Railway Touring Company Logo

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’. 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 Carnforth, diesel hauled, early in the morning and travels via Hellifield and Skipton south-eastwards to Leeds stopping to pick up more passengers en route. It then heads northwards to York, the final stop for passengers, where ex-LNER class K4 No. 61994 “The Great Marquess” replaces the diesel locomotive. We steam along the East Coast Main Line (ECML) through Thirsk and at Northallerton take the direct route to Middlesbrough via Yarm. A second steam locomotive, No. 61264, is attached to the rear of the train for the onward journey to Redcar, Saltburn West Junction, and 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.

Our train reverses direction of travel and returns to Middlesbrough hauled by No. 61264 with No. 61994 “The Great Marquess” on the rear. We take the line to Stockton at Bowesfield Junction and the ‘freight only’ line to Ferryhill. We join the ECML and pass through Durham and Newcastle Central Station en route to Benton Junction. Here we take the ‘freight only’ Blyth and Tyne Line northwards to Bedlington and Ashinton, crossing the River Wansbeck at West Sleekburn, and continuing to Lynemouth, the location of a coal and bomass fired power station. We reverse direction of travel and return to Marchey’s House Junction where we branch off eastwards passing Winning Junction and continuing to the North Sea Coast at Cambois. We then travel southwards along the coast to North Blyth, a small settlement on the north eastern side of the River Blyth Harbour. We reverse direction of travel and return on the ‘freight only’ line to Winning Junction and West Sleekburn Junction. We then head westwards to Morpeth, the county town of Northumberland, where we join the ECML.

We travel south up the ECML, hauled by steam locomotive No. 61264, to Newcastle-upon-Tyne Central Station, where No 61994 “The Great Marquess” is detached. After leaving Newcastle, we cross the famous King Edward VII Bridge en route to Tyne Yard, where our locomotive takes on water. We continue southwards along the ECML, passing through Durham with its spectacular Victorian viaduct high above the city. We continue to York where our steam locomotive is replaced by a diesel locomotive for the onward journey to Carnforth. We stop en route at Leeds, Skipton and Hellifield, 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
Carnforth 06:30 21:30
Hellifield 07:15 20:55
Skipton 07:30 20:18
Leeds 08:30 19:00
York 09:45 18:30
Middlesborough 10:45 -------
Boulby 11:45 -------
Newcastle 13:45 16:30
Lynemouth 15:15 -------

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

01553 661500

01553 661800

Follow us on Twitter @railwaytouring