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 a Carnforth pool locomotive, likely to be either No.45690 Leander or No.45699 Galatea. 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. We soon arrive at Sheffield, where there is a brief stop, prior to watering our steam locomotive at Brightside.
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 enter the Calder Valley and pass through Hebden Bridge. At Hall Royd Junction near Todmorden, 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. From Blackburn we now return to Manchester Victoria.
Following a reversal at Manchester Victoria, we now return to Preston via our earlier calling points.
Premier Dining includes Buck’s Fizz, morning tea or coffee served with a Tulip muffin and a four course lunch silver served at your seat.
First Class includes morning coffee with a muffin, afternoon tea and coffee with a cake and a biscuit.
Standard Class includes a reserved seat usually at a table for four.
Tables for two can be guaranteed in Premier Dining and First Class for a supplement of £25 per person (subject to availability).
A buffet car is available and serves tea, coffee, snacks and light refreshments.
Approximate timings shown
|Wigan North Western||09:30||20:45|