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The Railway Touring Company

The Wansbeck

Saturday 4th April 2015

This unusual rail tour by steam train covers parts of Yorkshire, Durham, and Northumberland. It passes through rural and coastal scenic areas including Wansbeck, named after the river in Northumberland. It travels along routes with an interesting history, some of which, like the Boulby Branch, are open for ‘freight only’ trains. The train will feature two steam locomotives; ex-London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) class K4 No. 61994 “The Great Marquess” and class B1 No. 61264.

Our train leaves York, diesel hauled, early in the morning, and travels North down the East Coast Main Line (ECML). We stop at Darlington, Durham and Newcastle to pick up further passengers. At Heaton Sidings we detach our diesel locomotive and from here our train will be 'topped and tailed' by two ex-LNER steam locomotives, Thompson designed B1 class 4-6-0 No. 61264 and Gresley designed K4 class 2-6-0 No. 61994 "The Great Marquess".

We continue, now steam hauled, northwards along the East Coast Main Line to Morpeth. Here we reverse to travel south-eastwards along the Blyth and Tyne Railway, a line that was built chiefly to link the collieries of the area to the River Tyne at Percy Main. Although subsequently opened for passenger service, the railway is now only used by freight trains. We take the 'freight only' line to Bedlington, which was once an industrial town with an iron works and several coal mines. At Newsham we reverse direction of travel and head through Marches House Jct to Ashington Jct.  From here we take the line to Lynemouth Colliery, here we reverse to Marches House Jct and take the line to North Blyth, a small settlement on the north eastern side of the River Blyth Harbour. We reverse once again and return on the 'freight only' line to Winning Junction, West Sleekburn Junction and Bedlington. We continue southwards through Newsham to the ECML at Benton North Junction. We pause briefly at Newcastle Central Station.       

We leave Newcastle and cross the River Tyne on the famous King Edward VII Bridge as we head up the ECML to Durham. We take the 'freight only' line from Tursdale Junction to North Junction and then continue through Stockton to Middlesborough. We pass through Redcar and at Saltburn West Junction take the 'freight only' Boulby Branch. This line runs along the top of the cliffs, overlooking the North Sea, to the Potash Mine at Boulby, Europe's second deepest mine. We return to Middlesborough and at Tees Yard No. 61264 is detached from the train. We continue steam hauled through Eaglescliffe and Dinsdale to Darlington. We then head North along the ECML to Newcastle where "The Great Marquess" leaves the train. We return to York, diesel hauled, stopping at Durham and Darlington to set down passengers.

Train Fares

Fares Adult Junior Family
£199 £141 £539
First £139 £72 £350
Standard £92 £48 £232

Train Timings

Approximate timings shown

Station Outward Return
York 06:40 22:10
Darlington 07:25 21:20
Durham 07:50 21:00
Newcastle 08:15 20:20

Premier Dining includes full English breakfast, light lunch and four course dinner silver served at your seat.

First Class includes morning coffee with a Danish pastry and afternoon tea with scones, jam and cream, along with a selection of finger sandwiches.

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).


The Railway Touring Company

14a Tuesday Market Place
King's Lynn
PE30 1JN

Phone: 01553 661 500

Fax: 01553 661 800

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