rolling down a Yorkshire hillside in a tin bath for the long-running TV series ‘Last of the Summer Wine’?
In honour of this immortal moment in one of the great TV comedies we have named this tour The Tin Bath. Our train takes in the railways of the South Pennines and the Peak District encompassing Derbyshire, Lancashire and South Yorkshire and visiting some routes rarely used by steam trains along the way.
Our train leaves Preston hauled by Class 8F steam locomotive No. 48151. We head south up the West Coast Main Line (WCML) to Wigan North Western, where we stop for more passengers. We then travel eastwards to Manchester Victoria and a further stop is made to pick up passengers. Our locomotive will be working hard as we leave Manchester and immediately commence the climb of the testing 1 in 47 gradient of Miles Platting bank. We shall then make our way towards Chinley on another long climb and join the former Midland Railway’s ‘Hope Valley’ line to Sheffield. We pass through Hathersage, a charming village associated with Robin Hood and the Eyre family of Bronte fame. This route is spectacularly scenic and encompasses a number of long tunnels, including the passage through the 3½ mile-long Totley Tunnel, first opened in 1892, before arrival at Sheffield where there is a brief stop.
On leaving Sheffield we head northwards to Wincobank Junction, adjacent to the famous Meadowhall Shopping Centre, where we join the Barnsley Line. It is a long climb from here up to Chapeltown, Wombwell and Barnsley. But it doesn’t end there! From Barnsley we take a single-track line that climbs steeply at gradients of 1 in 50 and 1 in 57 up to Dodworth, where the gradient eases to 1 in 100. Soon afterwards we approach the former junction at Penistone where after, we pass over the magnificent 29-arch Penistone viaduct.
We continue past Denby Dale, famous for its huge meat pies, and the junction for the Kirklees Light Railway. We descend to Huddersfield, crossing many fine bridges and viaducts on the way, including the listed 32-arch Lockwood Viaduct. We continue via Huddersfield to Brighouse where we pause for our steam locomotives to take on water. We then head through the Calder Valley through Hebden Bridge for Hall Royd Junction near Todmorden. Here we leave the main line to Manchester, and take the steeply graded 1 in 65 line to Copy Pit summit (749 feet above sea level), before descending through Burnley to Accrington and Blackburn. We pass through Darwen on the 1 in 71 climb up to Sough Tunnel, drop down to Bolton, and head back to Manchester Victoria.
Following a reversal at Manchester Victoria, we now return to Preston diesel hauled via our earlier calling points.
Premier Dining includes a full English breakfast and a four course lunch 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
|Wigan North Western||09:30||19:45|