This is a wonderful opportunity for those from the Crewe and Manchester areas to travel by steam train over two of England’s most scenic railway routes.
We travel north to Carlisle by the West Coast Main Line over Shap and return via the famous Settle & Carlisle Railway Line. Both routes pass through spectacular mountain scenery. A magnificent steam locomotive will haul these trains, which recall the glorious days of steam travel.
Our train, which is hauled by a steam locomotive from the Carnforth pool, leaves Crewe at around 06:00 and calls at Wilmslow, Stockport, Manchester Victoria and Bolton to pick up passengers. We join the West Coast Main Line (WCML) and travel north to Preston, our final stop to pick up passengers. We continue through Lancaster and Carnforth, where beyond our steam locomotive will be working hard when we climb the first severe gradient up to Grayrigg. We then travel through the beautiful Lune Gorge to Tebay, gaining speed for the ascent to Shap. This well-known section of the WCML has a gradient of 1 in 75 and, in the former days of steam locomotives, banking engines from Tebay were often used to assist trains.
After crossing the Cumbrian Fells we descend to Penrith, and then head for Carlisle. There will be around three hours in Carlisle, providing time to explore this ancient ‘Border’ city with its castle, cathedral, Tullie House Museum, and shopping centre.
Our return train, hauled by our steam locomotive, leaves Carlisle and joins the Settle & Carlisle Railway, one of the most well known and best loved stretches of railway line in Britain. We soon begin climbing and then at Appleby, we stop for our steam locomotive to take on water. The climbing continues through scenic Kirkby Stephen towards the highest railway summit in England at Ais Gill, 1169 feet above sea level. We pass over high viaducts, including the famous one at Ribblehead, and through numerous tunnels. There are magnificent views across the Fells and to the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. We should have a fast run out of the hills, through Settle, until we stop again at Hellifield for our locomotive to take on water.
Our journey continues from Hellifield to Clitheroe and Blackburn, where passengers for Preston leave the train. We join the WCML at Farington Junction and, shortly afterwards, take the Manchester line, stopping at Bolton and Manchester Victoria to set down passengers. We continue our journey to Crewe stopping at the same stations as on the outward journey to set down passengers.
*Passengers for Preston travel by service train from Blackburn on the return journey.
Premier Dining includes a full English breakfast and four course dinner silver served at your seat.
First Class includes morning tea or coffee with a bacon/breakfast roll, a Danish pastry and an afternoon service of tea or coffee with a savoury of the day followed by a scone with butter and jam.
Standard Class includes a reserved seat usually at a table for four.
Approximate timings shown