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The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

2013 Edition





“The World’s Greatest Railway Journey”


Voted By Wanderlust Magazine

13th May to 25th October - Morning Trip (Mon to Fri) 22nd June to 22nd September - Morning Trip (Sat & Sun) 3rd June to 30th August - Afternoon Trip (Mon to Fri)

Line used in filming the Harry Potter movies.

From Normanton, Wakefield, Woodlesford, Castleford & York 16th July to 5th September (Tues to Thurs) & Bank Holiday Monday 26th August

Adult York to Scarborough Return: £31 (Standard)

Children Travel Free with a paying adult

THE JOURNEY The Jacobite has been voted Greatest Railway Journey in the world for the second year running. This is due mainly to the breathtaking scenery that is only enhanced by the majesty and nostalgia of steam travel. The 84 mile round trip will take you past Britain’s highest mountain, deepest loch, shortest river and most westerly station. During the 42-mile journey to Mallaig you will first pass Ben Nevis and then climb into majestic mountains surrounding Glenfinnan, Finally, you will drop down to the sea’s edge and view the inner Hebridean islands, often shimmering like jewels on the horizon.

Travel by steam in traditional carriages across Yorkshire’s beautiful countryside. You can choose to board the train at York & travel return to Scarborough; or extend the journey on a circular route starting at York travelling via Normanton, Wakefield, Woodlesford, Castleford then either alight at York or travel on to Scarborough, following the same route back with the option to leave the train at York.

From the comfort of your seat, witness the beauty of the semi-wilderness of Lochaber and beyond.There really is no better way to enjoy the beauty and history of the West Highlands.

The Route Scarborough

TIMETABLE & PRICES Morning Service - Departs: 10:15 Returns: 16:00 Monday 13th May to Friday 25th October (Monday to Friday) Saturday & Sunday from Saturday 22nd June to Sunday 22nd September Afternoon Service - Departs: 14:30 Returns: 20:24 Monday 3rd June to Friday 30th August (Monday to Friday)



Castleford Wakefield Stations


Adult Day Return: £33 (Standard) Child Day Return: £19 (Standard)

Now Booking Both Journeys on 0844 850 3134 Tickets may be available on the day on the platform

Contents FOREWORD - BRIAN SIMPSON MEP............................................................................... 5 DAVID WOODHOUSE MBE, HRA TRAVEL TRADE LIAISON........................................ 7 NATIONAL CODE OF PRACTICE FOR VISITOR ATTRACTIONS................................ 9 COLOUR-CODED MAP OF REGIONS............................................................................ 10 INDEX OF HERITAGE RAILWAYS, TRAMWAYS, MUSEUMS & STEAM CENTRES............................................................................................................. 13 REGIONAL APPENDIX OF HERITAGE RAILWAYS.................................................16 – 65 INDEX OF ADVERTISERS................................................................................................ 66 Photo Credits

Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, Avon Valley Railway, Bala Lake Railway, Beamish – The Living Museum of The North, Bluebell Railway, Bodmin & Wenford Railway – Martin Creese, Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway, Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Bure Valley Railway, Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway, Churnet Valley Railway, Colne Valley Railway, Crich Tramway Village, Dartmoor Railway, Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company, Dean Forest Railway – John Carter, Didcot Railway Centre, Downpatrick & County Down Railway, East Anglian Railway Museum, East Lancashire Railway, Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway - © Gavin Clinton, Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, Foxfield Railway, Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, Great Central Railway - © Steve Taylor, Great Orme Tramway, Groudle Glen Railway, Gwili Railway, Isle of Man Steam Railway, Isle of Wight Steam Railway – John Faulkner, Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, Keith & Dufftown Railway, Kent & East Sussex Railway – Tony Eaton, Kirklees Light Railway, Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, Lartigue Monorailway & Museum, Launceston Steam Railway, The Lavender Line, Leighton Buzzard Railway, Llanberis Lake Railway, Llangollen Railway – Lewis Maddox, Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway, Manx Electric Railway – David Lloyd Jones, The Mid Hants Railway ‘Watercress Line’ – Matt Allen, Midland Railway, Butterley, Mid-Norfolk Railway – Fred Chapman, Mid-Suffolk Light Railway Museum, National Railway Museum, Nene Valley Railway, North Norfolk Railway – Poppy Line, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Peak Rail, Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway – Alistair Grieve, Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway - Ullswater ‘Steamers’, Ribble Steam Railway, Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway – Steve Town -, Seaton Tramway – Richard Nash, Severn Valley Railway, Snaefell Mountain Railway, Snowdon Mountain Railway, South Devon Railway, South Tynedale Railway, Spa Valley Railway, STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway, Strathspey Railway, Swanage Railway – Andrew P.M. Wright, Talyllyn Railway, Tanfield Railway, The Torbay Express – Mark Wilkins, Weardale Railway, Wells & Walsingham Light Railway – Ian J Williams, Welsh Highland Railway – Colin Lea, Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, Wensleydale Railway, West Coast Railways – Dick Manton, West Somerset Railway

Published by Blueprint Travel Media Ltd Publisher - Matthew Price Suite 1, Sabrina House, Sabrina Court, Longden Coleham, Shrewsbury SY3 7BF Tel: 01743 231135 Fax: 01743 243393 Email: Website:

Design & Production by: Wildfire Creative Tel: 01743 246882 Email: Website: THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE 2013 is distributed free of charge to a controlled circulation including members of the Group Travel Organisers Association, the Coach Tourism Council and UKinbound. © Blueprint Travel Media Ltd. The opinions expressed by all editorial contributors within this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. All care has been taken to ensure that the information contained within this guide is accurate at the time of going to press. The publisher cannot accept any liability for inaccuracies, omissions or amendments that arise after compilation. No part of this guide may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form whatsoever. Any infringement of the copyright will be vigorously pursued.

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


WE LOVE GROUPS! Why not try Foxfield? A lovely little railway in the heart of Staffordshire.


A quintessentially En glish cream tea runs on various dates - check website for available dates an d our tariff.

Foxfield offers a fine chance to enjoy the stunning scenery of North Staffordshire from the comfort of our steam hauled trains with comfortable carriages, the perfect way to relax for a 45 minute round trip to Dilhorne Park, a place partially enclosed by woodland but also offering awe inspiring views across the moorlands. *We have great incentives to tempt you to visit including a 50% discount off your first booking! Visit our website for information and booking details... *50% off does not include Cream Tea Trains and Santa Specials, other group rates apply.

Foxfield Railway

Caverswall Road, Blythe Bridge, ST11 9BG 01782 396210 ~

STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway

“Always a return trip�



The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

foreword When it comes to group tourism activities, Heritage Railways are an incredible and unique option. Journeys on heritage trains offer people the chance to relive their childhood, whilst young people are given an insight into our history and heritage. They are journeys that can include fantastic views, fine dining and even the opportunity to drive a locomotive.

“Journeys on heritage trains offer people the chance to relive their childhood, whilst young people are given an insight into our history and heritage.” Heritage Railways are therefore ideally suited to groups - be it for school trips, tourist sightseeing, birthday celebrations or family reunions. The romance of a heritage railway is a key element in attracting visitors to our sites. To experience a ride upon a steam train can evoke all kinds of memories as one glides through the splendour of the British countryside.

“To experience a ride upon a steam train can evoke all kinds of memories as one glides through the splendour of the British countryside.” Alongside offering an incredible passenger experience, those who work and volunteer in the heritage rail sector learn, develop and teach the traditional skills that keep this wonderful part of our history alive. Britain’s many Heritage Railways offer a great day out for groups of all kinds and I hope that you all have the opportunity to enjoy a unique historical experience.

Brian Simpson MEP

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


How about a delightful branchline jaunt through the woods of the ROYAL FOREST of DEAN?

DEAN FOREST RAILWAY The Friendly Forest Line

Ribble Steam Railway A fun family day out - whatever the weather! Enjoy a nostalgic journey along the banks of the River Ribble on board a steam train, then get hands on with the exhibits in our large indoor museum.

You can also take a look at the restorations underway in our workshop, browse in our gift shop and relax with a drink and a snack in our cafe. Full details of all attractions can be found on our website.

Find out the potential for a fascinating visit twixt Severn & Wye our volunteers are waiting to welcome you! See our website for further details or telephone us on 01594 845840 (daily 11am-4pm). Norchard Station, Forest Road, Lydney, Gloucestershire GL15 4ET


We hold a number of special children’s events throughout the year, from Friendly Engines Weekends to our ever-popular Santa Specials at Christmastime.

Chain Caul Rd., Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston PR2 2PD Tel: 01772 728800

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

A glance at the map in this guide will show that there is a heritage railway within easy reach of most parts of the UK & Ireland. Most are in scenic areas, with some running through national parks. All railways listed in this publication welcome enquiries and bookings from coach & tour operators and group travel organisers. Trains consist of historic or heritage coaches with steam as the normal motive power and many trains have a buffet car serving drinks and light refreshments. Days of operation and frequency of trains vary depending upon the location of each railway and the volunteer resources available to them. You will find detailed information in the following pages.

“All railways listed in this publication welcome enquiries and bookings from coach & tour operators and group travel organisers.” Catering facilities include station buffets and restaurants, many providing lunches and afternoon teas - very often of the cream variety, together with buffet cars on trains. Some railways provide Sunday Luncheon Specials and high quality “Wine and Dine” evening trains - often using restored historic Pullman Cars. Capacity on these services is, however, limited so advance booking is essential. Again, you will find more information in the following pages. Special charter trains for larger groups are possible on many railways subject to adequate advance arrangements and special interest tours with a guide, such as railways or engineering, are also possible. Disabled groups are not forgotten with specially adapted carriages and toilets available on many railways.

“Whatever your role in the travel trade business, we hope that you will consider including at least one heritage railway in your plans and itineraries.” The history and heritage of Britain’s railways are well-portrayed in museums – not only on a national basis by the excellent National Railway Museums at York and Shildon, but also in smaller museums and displays located at many heritage railways. All are worthy of allowing extra time for a visit. Whatever your role in the travel trade business, we hope that you will consider including at least one heritage railway in your plans and itineraries. Please contact the railway or railways of your choice – you will find them pleased to help.

David Woodhouse MBE Travel Trade Liaison

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Keeping the Golden Age of Steam Alive! Buckinghamshire Railway Centre is a working steam museum where you can step back in time as you view the giants of the steam age displayed on our spacious 25 acre site. The Centre boasts excellent facilities including a gift shop, museum, disabled parking and cafe.

      

Experience the Golden Age of Steam here at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. We look forward to your visit!

 

 

 

 

 

  

  or tel 01296 655720 Quainton Road Station, Quainton, near Aylesbury, Bucks HP22 4BY

 

Bala Lake Railways_Layout 1 16/02/2012 10:25 Page 1

• Refreshments • Picnic sites Room for coach turning and parking at Llanuwchllyn

Bala lake Railway The Station, llanuwchllyn ll23 7DD

01678 540666 8

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


(National Code of Practice for Visitor Attractions)

The owner and management have undertaken: 1.

To provide in promotional materials, an accurate description of the amenities, facilities and services of the Attraction.


To indicate on all such promotional materials any requirements for pre-booking, and any significant restrictions on entry.


To make available an Access Statement, describing the accessibility aspects of a visit to the Attraction, and to respect the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act by making suitable provision, where reasonable and practicable, for people with disabilities and/or those with special needs.


To describe accurately and display clearly :

b) Dates and hours of operation, both opening and closing.


To provide in promotional materials for visitor enquiries, a postal address, a telephone number (and where it exists, a website address) from which the detailed information specified in 1, 2, 3 and 4 can be obtained.


To provide signage and orientation information as appropriate to the Attraction, to assist visitors in understanding and enjoying the Attraction.


To consider the needs of visitors for whom English is not their first language and, as appropriate to the Attraction, to make arrangements that enable them to be adequately informed to enjoy their visit.


To manage the Attraction in such a way as to ensure visitor safety, comfort and service, by sustaining a high standard of maintenance, customer care, courtesy and cleanliness.


To ensure that all staff who meet visitors can provide information and guidance about the Attraction, and are readily distinguishable as staff, whether employees or volunteers.


To have regard to the need to manage and operate the Attraction in a sustainable way.


To provide, as appropriate to the nature, scale and location of the Attraction, coach, car, motor-cycle and bicycle parking, adequate toilets, and catering facilities. If any of these requirements cannot be made available on site, to provide information at appropriate points on where they can be found locally.


To hold a current public liability insurance policy or comparable Government indemnity, and to comply with all applicable planning, health, safety, fire and other statutory requirements and regulations.


To deal promptly and courteously with all enquiries, requests, reservations, correspondence and comments from visitors, and try to resolve any complaints on site at the time of the visit.


To provide a facility on site for comments to be recorded and to advise clearly the name and contact details (address, telephone and e-mail) of the person to whom comments by visitors should be addressed.


To display prominently this National Code of Practice.

a) Any charges for entry (including service charges and taxes where applicable), and any additional charges for individual attractions or special exhibitions.


In the event of any disruption to advertised train or tram services, each member will:

a) keep both passengers and prospective passengers as fully advised of the situation as circumstances permit, b) help to arrange alternative transport and facilities whenever necessary and practicable.

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Regional breakdown

South West South of England South East East of England Midlands North West Isle of Man Yorkshire & North East Wales Scotland Ireland


The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY One of the longest operational heritage lines in the UK (16 miles) running from Leeming Bar to Redmire in Wensleydale and the magnificent scenery of the Yorkshire Dales. A great day out for tourists, families, schools, ramblers and transport enthusiasts alike. The line passes through the market towns of Bedale and Leyburn, where there are a good range of shops and eating places. Redmire station is within easy reach of Bolton Castle, a spectacular mediaeval fortress where Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned. The railway also offers guided walks and excursions, Murder Mystery evenings, Aysgarth Station Open Days, Santa Specials and much more (see our website). Learn how to drive a diesel loco on our Driver Experience Days (from £99).



NO INCREASE IN PRICES IN 2013! Return adult rail fare (for the full line) from £12.50; senior citizens £11; child £6.25. Under 5 yrs travel free. Group discounts. Line operates from February to December. Wensleydale Railway, Leeming Bar Station, Leases Road, Leeming Bar, Northallerton North Yorkshire DL7 9AR Located on the A684 near junction 51 of the A1(M) T: 08454 50 54 74 E: W:



Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, Amberley, Near Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9LT. T: 01798 831370 E:

Group visits with a difference at Amberley Museum

At Amberley Museum we like to offer flexible and tailored visits to ensure they appeal to individual group requirements. We understand the financial restrictions of the current economic climate and work hard to keep our price as competitive as possible. Below is a list of what we can offer groups. Some elements have to be booked in advance and might be subject to additional charges. Behind the scenes tours Specialist demonstrations and talks by traditional craftspeople Free admission and meals for coach drivers Free coach parking Good disabled facilities Combined visits to Parham House and Gardens

Welcome onboard the oldest and longest narrow gauge railway in the Lake District National Park. This was one of Wainwright's favourite journeys taking you from the coastal village of Ravenglass to within sight of England's highest mountains.

71 71 01229 71 k avenglas steam@r raven The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide



STEAMED UP ON YOUR GROUP DAY OUT ted Conveniently situa Bath and between Bristol train ride, Combined steam p and tri at bo n river avo es available cream tea packag OL HARBO UR IST



Sundays from Easter to October Wednesdays in June and July Tuesdays to Thursdays during school holiday








GROUP DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE FREE coach parking on station forecourt FREE travel and refreshments for coach drivers

Avon Valley Railway, Bitton Station, Bath Road, Bitton,Bristol BS30 6HD

Tel: 0117 932 5538 /


The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

HERITAGE RAILWAYS, TRAMWAYS, MUSEUMS & STEAM CENTRES EAST OF ENGLAND Bure Valley Railway Colne Valley Railway East Anglian Railway Museum Mid-Norfolk Railway Mid-Suffolk Light Railway Museum Nene Valley Railway North Norfolk Railway (The Poppy Line)

Mid Hants Railway ‘Watercress Line’ Swanage Railway SOUTH EAST Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre Bluebell Railway Kent & East Sussex Railway The Lavender Line

National Railway Museum North Yorkshire Moors Railway Tanfield Railway Weardale Railway Wensleydale Railway THE ISLE OF MAN Groudle Glen Railway Isle of Man Steam Railway

Wells & Walsingham Light Railway

Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway


Spa Valley Railway

Snaefell Mountain Railway

Churnet Valley Railway



Avon Valley Railway

Bala Lake Railway

Bodmin & Wenford Railway

Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland

Dartmoor Railway


Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company

Great Orme Tramway

Great Central Railway Midland Railway, Butterley

Dean Forest Railway

Llanberis Lake Railway

Peak Rail

Launceston Steam Railway

Llangollen Railway

Severn Valley Railway

Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway

Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway

Snowdon Mountain Railway

Crich Tramway Village Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Foxfield Railway Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

NORTH WEST East Lancashire Railway Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway

Seaton Tramway South Devon Railway

Manx Electric Railway

Gwili Railway

Talyllyn Railway Welsh Highland Heritage Railway

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway

Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway

Ribble Steam Railway

Torbay Express

South Tynedale Railway


West Somerset Railway

Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway



Keith & Dufftown Railway

Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

Beamish – The Living Museum of the North

Strathspey Railway

Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway

West Coast Railways – The Jacobite

Didcot Railway Centre

Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway


Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

Downpatrick & County Down

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Kirklees Light Railway


Leighton Buzzard Railway

Locomotion - NRM Shildon

Lartigue Monorail & Museum

The The Heritage Heritage Railway Railway Association Association Group Group Travel Travel Guide Guide


Museums Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre

Beamish - The Living Museum of the North

So much to offer in a beautiful location Set within the South Downs National Park, Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre has something for everyone to enjoy. Over 30 special events are held throughout the year giving visitors a nostalgic and memorable experience. for more information.

Beamish is no ordinary museum - there are no glass cases and no ‘do not touch’ signs, you really can taste, see, hear and smell the past. Set in 300 acres of beautiful County Durham countryside, Beamish is a whole day out for groups of all ages and interests and is perfect for day trips or inclusion in short break holidays in North East England.

Step back in time A free historic bus service and recently extended narrow gauge railway enables visitors to savour traditional transport. Both services take visitors around the site to see resident craftspeople such as a potter, metal engraver, blacksmith and stained glass maker, and other areas of interest. Something for everyone The fabulous 36 acre open air site was once a busy chalk quarry and lime works. The buildings and kilns are now preserved and the Museum is dedicated to the industrial heritage of the South East and boasts some truly remarkable static and interactive exhibits:- Blacksmith’s Forge

- Woodturners

- Metal engraver

- Village Garage

- Pottery

- Electricity Hall

- Stained Glass Maker - Southdown Bus Garage - Print Workshop

- Railway Exhibition Hall

- Lime Kilns

- Narrow Gauge Railway

- Electricity Hall - Telecommunications Exhibition The site also offers a range of picturesque nature trails, hillside walks and picnic areas where a variety of wildlife can be studied and enjoyed. There is also a gift shop and restaurant on site. Contact name for Group Bookings: Main periods of operation: 13th March – 3rd November Coach parking facility: Yes and free Principal Group Rates: Adults: £8.80, Concessions: £7.80, Children (4-15yrs): £4.70 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: 10 or more

Two new fascinating exhibits will open at Beamish this year. In Spring, the 101-year-old Hetton Band Hall in The Pit Village will be complete and once again welcome brass bands though its doors. Later in the year in the awardwinning Town, an Edwardian bakery shop will open for business. Visitors can watch bread, pies and confectionery being made from traditional recipes, then buy the delicious goods to take home with them. Throughout the year, Beamish hosts an exciting programme of special events, all at no extra charge. This year look out for the first ever ‘Great North Festival of Transport’ in April 2013. Each weekend there’s a different transport theme, with something for everyone to enjoy. Contact name for group bookings: The Group Bookings Team Opening times: Main Season - 23rd Mar 2013 - 3rd Nov- 2013 All period areas open, 7 days a week, from 10am to 5pm. Winter Season - 4th Nov 2013 to 4th Apr 2014 Weekends:- The Town, Pit Village, Pockerley Old Hall, Home Farm, Rowley Station and Tramway are open 10am to 4pm. Midweek (Tues – Thurs):- Only The Town, Pit Village and Tramway are open from 10am to 4pm. Midweek winter discount prices apply. Christmas Season - Every weekend from 16th Nov2013 to 29th Dec 2013, plus 23rd, 24th and 26th Dec. The Town, Pit Village, Pockerley Old Hall, Home Farm, Rowley Station and Tramway are open from 10am to 4pm. Closed - Mondays and Fridays during Winter & Christmas seasons & Christmas Day. Last admission always 3pm. Allow at least 4 hours for a summer visit and up to 3 hours for a winter visit. Group admission charges (for parties of 15 or more) All year:- Adult – £11.00, Senior/student - £10.00, Child £6.00 (under 5s free) Midweek Winter Discount:- Adult/senior/student - £6.00, Child £5.00 Free admission for coach driver and Group Visit Organiser.

Conference Facilities available: Yes (arrange in advance of visit)

Free coach parking on hardstanding. Vouchers accepted by prior arrangement.

Amberley, Near Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9LT Tel: 01798 831370 • Fax: 01798 831831 E: W:

Beamish, County Durham DH9 0RG Tel: 0191 370 4026 E: W:

Catering available for Groups: Yes (arrange in advance of visit)


Beamish vividly brings the senses alive. See for yourself what life was like during Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian times – ride on the steam train and tramcars, pop into the Co-op shops, meet the farmer’s wife and go underground at a real drift mine.

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

Museums National Railway Museum

Get up close to locomotive legends Discover over 200 years of history and a million wonderful railway objects. Explore our giant halls full of engines and railway legends including Mallard, the world’s fastest steam locomotive, and the UK’s most majestic collection of royal carriages. Wander among thousands of curious treasures in our object-filled Warehouse, discover the museum’s hidden gems in our archive centre and watch the engineers hard at work in the Workshop. Coming spring 2013 Soak up the nostalgic atmosphere in our renovated Station Hall which tells the story of over a century of station life. Explore the different passenger journeys and travel back in time to experience working life in a station. Find out more at Mallard 75 Celebrate the 75th anniversary of Mallard becoming the world’s fastest steam locomotive with a never-before-seen gathering of all six surviving engines from the A4 class. Find out more at Museum facilities Groups can join any of our free guided tours which take place daily. For details and times, ask a member of our team when you get here. Enjoy morning coffee, afternoon tea or a hot meal in our restaurant or pre-book our luxurious Pullman carriage for private dining. As us for details and prices.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Customer Services team Opening hours: Open daily:10am-6pm. Closed: 24-26 December. Coach parking facility: Reserve coach parking to receive 2 for 1 rides on our road train, a 10% discount voucher in our shop and a free hot meal for your coach driver. Principal Group Rates: Free admission Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Free admission

STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway

STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway, tells the story of the men and women who built, operated and travelled on the Great Western Railway - ‘God’s Wonderful Railway’. Through the pioneering vision and genius of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, this railway network was regarded as the most advanced in the world. The museum is housed in a beautifully restored Grade II railway building in the heart of the former GWR Swindon Railway Works. Life-like characters, interactive exhibits and imaginative displays take you through the ages as the story of the Great Western Railway unfolds. Famous locomotives currently on display include GWR Castle Class No 4073 Caerphilly Castle, GWR 7800 Class No 7821 Ditcheat Manor and No 4003 Lode Star - the only remaining GWR 4000 Class locomotive. There’s plenty to do for all ages, including the chance to climb aboard famous locomotives, ‘drive’ the train simulator, change the signals in the interactive signal box and even visit the recreated Seaside Pier, with working vintage slot machines. Many special events run throughout the year, including special half-term and summer holiday activities and the Swindon Railway Festival (14 & 15 September). The Museum is open every day, throughout the year (except 24, 25 and 26 December and 1 January). You will find the museum right next to the Swindon Designer Outlet which is tastefully built inside further renovations of the historic GWR Swindon site. From the M4, take junction 16. For all directions, follow the brown tourist signs for Designer Outlet Centre or the ‘M’ for museum sign. STEAM is located in the Rodbourne area of Swindon, just a few minutes north-west of the town centre. For current admission prices, please see the STEAM website at For group bookings, please call the STEAM Groups Co-ordinator on 01793 466637 or email Or contact STEAM by post at:

Catering available for Groups: Yes

STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway, Fire Fly Avenue, Swindon SN2 2EY

Conference Facilities available: Yes

Information hotline (24 hours): 01793 466646

Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ Tel: 01904 686263 E: W:

Fire Fly Avenue, Swindon SN2 2EY Tel. 01793 466637 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


East of England Bure Valley Railway

Colne Valley Railway

The is Norfolk’s longest fifteen-inch gauge steam railway and operates between the old market town of Aylsham and the bustling Broads town of Wroxham and is within easy reach of Norwich and the coast. It was built on the track bed of part of the former Great Eastern Railway and the nine mile line runs through the picturesque Bure Valley countryside, following the meandering river through meadowland and ancient pastures, stopping occasionally at small country villages. A foot and cycle path also runs alongside the track, giving the option of walking or cycling in one direction and catching the train back!

Near the Essex/Suffolk border at Castle Hedingham, close to the towns of Braintree, Sudbury and Clare, you will find this pretty railway operating on a section of the old Colne Valley & Halstead Railway trackbed.

The purpose built headquarters of the line is situated in Aylsham. The buildings were erected in 1989 to a traditional railway design and house a large gift and model railway shop, the Whistlestop Café and a tourist information centre. The Whistlestop Café can seat up to 80 people and can provide everything from a cup of tea to a full meal. A specially priced 2-course group menu is also available. The railway’s workshops are also based at Aylsham and are often open to the public. The entire railway is on a single level, providing easy access for wheelchair passengers. All trains have special wheelchair accessible coaches which allow wheelchair and able bodied passengers to travel together. All coaches are fully enclosed and upholstered, with heating during the winter months. Trains operate on a daily basis from the beginning of April to the end of October with special events throughout the year and seasonal packages available during November and December. The railway also offers a very popular boat train which gives the opportunity for a journey by steam followed by a cruise on the Norfolk Broads.

Since 1974 it has been manned entirely by volunteers who have moved and re-located buildings including the station from the village of Castle Hedingham and signal boxes from Wrabness and Cressing. With just under a mile of track we offer ‘More Than Just A Train Ride’ with our varied collection of steam and diesel locomotives, carriages and rolling stock including a Travelling Post Office, large ‘00’ gauge model railway and (weather permitting) miniature and garden railways. There is also a woodland walk open May-September. There is an excellent buffet car and well-stocked shop selling souvenirs, books and models. We have disabled access to trains and most parts of the site although the signal box and buffet are not wheelchair accessible at the moment (please check for updates). We can cater for pre-booked groups between March and October, either on an operating day or as a private visit. Catering is available in our buffet carriage which offers home-made food ranging from hot meals to cream teas. Discount rate applies to groups of 15 or more. Complimentary ticket and meal voucher for your coach driver. We also run Pullman Dining Services which can be tailored to your needs and can be either static, steam or diesel hauled. Please contact us for details.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Judith Harvey Main periods of operation: Daily 23 March – 3 November 2013 Coach parking facility: Dedicated free coach parking at both Aylsham & Wroxham Stations


Principal Group Rates: Single Train: £7.50 Adults £4.50 Children (5-16), Return Train: £11.00 Adults £6.00 Children (5-16), Single Train & Cruise: £14.00 Adults £10.00 Children (5-16), Return Train & Cruise: £17.00 Adults £11.50 Children (5-16)

Contact name for Group Bookings: Sally Halls

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 200

Principal Group Rates: Contact railway for information

Catering available for Groups: 80-seater cafe at Aylsham Station which is open daily and serves a wide range of hot & cold snacks, drinks & full meals. In addition, a special 2-course group lunch is available by prior arrangement.

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15

Aylsham Station, Norwich Road, Aylsham, Norfolk NR11 6BW Tel: 01263 733858 • Fax: 01263 733814 E: W:

Yeldham Road, Castle Hedingham, Essex CO9 3DZ Tel: 01787 461174 • Fax: 01787 462254 E: W:

Main periods of operation: March to October Coach parking facility: Yes

Catering available for Groups: Max 60 Sidings Buffet (railway carriage hence max no.)

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

East of England East Anglian Railway Museum

The East Anglian Railway Museum based just outside Colchester, is a working museum dedicated to preserving the history of railways in the East of England. It is based at Chappel Station which is still part of the National Rail system on a local branch line. The museum is a large open air site with a comprehensive collection of railway architecture including stations and signal boxes, locomotives, carriages, wagons and ephemera. Set in Constable Country adjacent to one of the largest railway viaducts in the East of England, the Victorian buildings tell the story of railways in the Eastern counties from the 1840’s through to the 21st Century and display artefacts about local and regional railway history, and the development of both freight and passenger traffic. Discounts are offered for group visits of 10 or more people. Catering packages and guided tours are available for groups but require advance notice. There are numerous special events throughout the year including popular beer and cider festivals. What else is in the area? There are several attractions around Colchester including Colchester Zoo, Hollytrees Museum and Bourne Mill. You are in the heart of Constable Country here so a tour round is also a good idea.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Karen Nelson Main periods of operation: All year except Christmas Day & Boxing Day

NENE VALLEY RAILWAY Tick the right boxes

Happy Customers Easy Access / Parking Great Group Rates Awesome Cafe Profitable Tours

Coach parking facility: At front of station Principal Group Rates: £3.60 Adult, £3.15 Senior, £1.80 Child Steam days: £7.20 Adult, £6.30 Senior, £3.60 Child Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 100 Catering available for Groups: By prior arrangement only. Light meals, drinks, ice creams.

Chappel Station, Colchester, Essex CO6 2DS Tel: 01206 242524 • Fax: 01787 224473 E: W:

Called & Booked Nene Valley Railway t: 01780 784444 e: Charity Number : 263617

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


East of England Mid-Norfolk Railway

Mid-Suffolk Light Railway Museum

The Mid Norfolk Railway is different to many of the heritage lines in Britain in that it is home to a diverse and expanding collection of diesel locomotives. Boring? – Not at all! These locos have loads of character and sound great, bringing back memories of the slightly more recent history of rail travel. In addition to the timetabled passenger services, the Mid Norfolk also runs regular commercial freight trains as well as the occasional rail tour.

The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway is Suffolk’s only heritage railway museum and recreates the meandering light railway built at the start of the 20th century. As well as dedicated displays about the line’s history in its purpose-built museum, the MSLR runs steam trains on its demonstration line which are typical of those which ran on the line before it closed in 1952.

Dereham station is the headquarters of the railway. It boasts a shop, tea room and museum and has a large car park which is suitable for coaches. Wymondham Abbey station is about a mile from the line’s connection with the national rail network. The car park here is too small for coaches but it is possible to pick up passengers here. Groups can travel on any timetabled service and a representative of the railway will travel with your party in especially reserved carriages. Most groups do a return journey from Dereham which takes around 1½ hours. Single journeys are possible but attract a lower discount. Pre-booked catering is available for groups.

Vintage four-wheeled, wooden-bodied coaches transport you back to the Edwardian era when the line that ran “from nowhere to the middle of a field” provided a vital link to the isolated communities it served. Our themed event days include visiting model railways, miniature steam powered models, a recreation of the railway during the years of World War II and emergency vehicles.

The railway offers four packages for groups in association with other attractions. A trip on the line can be followed by a visit to Gooderstone Water Gardens, a cruise on the Rivers Wensum and Yare (from central Norwich), a visit to Gressenhall Farm and Museum of Norfolk Life or a visit to the Caithness Glass Visitor centre. All packages include lunches, and tea or light refreshments. More details of these packages can be found in the group section of the website. What else is in the area? In addition to the attractions mentioned above, Dereham is mid way between King’s Lynn and Norwich and also within easy reach of the Norfolk Boards and the coast. Inland, Thetford Forest is also close by. Contact name for Group Bookings: Andrea Smith

Along with our real ale bar, shop, refreshment room, picnic area and idyllic surroundings, a visit to the MSLR is a perfect day out for all the family. The railway also offers; driver experience days where you can learn to drive and fire our steam engine for a day under the guidance of our experienced volunteers; and Santa Specials where children can experience a train journey to see the railway Santa in his grotto at the end of the line. For full details, see Groups are welcome but contacting the railway in advance is advisable to ensure coach parking is available. What else is in the area? Bressingham Steam Museum and gardens are well worth a visit. The Mechanical Music Museum in Cotton and the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket are also good local attractions.

Main periods of operation: March - October weekends, May - October plus Wednesday. July - August plus Tuesdays & Thursdays, Bank Holidays. Coach parking facility: Dereham Principal Group Rates: 10% discount pax. 20% - 20-60 pax based on full return fares. Above 60 pax is negotiable.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Chris Baddeley

Steam Services run Weekends from June to August. Heritage Diesel services at all other times

Coach parking facility: Yes

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 150 Catering available for Groups: Tearooms at Dereham Station up to 100 The Railway Station, Station Road, Dereham, Norfolk NR19 1DF Tel: 01362 851 723 • Fax: 01362 698 487 E: W:


Main periods of operation: Easter to end of September Principal Group Rates: 10% discount on standard rates Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 54 Catering available for Groups: Snacks rather than full hot meals Brockford Station, Wetheringsett, Stowmarket IP14 6PW Groups Tel: 01473 890 622 • Railway Tel: 01449 766899 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

East of England Nene Valley Railway


What’s in it for you... The tour operator? Steam locomotives, plenty of track (7.5 miles) through the picturesque Nene Valley, rural and river views aswell as a station at the other end of the line that’s only a short walk from Peterborough’s busy city centre and magnificent medieval Cathedral. That’s all very nice, but let’s be honest it’s nothing that’s not expected from any top-line heritage railway. Why should you visit us? Simply because we understand what’s vital for you is a great value package. This means that the inclusive price that you offer to your customers doesn’t break their bank but still makes you a decent profit. We will help you to put together a tempting package that appeals to your customers; maybe offer them a cream tea on the train or one of our ever popular ploughman’s lunch options. If you add to this our ease of access, rather than twisting turning through the by-ways (pretty but eats the diesel!) our unique position literally a minute from the A1 puts us only an hour north of London and on easy A roads within striking distance of the West Midlands and beyond. When you arrive there is plenty of room for coach parking literally within a stone’s throw of the station buildings (we don’t make you park up in a field miles away). We understand that by helping you we help ourselves, so why not give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll make some profit together!

North Norfolk’s Poppy Line steam railway

• Magnificent views of coast and country between Sheringham • • • • •

and Holt Big mainline steam engines, 3 superb Victorian stations Easily reached from Norwich, Cromer and Gt Yarmouth Discounts for groups of 20 – 200 Free travel for group organiser, free refreshments for driver Free parking at Holt station by arrangement Visit or call 01263 820 800

NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY Sheringham Station NR26 8RA. Holt Station NR25 6AJ



Wells & Walsingham Light Railway

Contact name for Group Bookings: Just call the main number and somebody will help. Main periods of operation: Feb to December. All weekends, school holidays. Plus most days in April to October. Santa specials throughout December. See web for details. Coach parking facility: Yes Principal Group Rates: Adult £12 (£15) Child £6 (£8 ) Senior £ 10 (£12) Standard fares in brackets Number of passengers required for Group Rate: 20 Catering available for Groups: Yes, either special order or general cafe fare. Conference Facilities available Wansford Station (A1) Old Great North Road, Stibbington, Peterborough PE8 6LR Tel: 01780 784444 • Fax: 01780 784440 E: W:

- OPEN 7 days a week FROM 29th MARCH to 3rd NOVEMBER 2013 Visit our website for further details, fares and the daily timetables. Group & Coach Tour discounts. Evening charter trains available.

Wells & Walsingham Light Railway, Stiffkey Road, Wells next-the-sea, Norfolk, NR23 1QB Tel: 01328 711630 (8am to 5pm)

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


East of England North Norfolk Railway (The Poppy Line)

Wells & Walsingham Light Railway

The coastal area to the west of Sheringham is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and one of the best ways to appreciate its splendid views is from a vintage carriage in a steam train on North Norfolk’s Poppy Line heritage railway. The trains run along the coast to Weybourne, and then turn inland to climb through the pines, gorse and heather of Kelling Heath up to a terminus at Holt (High Kelling), just outside the elegant Georgian market town of Holt. The round trip from either Sheringham or Holt takes just over an hour.

Main periods of operation: Easter (28th March) – 4th November, plus Santa Specials, December weekends

This delightful little 10¼” gauge railway runs from the North Norfolk coastal town of Wells next-the-sea to the famous pilgrimage town of Walsingham. Though diminutive in size, it is the longest steam railway of this gauge in the world. The four mile journey through the beautiful Norfolk countryside takes just 30 minutes. Born out of one man’s passionate dream, hard work and sheer determination, aptly, the railway opened on Good Friday 1982 using “Pilgrim”, an 0-6-0 steam engine. Other steam engines have followed including Garratt locomotives “Norfolk Hero” and new sister locomotive “Norfolk Heroine” (named after Edith Cavell). The new engine was part funded by a grant from the Norfolk Coast and Broads Local Action Group supported by the RDPE. These two engines now ensure that a reliable steam hauled service runs throughout the season using open, covered and enclosed carriages catering for all weather conditions. The best way of seeing this lovely pair of little locos is when they are run together, “double headed”, on special and evening charter trains. The railway runs daily from 29th March to 3rd November 2013 with a timetable service of up to five trains a day running at peak holiday times. “Christine’s” the Station Buffet next to the signal box at Wells Station has an excellent selection of refreshments including locally caught crab and prawns served in salads and sandwiches. Coach parties are very welcome by prior arrangement; bookings should be made well in advance of the required date. What else is in the area? Also in the area are the Shrines in Walsingham, Walsingham Abbey Grounds and the Shirehall Museum. More information can be found at Nearby is Holkham Hall which offers a bygones museum, gardens, nature trail and much more.

Coach parking facility: Public coach parking close by Sheringham Station. Parking at Holt Station by prior arrangement.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Lt. Cmdr Roy Francis

Principal Group Rates: 10% discount for groups of 20-200, giving £9.90 adult, £9 senior and £6.75 child 5 - 15.

The main period of operation : 29th March to 3rd November, 7 days a week. Timetable service – see website

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 200

Coach parking facility: Coach Park about 300 yds from Walsingham Station, NR22 6BT

There is a station buffet and giftshop at Sheringham, and refreshments and souvenirs at Weybourne and Holt stations. Holt station, the oldest on the Poppy Line, was built as the station for Stalham on the Broads in 1878, and was carefully moved and re-erected here 125 years later. It’s the heart of a fascinating railway heritage centre. The William Marriott Museum, named after the man who built the railway and ran it for forty years, is next to the station in a replica goods shed, alongside vintage freight wagons (including a carriage specially built to transport racing pigeons). During the summer, a set of vintage fairground barley-sugar gallopers and a miniature railway feature in the freight yard. The Poppy Line is a full-size standard gauge railway, operating big mainline engines from the golden age of steam. In the high summer season and at bank holidays, steam trains run every 45 minutes; for most of the rest of the year, a mixed service of steam and vintage diesel trains provides up to 10 trains a day each way. Contact name for Group Bookings: Samantha Eady or Vinny Blake

Catering available for Groups: Lunch or dinner trains may be hired by prior arrangement. Sheringham Station Buffet open to groups, but not exclusively.


Principal Group Rates: 10% reduction on all fares Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 50

Conference Facilities available: (10 – 50 person capacity).Catering available. Facilities in Railway Institute at Holt Station but static carriage also available by arrangement.

Catering available for Groups: Excellent catering facilities at “Christine’s” - the Station Buffet at Wells Station. Good facilities in both Wells & Walsingham.

The Station, Sheringham, Norfolk NR26 8RA and Holt Station NR25 6AJ Tel: 01263 820 800 • Fax: 01263 820 801 E: W:

Stiffkey Road, Wells Next-the-Sea, Norfolk NR23 1QB Tel: 01328 711630 (8am to 5pm only) W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Crich Tramway ad_Layout 1 27/09/2010 18:05 Page 1

Churnet Valley Railway

The Churnet Valley Railway, is one of the Staffordshire Moorlands’ most popular attractions. It is a picturesque heritage Steam Railway that runs through Staffordshire’s Little Switzerland, the Churnet Valley. It meanders alongside the Caldon Canal and the River Churnet for a delightful nostalgic 10.5 mile return Steam Train journey. Kingsley & Froghall Station has ample parking and disabled access. It is also home to our award winning traditional Tea Room which provides snacks and hot meals. The railways Souvenir Shop is also located here and is open on all running days and sells railway souvenirs, DVDs, books and toys including of course, “Thomas the Tank”. The station is located beside The Railway Public House and only a short walk from the recently restored Froghall Canal Wharf and Information Centre. Consall Station has no public road access making it very quiet and isolated in its situation beside the weir on River Churnet where the canal splits from the river. Also nearby are the Lime Kilns and the award winning Black Lion Public House. As well as the canal tow path more energetic walkers can climb the Devils Staircase! At Cheddleton Station you can visit the Railway’s Engine Sheds and its small Railway Artifacts Museum. The station is located near The Boat Public House and about a mile walk from Cheddleton’s Flint Mill and the 13th century St Edwards Church with its famous stained glass windows and painted ceiling. All three stations make a splendid day out for all the family.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Admin Office Main periods of operation: Sundays Easter – end September. Saturdays Easter – June, July & August. Every Wed, July & August, plus all Bank Holiday Mondays. Coach parking facility: Cheddleton Station & Froghall Principal Group Rates: 10% discount when pre-booked Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 200 Catering available for Groups: By arrangement on trains & stations. Near Leek, Staffordshire Moorlands, Kingsley & Froghall Station ST10 2HA Cheddleton Station ST13 7EE Tel: 01538 750755 • Fax: 01538 758496 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Midlands Crich Tramway Village National Tramway Museum

Crich Tramway Village has developed into one of Derbyshire’s most unique visitor attractions in the East Midlands. Beautifully restored trams run to and fro down a cobbled street past the former Derby Assembly rooms before passing under the Bowes-Lyon Bridge. Then climbing a mile and a half of track that provides breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and Derwent Valley. Experience the fascinating Woodland Walk & Sculpture Trail which winds its way back to the village or remain on the tram and be dropped off outside The Red Lion Pub and Tearooms before visiting the fascinating Workshop Viewing Gallery. Or maybe wonder around the period shops on the authentic village street. For the less able, there is a specially restored access tram as well as a ‘smooth’ way around the museum and ramps and lifts to make every part of the museum accessible for all. Groups are catered for with pre-booked guided tours, special discounted admission, group catering arrangements, free coach parking and free admission and meal for the coach driver. If you would like to find out more or make a booking, please call us now on 01773 854321 or visit What else is in the area? Crich is on the edge of the Peak District, home of the famous Blue John Caverns and also some stunning and rugged scenery. The village of Matlock Bath is a designated conservation area and there is something for everyone in this beautiful old spa town but the jewel in its crown is the stunning cable car ride up to the Heights of Abraham.

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

With its headquarters in the fine old Peak District market town of Wirksworth, the Ecclesboume Valley line, at nine miles, is Derbyshire’s longest heritage railway. The line runs through some of the most pleasant scenery in the White Peak, from its joint station with the main line at Duffield to its northern terminus at Ravenstor, close to the High Peak Trail and the National Stone Centre. The line provides services mainly operated by heritage diesel railcars, with four trains a day on summer weekends and on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the high summer. The timetable is designed to connect with East Midlands Trains’ services to and from Derby and Nottingham. Steam hauled services are also operated at peak periods, please call us to check what is running. The line is very close to Carsington Water, with many coach tour visitors spending time at the lake before or after travelling on the Railway. Kedleston Hall and the Crich Tramway Village are other conveniently close and popular destinations which many of the lines’ visitors share. Coach parties may also spend time in Wirksworth, where there is an interesting Heritage Centre and a range of shops and cafes. The Railway can accommodate coaches in its large parking area at Wirksworth Station and has facilities in its Pullman Buffet to provide afternoon teas or buffets for coach sized groups. Coach Drivers have a free place and are most welcome to use the facilities at Wirksworth Station while their group is travelling, or to join them. What else is in the area? For a railway or heritage themed visit, you could also visit the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley, Peak Rail at Matlock or the Crich Tramway Village, which is close by. For a visit with a broader theme, there is a fine lake and excellent visitor facilities at Carsington Water, or Kedleston Hall, or Arkwrights Mill at Cromford or shopping at the nearby Masson Mills. Contact name for Group Bookings: Leigh Gration Main periods of operation: March to end of October Coach parking facility: Ample free parking at Wirksworth Station

Contact name for Group Bookings: Laura Greaves

Principal Group Rates: All line £9.00 Adult; £5.00 Child

Main periods of operation: April to October

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min:10.

Coach parking facility: Free - close to entrance

Catering available for Groups: Lunches & Afternoon teas available for up to 80

Principal Group Rates: Adult - £10, Senior - £9, Child - £6 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Catering available for Groups: Booked in advance. Crich, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 5DP Tel: 01773 854321 • Fax: 01773 854320 E: W:


Conference Facilities available: (2 – 20 person capacity): Catering provided in Buffet Car or in room. Wirksworth Station, Station Road, Wirksworth, Derbyshire DE4 4FB Tel: 01629 823076 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide



THE PERFECT DAY OUT FOR ANY GROUP! Journey back in time & enjoy a leisurely 16 mile steam train ride along the beautiful Severn Valley. Make a stop at The Engine House Visitor Centre, where you can view our locomotives, The King George VI Royal Saloon and much more. Restaurant facilities are available for a hot meal, snack or just a drink. Groups of 15-300 can be booked in advance, generous discounts available. For further information contact the Assistant Visitor Services Manager Tel: 01299 403816 E-mail: The Railway Station, Bewdley, Worcestershire DY12 1BG

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Midlands Foxfield Railway

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

The Foxfield Railway, in Staffordshire (just one mile from the A50 between Stoke and Uttoxeter), offers attractive group rates for all parties on most days throughout the year; from a 45 minute return trip behind a steam engine to one of our highly recommended ‘Cream Tea’ trains we are happy to tailor your visit to suit your needs, visit the Group Travel page on our website for more details of how we can help you.

With the full line now open, the GWSR offers a 25-mile round trip between Cheltenham Racecourse, Winchcombe and Toddington Stations and on to Laverton (no station), through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Cotswolds. The journey takes in panoramic views of the Black Mountains, the Shropshire Hills and, closer to home, the Malvern hills and the Vale of Evesham, all with rolling Cotswold Hills along the other side of the track. Close to Winchcombe Station is Greet tunnel which, at 693 yards, is the second longest on a preserved railway, whilst just north of Toddington Station the route passes across the 15-arch Stanway Viaduct.

The railway boldly crosses open moorland, hills and woodland as it climbs through the countryside to Dilhorne Park, a place so majestic the trappings of modern life are nowhere to be seen. The beauty of woodlands full of bluebells throughout the Spring or the views over the Staffordshire Moorlands during the summer are truly spectacular. Foxfield has some great facilities on offer including the Café serving hot and cold food, Real Ale Bar and Shop which are all located at the headquarters of Caverswall Road. The spacious car park can accommodate the biggest of coaches with full facilities being made available to drivers and tour guides during visits. What else is in the area? Staffordshire has many attractions within easy reach of Foxfield. Blackbrook Zoo, Gladstone Pottery Museum and many other tourist hotspots offer great group packages so why not combine your railway visit with one of these great places.

For 2013 the GWSR is operating an extensive timetable to take full advantage of all the railway’s facilities, as well as holding a variety of special events throughout the year to suit all tastes. Most trains are hauled by heritage steam locomotives, complemented by some heritage diesel locomotives and restored railcars. Groups may start their journey from any of the three stations, and various journey options and durations are possible depending on the starting point. Group rover tickets are also available, enabling groups to spend the day as they wish travelling on the railway, perhaps taking in the shop, the small museum and the new heritage trail around Toddington Station. There is plenty of free parking for cars and coaches at all three stations. For those who wish to combine a visit to the GWSR with other local venues, there is a wealth of Cotswold attractions nearby. Contact name for group bookings: Claudette Oddy Main periods of operation: February to October plus Christmas to New Year

Contact name for Group Bookings: Richard Barnett Main periods of operation: Easter to October and December Coach parking facility: Tarmacked carpark for 6 coaches Principal Group Rates: POA, substantial discounts on our ‘turn up and go fares’ visit our group travel page on our website.

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: 20 (smaller discount for 10-19 passengers)

Catering available for Groups: On-site cafe provides home cooked meals & desserts to suit requirements.

Catering available for Groups: Light refreshments can be purchased from the buffet on most trains (except the DMU), from the Flag & Whistle Tea Room at Toddington Station, and from the small 1950’s style café at Winchcombe Station. A wider range of refreshments are available if pre-booked, including cream teas and fish & chip lunches served on the train.

Caverswall Road, Blythe Bridge ST11 9BG Tel: 01782 396210 E: W:

The Railway Station, Toddington, Gloucestershire GL54 5DT Tel: 01242 621405 (answerphone when not manned) E: W:

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 25 Max: 200


Principal Group Rates: £12.80 return or £8.50 single for full length of line (20+ passengers)

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

Visit Wirksworth Gem of the Peak District Close to Carsington Water for a full day tour

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway 01629 823076

Peak Rail

Free coach parking • Specially adapted carriage for wheelchairs Coach drivers provided for • Discounts for group travel Afternoon and Cream Teas during summer months on the train. Peak Rail plc, Matlock Station, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3NA Tel: 01629 580381 Fax: 01629 760645 Website: Email:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Midlands Great Central Railway

Midland Railway, Butterley

The Great Central Railway is the perfect venue for coach parties looking to relive the romance of rail travel. Located in the heart of Leicestershire this is a big award winning railway, with large engines, historic stations and lots to catch the eye.

The Midland Railway, Butterley is dedicated to the history of the Midland Railway and its successors.

Enjoy hearty refreshments at our station tea rooms. Alternatively tuck into breakfast or take afternoon tea on the move as your steam train makes its way between Loughborough and Leicester with views over Charnwood Forest and Bradgate park. We’re perfect for a full - or half day out and we can recommend other great attractions nearby like the National Space Centre. There’s a small exhibits museum which tells the story of this historic line and for enthusiasts exclusive guided tours of the locomotive works can be arranged. Many film and television programmes including Enigma, The Hours and Shadowland have been produced at the railway so you’ll be walking in the footsteps of stars! We stage a wealth of really special events. The War Time Weekend in June is one of the biggest in the country and our steam galas in January and October are not to missed. The GCR couldn’t be easier to find. Just ten minutes from J23 of the M1, there is on-street parking for coaches at Loughborough station and a large car park with easy access to the platform at Quorn station. We offer discounts for parties of more than 15 with drivers and guides travelling for free. We look forward to welcoming you!

On arrival at Butterley Station there is ample coach and car parking. Butterley Station was erected in 1981 and is originally from Whitwell in North Derbyshire. Here you can visit the garden railway in Butterley Goods Yard and Alfreton Model Railway. There are also catering and shop facilities on the platform. The train journey is via Riddings Junction to Swanwick Junction museum complex, and passengers alight there to visit the many attractions. These include the Matthew Kirtley Museum, the Golden Valley narrow gauge railway, the Victorian tin tabernacle church, The West Shed (home of impressive express locomotives Princess Margaret Rose & The Duchess of Sutherland), the Stationary Power Museum, Midland Road Transport Museum, Butterley Park miniature railway and Swanwick Junction model railway. There are also catering and shop facilities here. Many of the buildings have been transported from other sites to Swanwick Junction and re-erected by the volunteers, for example, the station building is originally from Syston in Leicestershire, and the gatehouse from St Marys Goods Yard in Derby. Access to the large country park is from Swanwick Junction. The return journey to Butterley Station is via Hammersmith Station where the steam or diesel locomotive can be watched as it runs round the train. Packages for groups can be tailor made to suit your requirements. Guided tours are available by arrangement. Discounts are available for parties of 15 or more passengers. Catering packages can be provided with dining in Johnsons Buffet, on the train or as a picnic option.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Booking Office Main periods of operation: Weekends throughout the year: selected weekdays during the summer. Also special events. Coach parking facility: On-street parking at Loughborough; car park at Quorn (weekends) Principal Group Rates: 10% reduction on groups of 15 or over. Coach drivers & guides travel for free. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15 Catering available for Groups: Snacks, Griddle Car (all-day breakfasts,afternoon teas etc) through to luxury dining services.

Great Central Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 1RW Tel: 01509 632323 • Fax: 01509 239 791 E: W:


Contact name for group Bookings: Alan Calladine Main periods of operation: Weekends throughout the year & weekdays in school holidays Coach parking facility: At Butterley Station (Free) Principal Group Rates: Small groups attract a 10% discount, larger groups need to contact the railway for details. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 12 Max: 120 Catering available for Groups: Dining Trains available & static catering in two buffets. Butterley Station, Ripley, Derbyshire DE5 3QZ Tel: 01773 747674 • Fax: 01773 570721 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

Midlands Peak Rail

Severn Valley Railway

Peak Rail operates regular steam and diesel hauled passenger trains between Rowsley and Matlock, through the Derwent Valley.

Take a journey back in time on one of the most famous standard gauge heritage railways in the country. The one hour and 10 minute steam train journey runs between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth, a medieval market town on the River Severn with its old quayside, gardens and lovely Georgian architecture. The railway uses period carriages hauled by historic steam locomotives, with stops at the delightful ‘time-warp’ stations of Bewdley, Arley, Highley and Hampton Loade. The highlight of the trip must be crossing the River Severn on the Victoria Bridge, a massive 200 foot single span bridge, high above the water. If some of the sights and stations seem familiar it is because the line is a popular filming location and many famous productions have been made here. The Engine House Visitor Centre in the heart of the Shropshire countryside beside Highley station houses the Railway’s reserve collection of steam locomotives and other displays connected with the railway and its important place in railway preservation. There are often temporary displays and special events there. The Flag & Whistle Food Stop has great panoramic views of the valley and offers group catering packages. Coaches can be accommodated at Kidderminster and Bridgnorth stations by prior arrangement only. Our new Group Travel information pack for 2013 for visits to the railway and the Engine House is full of fantastic ideas for days out for groups. The popular combined visits are back for another year with Blists Hill at Ironbridge called ‘Victorian and Steam’, Choc and Steam with Cadbury World is a must for all chocolate lovers along with combined visits to the Black Country Living Museum. We’ve also joined forces with West Midlands Safari Park appropriately named Wild Tracks and also Bewdley Museum where you can explore the town and its history.

Rowsley Station is the northern terminus of the railway and its main base, set in 28 acres, on the site of the former locomotive depot. Facilities here include free parking, a large buffet, ticket office, exhibition area, station master’s office and gift shop. There is also a large picnic area and a narrow gauge railway. Rowsley is the best choice for groups with ample parking for over 200 vehicles. Along the line, Darley Dale station, with its gothic style buildings, make it the most picturesque and photographed of all the stations. Restoration work continues here to bring this lovely station back to its former glory. Since mid 2011, the temporary terminus of Matlock Riverside is no longer used and trains run into Platform 2 of Matlock Station. There is a pay and display council run car park next to the station. Groups can do a single or return journey which must be pre-booked. Discounted fares are available on all normal operating days but not always when there is a special event. For people with disabilities Peak Rail has a specially adapted carriage which is fully accessible for wheelchairs, and is available on all service trains. What else is in the area? Of course no visit to Peak Rail would be complete without a visit to Matlock and Matlock Bath with the Heights of Abraham and its stunning cable car ride being very close by. A little further afield is Crich Tramway and the Peak District National Park and attractions mentioned in the Crich section.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Lisa Smith Main periods of operation: Open daily from May 4th – October 2nd 2013. All School holidays and most other weekends. See website for full information. Coach parking facility: Free parking at Kidderminster, Bewdley & Bridgnorth station.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Claire Statham / Steve Slinn Main periods of operation: March - December Coach parking facility: Free Principal Group Rates: 10% for 10-30 visitors. 15% for 30+ visitors

Group Rates 2013: For pre-booked groups of 15 or more adults/ seniors on timetable A, B or C - £9.00 per person for a single journey Kidderminster to Bridgnorth. £13.30 per person for a return journey. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15 Max: No max subject to prior arrangement

Catering available for Groups: Buffet on station & on train.

Catering available for Groups: pre-booked catering is available by prior arrangement at The Engine House at Highley & The Valley Suite at Kidderminster Station.

Matlock Station, Matlock DE4 3NA Tel: 01629 580381 • Fax: 01629 760 645 E: W:

The Railway Station, Bewdley, Worcestershire DY12 1BG Tel: 01299 403816 • Fax: 01299 400839 E: W:

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


North West East Lancashire Railway

Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

A ride on the East Lancashire Railway is a journey of discovery and unforgettable experiences. Be inspired by the stunning scenery of the Irwell Valley and discover picturesque towns and villages along our 12-mile route! Whether it’s a history talk at Bury Transport Museum, a scrumptious afternoon tea onboard our dining carriages, exploring the many attractions along the line or simply combining your visit to Bury Market or Manchester with a steam train ride; we will make your day truly memorable. Housed in the Grade II listed Castlecroft goods warehouse dated back to 1848, Bury Transport Museum offers a fascinating glimpse at the world of transport. Beautifully restored vehicles, hands-on exhibits and captivating personal stories explain the development of transport and peoples’ jobs and lives in the North West and private talks and tours offer you and your group a unique insight to our impressive collection. Discover the world of luxury train travel and vintage glamour onboard our Pullman-style carriages. Our luxury dining services are the perfect treat with reserved tables, personal and impeccable waiter service, a range of different menus catering for any special dietary requirements and the opportunity to enjoy your lunch as a group. We also offer a range of attractive benefits and special offers for you and your group including: • Lunch and refreshment vouchers for coach drivers or organisers who bring a group of 20 or more. • 20% discount off group bookings of 20+ between January to March. • Free familiarisation available for first time bookings (Conditions apply.) • First time bookings receive a 10% discount on the second group booking of 20+.

Established in 1973, the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway is a family run business in the heart of the Lake District. Operating daily from 28th March – 3rd November; carefully maintained steam locomotives haul traditional carriages along 3 ½ miles of former branch line from the Victorian station at Haverthwaite to Lakeside; the southern  end of Lake Windermere.  From Lakeside, connections are available with Windermere Lake Cruises where you can enjoy the stunning Lake scenery on board a steamer or launch sailing to Bowness or Ambleside.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Passenger Services Manager Main periods of operation: Weekends throughout the year, and Wednesday to Friday between April & September. Please see our website for further details. Coach parking facility: Drop off and pick-up points in front of stations and weekend coach parking available if advised in advance. Coach parking available at selected stations. Principal Group Rates: Various discounts and group booking benefits available for groups, depending on size of party. Please contact our Passenger Services Manager for further details. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Catering available for Groups: Catering available on train, at Bury Transport Museum or in our restaurant by prior arrangement. Ranges from small buffets to full dining packages. Bolton Street Station, Bury, Lancashire BL9 0EY Tel: 0161 764 7790 (10am – 4pm) • Fax: 0161 763 4408 E: W:


Haverthwaite Station is home to the line’s collection of lovingly restored steam and diesel locomotives, which visitors can view in The Engine Shed. The licensed Station Restaurant serves a selection of homemade meals, cakes and snacks, alongside delicious homemade apple pie and famous giant homemade scones and even serves its own locally brewed ale!  The Gift Shop boasts an array of gifts, books  and souvenirs and the Woodland Adventure Play Area with climbing structures, nets, slides and much more, will provide endless enjoyment for every child. Events take place throughout the year including the popular Santa Specials, serving hand decorated Christmas Cake and sherry on board a festive fun-filled train ride! Superb  value, discounted combination packages are available with other top attractions in  and around Windermere including: Windermere Lake Cruises, Lakes Aquarium, The World of Beatrix Potter, Lakeland Motor Museum, Brockhole Visitor Centre and Holker Hall & Gardens; more detailed information is available on the website “A Great Day Out.... Whatever The Weather!” Contact name for Group Bookings: Karen/Hannah Main periods of operation: 28th March- 3rd November 2013 Coach parking facility: Free Coach Parking at Haverthwaite Principal Group Rates: £3.50 per adult single journey Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15 Max: 200 Catering available for Groups: Excellent Station Restaurant at Haverthwaite serving tea/coffee, delicious giant homemade scones and speciality homemade meals & snacks.

Haverthwaite, Nr Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 8AL Tel: 015395 31594 • Fax: 015395 30503 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

North West Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway is one of the oldest and longest narrow gauge railways in England, known affectionately as La’al Ratty meaning “little railway” in olde Cumbrian dialect. It was 100 years ago in April 1913 that the original 3ft line closed and in 1915 the new 15in La’al Ratty was born. The heritage steam engines transport passengers from Ravenglass, the only coastal village in the National Park and of huge significance in Roman times, being a significant last defence point of the infamous Hadrians Wall to Dalegarth for Boot some 210ft above sea level. The journey itself was one of Wainwright’s favourites crossing through seven miles of spectacular scenery within sight of England’s highest mountains, the Scafell Range. It chugs up the line from the protected nature reserves of the Ravenglass Estuary through ancient woodlands and fells of the Eskdale Valley, en route keep your eyes peeled for Greylag Geese, Curlew, Shelduck, Red Squirrels and Buzzards. The cosy covered and open top carriages provide the best of comfort and views as you travel up the line and on arrival there is something for everyone and with so many trails and walks to explore, our very own cafes serving home baked goodies and gift shops at both ends of the line. Groups can be privately catered for in our reserved dining areas with traditionally set group menus to make the most of your time with us. Contact name for Group Bookings: Tom Whitbread Main periods of operation: Daily trains from 16th March to 3rd November inclusive, most winter weekends plus daily 26th December to 5th January 2014 Coach parking facility: Ravenglass - dedicated free parking spaces for all pre-booked coaches – close, level access to the trains & other facilities Principal Group Rates: Steam to the Hills, (full line return journey) - £8.50 per adult; One Happy Family, (a day on the railway & a day with Ullswater ‘Steamers’, our sister attraction) - £12.00 per adult; Steam on the Wild Side, (a full line return journey on the railway & a visit to the neighbouring attraction of Muncaster Castle) - £13 per adult; Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Catering available for Groups: Purpose-built Cafés at both ends of the line with private function rooms available for hire. In house catering team offer Cumbrian flavours with flair – please view our group menus online or call to discuss options. Conference Facilities available at both Ravenglass and Dalegarth: (up to 75 person capacity). Catering provided. Ravenglass, Cumbria CA18 1SW Tel: 01229 717171 • Fax: 01229 717011 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


North West Ribble Steam Railway

South Tynedale Railway

Situated on Preston’s former dock estate, this railway has been open to the public since 2005 and has one of the largest collections of industrial locomotives in Britain. These are housed in airy purpose-built museum and workshop buildings, both of which have full disabled access. The museum is great for group visits, and guided tours can be arranged on request. There are special packages for schools including activity and learning areas, with a diesel-hauled rail trip along the line included.

The South Tynedale’s narrow gauge trains will take your customers through fine valley scenery, banked on each side by majestic pennine moors. Trains run from Alston in Cumbria across the county boundary to Lintley in Northumberland.   The station in Alston has coach parking with a cafe and gift shop run by the railway company.   Lintley is a country halt with limited facilities for passengers; here there is coach parking too, about a minute’s walk to the platform.

On normal operating days, visitors can travel behind one of the restored steam engines, enjoying a three-mile return trip around the dock and along the river bank, taking in views that can only be seen from the railway. Snacks and drinks are available in the tea room with views into the main museum building, and there is also a gift shop.

Our trains are hauled by heritage steam and diesel locomotives. Every train has a fully accessible coach for less able passengers.   Several of our carriages have open balcony ends that are popular with children and adults alike.  It is an unhurried journey offering a round trip from Alston in a little over an hour. The railway line is flanked all the way by an excellent lineside path and many families take the train one way and enjoy more than 3 miles of easy walking as part of their day out.   At the station there is an attractive museum of transport called The Hub.   Not far from town a trip to the railway can be paired with a visit to the Killhope Mining Museum on the Weardale road.  Hexham is 22 miles away and parties based around Newcastle can be in Alston in a little over an hour enjoying fine scenery all the way.

Steam trains run on Sundays in April and full weekends from May to September. Enjoy Panoramic views along the line aboard a 1950’s Railbus, on Wednesdays in August and school half-terms. Events include Steam Galas held in February and September. This season, the railway is staging a special exhibition highlighting the importance of Preston in railway history, ‘Made In Preston’. There are also events for vintage cars, Family fun with our own Friendly Engines plus Halloween and Santa specials. What else is in the area? Preston has several good museums and is close to the seaside resorts of Blackpool and Southport. The cities of Liverpool and Manchester are easily accessible. There is also the Forest of Bowland to the north east of the M6 motorway.

Alston is England’s highest market town with a famous cobbled market place. In the town centre, only 5 minutes walk from the station, there are country pubs offering locally brewed ales and fine Cumbrian food including probably the best Cumberland Sausages and hams to be found anywhere. News and information can be found on our Facebook page.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Booking Clerk Main periods of operation: Sundays & Bank Holidays in April. Weekends: May-September. Summer & Half Term midweek services – check website for details. Coach parking facility: On site. Free car parking. Disabled facilities.

Coach parking facility: adjacent to Alston and Lintley Halt stations Principal Group Rates: Discounts for 10+ on application

Principal Group Rates: 10% discount on all groups.

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 100

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 25

Catering available for Groups: Cafe at Alston station. On train: Buffet carriage – 25 seats. Town Centre: 5 minutes walk from Alston station.

Catering available for (Pre-booked) Groups: Buffet with light refreshments. Chain Caul Road, Preston PR2 2PD Tel: 01772 728800 E: W:


Main periods of operation: 23rd March until November 10th; trains do not run every day - the full timetable is always up to date on our website.

The Railway Station, Alston, Cumbria CA9 3JB Phone Bookings until 23rd March: 01325 352435 Tel: 01434 381696 (24th March onwards). Talking Timetable: 01434 382828 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

South of England Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

NEW FOR 2013! Buckinghamshire Railway Centre is a working steam museum where you step back in time as you view the giants of the steam age of rail travel. There is everything from the humble shunting engine to express passenger locomotives. Carriages, wagons and other artefacts are also on view, in this 25 acre site, dating from 1874 to the 1960’s. Many of the displays are under cover such as in the 150 year old visitor centre which was painstakingly moved brick by brick from the centre of Oxford. Built in the style of the 1851 Great Exhibition Building at Hyde Park, which was later moved to Crystal Palace, it will fascinate anyone with an interest in architecture. Our Reserve Collection is on display in a 200 foot wartime food store.

Steam train ride Guided tour of locomotive collection Morning coffee or afternoon tea.

Children of all ages up to 110 years can take a train ride behind one of the full sized locomotives or ride the half mile miniature railway often behind steam on specific days. There is free coach parking and good accessibility to most buildings for wheelchairs. The centre has a spacious refreshment room and well stocked gift and book shop. Visitors are free to wander at leisure and we recommend that you allow at least 3 hours for a visit. The centre is open most days from late March until the end of October with limited winter opening for Santa’s visit. Check the website for standard open days, steaming days and a whole host of other events.

The railway is a country branch line providing heritage train  rides  for  both  families  and  enthusiasts  alike.  The  line  runs  along  the  foot  of  the  Chiltern  Hills,  parallel  to  the  Icknield  Way, passing through attractive Oxfordshire countryside. 

Open: Every  Sunday  and  Bank  Holiday  from  March  to  Contact name for Group Bookings: Group Booking Organiser Main periods of operation: Easter to end October with steam trains on Sundays, Bank Holiday Mondays and Weds in school hols. Full events programme listed on website Coach parking facility: space for 10 coaches in main car park close to entrance

October with  many  special  events  throughout  the  year.  Tickets  generally  give  unlimited  travel  on  the  day  of  purchase.  All  trains  depart  from  Chinnor  Station  between  10.15am to 4.15pm. Evening events  include  Quiz  evenings,  and  Murder  Mystery  Dining  Trains.  Santa  and  Mince  Pie  Specials  run  during  weekends in December. 

Sunday Cream Teas 

Principal Group Rates: 10% reduction for groups of 15 and 20% reduction for groups of 25 or more

The railway  also  offers  superb  Cream Teas on many of the Sunday  afternoon  steam  hauled  trains.  For  cream  tea  bookings,  coach  parties,  group  bookings,  film  and  television  hire or general enquiries please ring:  07979 055366 

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15 Max: 200 Catering available for Groups: Everything from just a coffee stop to full roast meal available by prior arrangement. Hot meals & snacks as part of daily operation.

Quainton Road Station, Quainton, Nr Aylesbury HP22 4BY Tel: 01296 655720 • Fax: 01296 658569 E: W:

20% Group  Discount 

(over 20 passengers) 

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


South of England Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway

Didcot Railway Centre

This small and friendly railway on the Oxfordshire/ Buckinghamshire border runs from Chinnor station for 3½ miles along the foot of the Chiltern Hills, parallel to the historic Icknield Way. It passes through attractive countryside, with outstanding views across the Vale of Whiteleaf where red kites can often be seen circling overhead. The current terminus is at Thame Junction with the next stage of development an extension into Princes Risborough. There is no access to Thame and so all journeys are a return from Chinnor.

Didcot Railway Centre encapsulates the long history of the GWR. The (working) replica of the 1840 broad gauge locomotive Fire Fly offers an experience of travel at the beginning of the railway era. The collection of more than 20 standard gauge locomotives from the 1890s to the 1940s include many of the standard classes typified by tapered boilers, copper-capped chimneys and Brunswick green paintwork. They are completed by Didcot’s preserved fleet of chocolate and cream carriages. On a steamday, you are guaranteed a ride in vintage carriages from the 1930s or 1940s.

The railway is open for passenger services mostly at weekends from mid-March until the end of October and holds many special events including Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween Spooks Express, Gala days and Murder Mystery dining trains. As well as these special events, the railway offers to the public magnificent cream teas on many of its Sunday afternoon services. For groups and coach parties these, and many other forms of catering during the train journey, can by negotiation, be made available in their licensed buffet car, at any convenient time - a quick call to 07979 055366 will enable you to explore the possibilities. What else is in the area? The sights of Oxford, Marlow, Henley-on-Thames and the Thames Valley along with the Chiltern Hills are within easy reach.

But, Didcot is much more than a train ride. The original 1932 built, four road engine shed, is a (listed) exhibition hall which displays locomotives in their authentic surroundings. There is also a coal stage and turntable in working order, as well as other GWR buildings and structures. The museum of small relics from the GWR showcases the colourful posters, silverware, glassware and crockery, and everyday items crafted in brass or steel and marked with the magic initials GWR. An interactive Science, Learning and Railways exhibition in two railway coaches explains the theory of steam locomotion to young and not so young visitors. Didcot has been deemed a Quality Assured Visitor Attraction by Enjoy England, and is now a fully accredited (working) museum, offering many exciting discoveries and special events. Amongst the most popular events are the centre’s Steamdays, which provide visitors with a chance to ride in coaches pulled by a restored locomotive. Whether you want to be entertained, educated or to admire engineering excellence, a visit to Didcot Railway Centre is a great experience.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Don Williams

Contact name for Group Bookings: Michael Bodsworth

Opening dates for 2013: from March 10th until October 27th (Hallowe’en). Train times: 11.00, 12.15, 13.30, 15.00 and 16.30 Most Days ...... (unless special events), and a special timetable on Saturdays and Sundays during December for Santa and Mince Pie Specials.

Main periods of operation: Open daily 24 May – 15 September, during school holidays, and all weekends.

Coach parking facility: Yes - Maximum 2 coaches per train Principal Group Rates: 10% discount 8-15 and 20% discount 16+ Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 8 Max: 144


Coach parking facility: nearby Principal Group Rates: Admission depends upon events etc: Adult £5 - £10, Child £4 - £10 and Seniors £4.50 - £9 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15 Catering available for Groups: Luncheon, tea & refreshments available at Centre and on special trains by arrangement.

Catering available for Groups: On-board catering for 44 passengers in Restaurant coach, for greater numbers please call for possibilities.

Conference Facilities available: (15 – 100 person capacity) Catering provided. Great Western Steam train with special super saloons (max. 50).

Station Approach, Station Road, Chinnor, Oxon OX39 4ER Tel: 07979 055366 E: W:

Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 7NJ Tel: 01235 817200 • Fax: 01235 510621 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

Steam Trains

Norden ~ Corfe Castle ~ Harmans Cross ~ Herston ~ Swanage What better than a leisurely trip behind an historic steam engine through an area of oustanding natural beauty? Our six-mile line takes you through the beautiful Purbeck countryside including stunning views of the ruins of Corfe Castle. Swanage lies at the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage site.Swanage Railway is one of the country’s most intensivelyoperated steam railways with trains running daily from April to October as well as most weekends throughout the year. In addition to this, we run regular themed events. At Corfe Castle you can explore the village, visit the castle, model village, historic pubs or just walk around the beautiful square. On reaching Swanage the town itself has a Blue Flag beach, Victorian pier, shops and restaurants. There are views across the bay to Bournemouth and to the Isle of Wight. You can collect your passengers at the coach drop-off point adjacent to Swanage Station or wait for them to arrive back at Norden Park & Ride on their return trip. All Swanage Railway stations have step-free access and disabled access is available to most trains. A coach with easier access for wheelchair passengers and a disabled toilet is available on some services, please call us to check availability. Visit our website or call the Reservations Office for more information. 01929 425800

Photographs Courtsey of Andrew P.M. Wright



� Thrill to the sight and sound of

powerful majestic steam engines

� Breathe in the evocative smells of a

real steam railway

� Soak-up the rhythm of quiet rural


� Settle back in beautifully restored

Victorian and Edwardian carriages to enjoy a 10-mile steam train ride through the Island’s unspoilt countryside � Refreshment Rooms � Woodland Walk � Children’s Play Area � Haven Falconry � Picnic Area � Shop and Museum � FREE Car Park The Isle of Wight Steam Railway The Railway Station, Havenstreet nr Ryde, Isle of Wight PO33 4DS

� 01983 882204


WINNER Tourism & Leisure Award IW Chamber of Commerce Awards for Excellence


The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


South of England Exbury Gardens Railway

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

The Exbury Gardens Railway in the New Forest has welcomed many famous guests in its 12 year history – including HM The Queen (on two occasions), HRH The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. The combination of a ride on the 1 ¼ mile, 12 ¼” gauge railway with a visit to the breathtaking rhododendron gardens is a hard one to resist. And with a wet 2012 season experienced, Railway Foreman Ian Wilson is very optimistic about the months ahead: ‘The rhododendrons lapped up the heavy rain in spring and summer 2012, and their buds this year are heavily swollen. Visitors can see some lovely rhododendrons with their feet up from the comfort of the train. The spring will provide quite a spectacle.’

Inspiring, Surprising and Award-Winning … Equally appealing to adults and families, your visit to The Isle of Wight Steam Railway will charm, engage and captivate, leaving you with some lasting memories of a special day out.

As a special offer in 2013, individuals and groups visiting the Gardens between 9 March and 9 June and purchasing a railway ticket will be given a FREE admission ticket to see the Gardens between 1 September and 25 October – a time when the Gardens spectacular autumn colours will be on display. Group organisers have free entry to the gardens and railway, and there are also coach driver incentives. The relaxing 20 min journey sees the train pass through its own specially designed ‘Summer Lane’ Garden, now reaching maturity with huge swathes of colourful perennials, flowering grasses and maturing trees, all planted in a free-flowing naturalistic style. After their train journey, passengers are encouraged enter the roomy Engine Shed, where memorabilia evokes steam’s great heyday and a walk-through exhibition recounts the construction of the Exbury railway. Visitors with wheelchairs are well catered for, and it is possible to attach up to four fully accessible carriages at any one time.

Step back to a bygone era when steam power was the order of the day. Thrill to the sight and sound of powerful majestic steam engines and breathe in the evocative smells of a real steam railway. Soak up the rhythm of quiet rural stations while enjoying the friendliness of traditionally uniformed staff. Settle back in beautifully restored Victorian and Edwardian carriages and discover an idyllic view of the Island’s unspoilt countryside ... or hop off at one of our stations and just watch the trains go by! Our locomotives and carriages have all been painstakingly restored to pristine condition and are the hallmark of our delightful railway. Our oldest locomotive was built in 1876 and carriages date back to 1864! The IW Steam Railway has three times been named Independent Railway of the Year, and we hold the IW Chamber of Commerce Tourism & Leisure Award and the Tourism South-East 2012/13 Silver Award for Best Large Visitor Attraction. A couple of years ago the Railway was named Best Heritage Project in The National Lottery Awards. There are generous discounts available for groups, FREE parking (on tarmac) for coaches, plus FREE entry and meal for the coach driver! To complete your day out there’s a shop, Woodland Walk, picnic area, museum and children’s play area.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Janis Orchard Main periods of operation: 9 March - 3 November 2013 . Gardens open at 10am

Contact name for Group Bookings: Liz King

Coach parking facility: Free parking for up to x 50 coaches, hard-standing

Main periods of operation: Trains run on most days during March, April, May & June; then daily from late June until late September; then on selected days in October, November and December

Principal Group Rates: £9 per person for Gardens; £3 per person for Steam Railway, if booked in advance. Groups constitute 15 or more paying individuals. Gardens entrance required to purchase railway tickets. Special offer 9 March - 9 June – Purchase a Railway ticket with Gardens Admission and receive a FREE Admission ticket for the developing autumn colours between 1 September - 25 October.


Coach parking facility: Free coach parking available on tarmac hardstanding, in part of main car park at Havenstreet Station Group Rate for groups of 20+: Adults £7.50, Child (5-15) £4.50 Group Rate for groups of 10 to 20: Adults £9, Child (5-15) £5 Maximum group size that can be accommodated: 200

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min:15

Catering available for Groups: The licensed Refreshment Rooms are ideal for a warming meal, a light bite, or a scrumptious cream tea!

Catering available for Groups: Group lunches available – visit Exbury website for full details. Catering provided.

Conference Facilities available: (10 – 60 person capacity) Catering provided

The Estate Office, Exbury, Southampton, Hants SO45 1AZ Tel: 023 8089 1203 • Fax: 023 8089 9940 E: W:

The Railway Station, Havenstreet, Isle of Wight PO33 4DS Tel: 01983 882204 • Fax: 01983 884515 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

South of England Leighton Buzzard Railway

For a relaxing half-day outing, bring your party to the little railway with a big story to tell, and so easy to find! The Leighton Buzzard Railway is just a few minutes from the M1, A5 or A505, and close to both Whipsnade and Woburn, to either of which it can form a distinctive addon, or a headline destination in its own right. Bletchley Park, home of the wartime codebreakers, is also a short drive away. The railway dates back to 1919, and was built originally to carry sand from the local quarries, using materials and equipment surplus from the Great War battlefield supply lines. It is now run as a tourist attraction and nationally accredited working museum, by a team of dedicated volunteers. Starting from Page’s Park station, on the south side of Leighton Buzzard, the railway runs around the edge of the town and out into the countryside, with great views across to Dunstable Downs and the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Going at a sedate pace, with sharp curves, steep inclines, level crossings and roadside running, your party will relive a long-lost era of rural transport. The round trip takes 70 minutes, and the visit time can be extended by a stop for refreshments at the station buffet. New for 2013 is The Engine Shed Show—a free guided tour of the historic locomotive collection from all over the world, with lots of information and pictures on display. Make this the year your group discovers the hidden gems of the Leighton Buzzard Railway! Contact name for Group Bookings: Traffic Manager Main periods of operation: Sundays & Bank Holiday weekends; 17th March – 30th October plus extra days during school holidays and summer months. See website for full information. Coach parking facility: At Page’s Park Station Principal Group Rates: Adult £7.50, Seniors £5.50, Child (age 2 to 15 years) £4.00, Child (under 2) FREE Charter train hire also available - ask for details. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 12 Max: 60 Catering available for Groups: At Page’s Park Station Conference Facilities available: only when railway is not operating (10 – 30 person capacity). Catering provided. Page’s Park Station, Billington Road, Leighton Buzzard, Beds LU7 4TN Tel: 01525 373 888 E: W:

LET OFF STEAM. TAKE THE SLOW TRAIN! Enjoy lunch or a cream tea as you journey through ten miles of beautiful Hampshire countryside at this living history attraction. Group rates for 15+ and 30+.

WWW.WATERCRESSLINE.CO.UK or Tel: 01962 733810

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


South of England The Mid Hants Railway ‘Watercress Line’

Swanage Railway

The Mid Hants Railway is affectionately known as the ‘Watercress Line’ for its traditional role in transporting the locally grown crop to markets in London. Built in 1865 the line is also famous for its steep 1:60 gradient, with Medstead and Four Marks station the highest in southern England at 600 feet above sea level. Such was the effort required by man and machine to crest this summit that early loco crews referred to it as ‘going over the Alps’! Today this gradient means the railway needs a fleet of large, powerful steam locomotives capable of working heavy passenger trains over the line; a spectacular sight and sound at any time of year!

What better than a leisurely trip behind an historic steam engine through an area of natural beauty. The six mile 30 minute ride takes passengers through the beautiful Purbeck countryside including stunning views of the ruins of Corfe Castle. Swanage lies at the Eastern end of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site.

Restored by volunteers in the mid 1970’s, today the railway runs for ten miles from the medieval town of New Alresford , through Ropley and Medstead to the market town of Alton. In 2013 the new viewing galleries will open at Ropley station, allowing visitors to see the preservation and restoration work in progress that the MHR carries out for itself and others. This recently included the complete restoration of Southern Railways Schools Class No.925 ‘Cheltenham’, owned by the NRM and returned to steam after 30 years. Group rates apply for 15+ and 30+ and mid week they can enjoy a ploughmans lunch or traditional afternoon cream tea on board. Groups can book a guided tour of the locomotives sheds at Ropley and many choose to combine their visit with one of several other local attractions. Contact name for Group Bookings: Karen Butler

Swanage Railway offers one of the most intensively operated heritage steam and diesel timetable train service than vitually any other preserved railway. Steam and Diesel galas, family fun events such as Peppa Pig, plus regular evening and lunchtime “Wessex Belle” dining services and recently launched “afternoon Dorset Cream Teas” complement themed events such as the highly popular “Santa Special” trains during the run up to Christmas. A visit to Swanage and the Swanage Railway makes an ideal trip in itself or as part of a longer stay in Dorset. It is in easy reach of Bournemouth, Weymouth and the New Forest as well as many other local attractions. Whilst you travel down to Swanage, with its blue flag beach, Victorian pier, shops and restaurants you can appreciate the rich history of the area, abundant wildlife, fascinating geology and the influence the region had on authors such as Enid Blyton and Thomas Hardy. Swanage Station has a coach pick up/drop off point adjacent to the station as well the purpose built park and ride facility and coach drop off/pick up point at Norden, just north of Corfe Castle.

Main periods of operation: Weekends January to November, Public Holidays, Half Terms & mid week days from May to September, every day in August. Coach parking facility: Free coach parking by prior appointment at Alresford Station. Principal Group Rates: Discounted rates apply to groups of 15+ and 30+. Adult - £12, Senior £11 Child (2-16) - £6.50 We also operate multi-destination packages with local attractions: Jane Austen’s House, Gilbert White’s House, Basingstoke Canal, INTECH Science Centre & Planetarium and Milestones Museum. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15 Catering available for Groups: Please contact Reservations on 01962 733810 to discuss your particular requirements. Our lunch and afternoon cream teas on the trains are very popular!


Contact name for Group Bookings: Reservations (01929 475207) Main periods of operation: February until December, Daily April until end October. Norden Park & Ride – coach drop-off facility. Swanage - coach drop-off adjacent to station Principal Group Rates: Norden to Swanage (or vice versa) Party Adult return £8, Party Child return £6, Party Adult single £5.50, Party Child single £4 Norden to Corfe Castle - Party Adult return £1.50 (saving of 25% per person) Party Child return £1 (saving of 30% per person) Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15

Conference Facilities available: 10 – 90 person capacity. Catering provided. Steam train trip & driving experience can be included.

Catering available for Groups: Buffets in Swanage, Norden & on-train. Wessex Belle dining train also available. Groups should be booked in advance.

The Railway Station, Alresford, Hampshire SO24 9JG Tel: 01962 733810 • Fax: 01962 735448 E: W:

Station House, Swanage, Dorset BH19 1HB Tel: 01929 425800 • Fax: 01929 475208 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

South East Bluebell Railway

The Bluebell Railway was Britain’s first standard gauge heritage railway and began running services in May 1960 from Sheffield Park station, near Haywards Heath in West Sussex, to just outside Horsted Keynes. The line was later extended to Kingscote and work is continuing on a further extension which will take the railway to a new station at East Grinstead. This is a major project which is hoped to open in the near future. Sheffield Park is the main station where most coach parties join. There is a restaurant and bar and also a museum, where many steam locomotives are on display or under restoration. The Bluebell has a huge range of locomotives from small such as Stepney, made famous in the Rev W.V. Awdry’s ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ books, to large Pacifics such as Battle of Britain class Sir Archibald Sinclair, which returned to service in 2009. There is coach parking available at the station. The journey from Sheffield Park is a pleasant run through woods and fields, and in spring you’ll see the bluebells that give the line its name. It passes through Horsted Keynes station and on to Kingscote. The return journey takes 90 minutes and groups are recommended to travel on the 11:00, 13:00 or 15:00 services as these have better facilities including toilets and a buffet car light refreshment service. There are several packages available including ‘Ploughman’s Plus’ on the 13:00 train which includes a ploughman’s lunch on board, or a ‘Steam & Cream’ on the 15:00 train which includes a cream tea. There is also the chance to buy a joint ticket to include the National Trust’s Sheffield Park Gardens, approximately 1 mile away. The Bluebell Railway is a popular location for film makers and has appeared in The Wind in the Willows, The Railway Children, Station Jim, The Ruby in the Smoke, Miss Potter, Poirot and many other period productions. Contact name for Group Bookings: Customer Services Main periods of operation: Every weekend & daily May-October. Some dates require advance booking. Coach parking facility: At Sheffield Park Station Principal Group Rates: £12.50 Adults or £6.25 Children; Groups 10+; If booking 3+ dates: £11.00 Adults £5.50 Children Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: none Catering available for Groups: Licensed restaurant at Sheffield Park Station Sheffield Park Station, East Sussex TN22 3QL Tel: 01825 720800 • Fax: 01825 720804 E: W:

Ride the Spa Valley Railway Ride Valley Railway Tunbridgethe Wells -Spa High Rocks - Groombridge - Eridge Tunbridge Wells - High Rocks - Groombridge - Eridge Travel by heritage train through the beauty of Travel by heritage through thesplendour beauty of the Kentish Weald.train From the Royal Weald. From the Royal splendour ofthe theKentish Georgian Pantiles arcade and Chalybeate of the Georgian PantilesWells, arcade Chalybeate Spring in Tunbridge to and the towering Spring in Tunbridge Wells, to theRocks, towering sandstone rocks and Inn at High then sands sandstone rocks and Inn atwith High then sandsGroombridge onto village itsRocks, traditional onto Groombridge village traditional village green, historic pubwith andits picturesque village Visit green, historic pubPlace and picturesque church. Groombridge Gardens and church. Visit Groombridge Place Gardens and the Enchanted Forest, or take the train onto the Enchanted or take theen train onto Eridge passingForest, Harrisons Rocks route. Eridge Rocks en route. Eridgepassing Station Harrisons offers connections with Eridge Station offers connections Southern Mainline trains to London with Bridge. Southern Mainline trains to London Bridge. * Book Cream Teas or a Fish and Chip * Book Teas oron a Fish mealCream to be served the and trainChip * meal to beyour served onown thetrain train** * Charter very * Charter your own/ train * * * Special rates forvery parties groups **Special rates at forTunbridge parties / groups Coach park Wells **

* Coach park at Tunbridge Wells * 01892 537715

01892 537715 The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


South East Kent & East Sussex Railway

The Lavender Line Railway

The Kent & East Sussex is a fine example of a rural light railway. The line is a tribute to Colonel Stephens, a man who created many “light railways” around the turn of the 19th/20th Centuries. The line gently wends its way through the Rother valley from Tenterden, in Kent, to Bodiam, in East Sussex, where its terminus station is set beside Bodiam Castle, crossing the border of two of southern England’s most rural counties with views of oast houses and even vineyards. Once used to transport hops and hop pickers, the railway was known locally as the ‘Hoppers’ Line’. There is still a brewery locally and its beer is sold on the train.

The Lavender Line is a railway that boasts a fantastic family atmosphere in the heart of Isfield, East Sussex.

Tenterden town station has a restaurant and gift shop. There is also a museum which tells the story of Colonel Stephens and his contribution to railway history. Light railways could be built without all the heavy engineering required of more conventional railways, allowing many rural communities to be connected by rail before widespread car ownership and use of buses and lorries brought an end to their short lives. This is a standard gauge line but he had influence over many railways, including the narrow gauge Ffestiniog, in North Wales. Groups have a variety of travel options and there is prebookable on-train catering available too. A downloadable Group Visits leaflet is available from their website. Single and return journeys are available, the round trip taking approximately 1¾ hours. What else is in the area? Bodiam Castle is a 10-minute walk from the railway’s western terminus. National Trust property built in 1385. Joint itineraries are available with the castle and also for the Mill Toy and Pedal Car Museum at Northiam station and the nearby Biddenden Vineyards.

The railway operates a two mile round trip through the peaceful Sussex countryside, hauled by either a heritage diesel or steam locomotive. Completion last year of Worth at the end of the line now means that we have a destination, a fantastic viewing and photography point and also a lovely place to picnic in the summer. The children’s play area, picnic areas all over the site, and toilet facilities including disabled toilet with baby changing unit means that everyone can enjoy a great day out. Experience the listed Isfield signal box where both adults and children can get hands on operating the levers. Don’t miss out on the woodland observation area, an ideal place for photographers high on the embankment or another place to picnic away from the bustle of the station. Visit our coach housing a museum showing the history of the line and era of railways. Other facilities include the gift shop and the railway station’s ‘Cinders Buffet’ serving breakfasts assorted hot and cold meals, snacks and drinks during opening times.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Sales Office

Contact name for Group Bookings: Marion Taylor

Main periods of operation: Please refer to timetable. Daily service 30th July – 1st September

Main periods of operation: Every Sunday throughout the year. Wednesdays & Thursdays during February & October half term school holidays. Wednesdays & Thursdays during August.

Coach parking facility: Ample and free at Tenterden & Northiam Stations Principal Group Rates: 10% discount on standard fares for 20+ Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Catering available for Groups: Both at Tenterden Station and on train, cream teas, ploughman’s lunches, fish & chips.


The line was opened in October 1858, then known as the Lewes and Uckfield Railway Company, and on 23rd February 1969, the railway ran its last train between Uckfield and Lewes before closure.

Coach parking facility: Yes - room for several coaches on site. There is also turning room. Principal Group Rates: 10% discount on entrance fees & discounts on catering depending on what is required. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10

Conference Facilities available: (50 person capacity) Catering provided. See website for details.

Catering available for Groups: Buffet on site serving hot & cold food and drinks.

Tenterden Town Station, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6HE Tel: 01580 765155 • Fax: 01580 765654 E: W:

Isfield Station, Isfield, Nr Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 5XB Tel: 01903 761455 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


What we can offer your group:

World famous one third full size steam locomotives. 13½ mile scenic journey across the Romney Marsh. Journey options to suit all itineraries. Reduced rates for groups of 20 or over (on most trains). Low rates for School & Youth Groups. Hythe Station,10 minutes off the M20. Two cafeterias. Toy & Model Railway Exhibition. Free parking for coaches.



m | 017 97362353

BOOKING To guarantee your seats on your preferred train, please book well in advance.

“The all-weather, all generations, great day out”.

Kent & East Sussex


Tenterden · Northiam · Bodiam

England’s finest rural light railway welcomes groups TENTER DEN • NOR THIAM • BODIAM

Kent & Ea

Group Vi st Sussex Railw ay sits 2013

Group v i sit s to Engla n d ’s f i n e s t r u r a l l i g h t r a i l w a y

www. kesr.or

10% discount on group fares for 20+ On train offers include Fish & Chips or Ploughman’s Lunch, together with delightful Cream Teas.

Some notable 2013 events: 1940s Weekend - 18 & 19 May CAMRA Beer Festival - 15 June Hop Pickers Weekend - 14 & 15 Sept Scan and visit our Group Pages online.

01580 765155 • The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


South East Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway

Spa Valley Railway

85 years of Steam Railway Heritage set against the backdrop of some of Kent’s most picturesque countryside is what makes a journey on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway a totally unique experience and is why this Heritage Railway is one of Kent’s Top Visitor Attractions.

The Spa Valley Railway operates most weekends from March to October between Tunbridge Wells West to Eridge where there is a mainline connection at Eridge with Southern on the Uckfield to London Bridge service via Oxted and East Croydon. In addition there are a few midweek operating days during the summer months to Groombridge only.

The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway is proud to operate the most complete collection of one third full size Steam Locomotives in the world.

Joint tickets are available with Groombridge Place Gardens which are a short way-marked 10 minute walk from Groombridge Station. Alternatively there is access at Groombridge Station for coaches to collect passengers and drive the short distance to the Gardens.

13½ miles of track stretch across the picturesque Romney Marsh from the Cinque Port town of Hythe to Dungeness; one of the largest expanses of shingle in the world and designated as a National Nature Reserve. Six Stations span the length of the line which takes just over an hour to complete on most services. The majority of our stations are within walking distance of clean beaches or at Dungeness, the Old Lighthouse. Why not make best use of our famous RomneyRover ticket (£16ad, £14sc, £8.00ch 3-15yrs, £43.50 2ad & up to 3ch) and hop on and off trains all day long! Stop at New Romney Station and visit our Model Railway Exhibition and, during the summer, our 1940’s Exhibition. Open most weekends throughout the winter, with a daily service from the end of March to the end of October, free car parking all day, retail outlets and cafés, and facilities for our visitors with mobility problems, the RH&DR is an any weather, all generations great day out. For Timetable information, details of our Special Events or to visit our on-line shop go to

Contact name for Group Bookings: Steve Richards Main periods of operation: All year Principal Group Rates: 15% discount on *most train services for groups of over 20. *Terms & Conditions apply. Dayrover Ticket: Adult £16.00 Child £8.00 (3-15yrs) Senior £14.00 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: Unlimited with reservation


The Railway offers fish & chip lunches and cream teas (prebooked only) and these can be added in conjunction with Groombridge Place. Tunbridge Wells West Station is adjacent to the Coach Park and a short 5-10 minute walk from the historic Georgian Pantiles shopping arcade which is full of interesting independent shops and cafes and restaurants. Guided walks can be arranged through the Tourist Information Centre. There are a range of special events throughout the year including Saturday evening fish & chip specials, our Steaming through the 40s event will once again be held in June. Full details about the railway can be found on our website: or email us on enquiries@ or telephone 01892 537715 (an answerphone service may operate on some days). We look forward to welcoming you to the Spa Valley Railway in 2013. Contact name for Group Bookings: Stephen Woolven Main periods of operation: Weekends and public holidays 2nd March to 3rd November, Thursdays and Fridays during school holidays within this period, Thursdays during June, Thursdays and Fridays during July and Wednesdays to Fridays during August plus weekends in December for Santa Specials. Coach parking facility: West Station Coach Park is 150 yds from Tunbridge Wells West Station. Principal Group Rates: £1 off adult and SC returns to Groombridge or Eridge for groups of 20+. Joint ticket with admission to Groombridge Place Gardens available with group rates for groups of 12+. Special fares for School groups booked on Thursdays during June & July of £3.00 per child. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20

Catering available for Groups: Full self service restaurant service & snacks/ sandwiches at New Romney & Dungeness. Open all running days.

Catering available for Groups: Cream teas available on the train at £3.50 supplement per person (max. 50). Fish & Chip Specials offered on any operating day for groups of 40+. Teas and coffees also served on the train if required.

New Romney Station, New Romney, Kent TN28 8PL Tel: 01797 362353 • Fax: 01797 363591 E: W:

West Station, Nevill Terrace, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5QY Tel: 01892 537715 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

South West Avon Valley Railway

Bodmin & Wenford Railway

Finding new destinations for day trips must be getting more and more difficult. However, we’d like to offer you a trip with a difference – into our past:

The Bodmin & Wenford Railway gives you the excitement and nostalgia of steam travel with a journey back in time to a Cornish branch line of the 1950’s and is Cornwall’s only full size railway still operated by steam locomotives.

Our trips provide a scenic boat trip on the River Avon and a steam train journey where a cream tea is served to you at your table on the train. The scenic boat trip comprises an hour’s cruise in comfort and style around Bristol’s historic Harbour on board the “Silver Salmon”. You can relax as you enjoy the sights and sounds of historic landmarks and modern developments, including the view of Brunel’s great ship the “ss Great Britain” in the original dock where she was built. Your steam train awaits your arrival at our countryside station, and you are escorted to your reserved seats in our period carriages. Your journey takes you into the scenic Avon Valley, crossing high above the River Avon, away from the hustle and bustle of modern-day life. Sit back, relax and enjoy the tranquillity. The waiter offers you some refreshment – two large scones with butter, jam and cream, washed down with a cup of tea or coffee. With journey times of less than an hour from Gloucester, Swindon or Taunton – and free coach parking, free meal and travel ticket for the driver – access to this part of our heritage couldn’t be easier. All of this is available from just £17 per person, so give us a call and get all steamed up for all the right reasons. What else is in the area? The beautiful Roman city of Bath with its historic attractions is just a few miles away and is a good place to spend some time. Main periods of operation: Steam trains operate Sundays from Easter to end of October, plus Bank Holidays, Tuesdays to Thursdays during school holidays and Wednesdays in June and July. Diesel services operate on some Saturdays. Coach parking facility: Available on station forecourt Principal Group Rates: 50p discount per ticket Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 60 Catering available for Groups: Cream Teas, snacks, lunches (pre-booking essential)

Trains operate from Bodmin General – the line’s main station, where free coach and car parking is available, to both Bodmin Parkway station – where connections can be made directly with main line railway services – and Boscarne Junction, which is situated directly adjacent to the Camel Trail recreational footpath and cycle way. The Camel Trail then continues along the disused track bed to the fishing village of Padstow. It is a leisurely 13 mile round trip through Cornish countryside. There is a buffet at both Bodmin General and Bodmin Parkway stations, and most services have a buffet and bar on board . There is also a gift shop at Bodmin General. Passenger train services operate throughout the year, and run daily from mid May to mid October. The railway welcomes parties and groups. Generous discounts are available. If arriving by car it is recommended that you join at Bodmin General. The best value ticket is for the whole line round trip and this normally takes about two hours. Cornish cream tea can be served during the journey. Guided tours of the locomotive shed and maintenance workshops can be arranged. What else is in the area? Lanhydrock House(National Trust) and Pencarrow House & Gardens are nearby as well as several attractions in Bodmin itself. Further afield, the Eden Project is easily reached, as are historic Fowey and fashionable Padstow. Contact name for Group Bookings: Bookings Team Main periods of operation: Selected dates Feb-May, daily 18 May- 14 October 2013, selected dates October-December Coach parking facility: FREE parking available for coaches at Bodmin General Station by prior arrangement. Principal Group Rates: Freedom of the Line (All Day Rover) Ticket Groups of 25+: Adult - £9.60, Child - £4.80, Senior Citizen - £8.80 Groups of 10-24: Adult - £10.80, Child - £5.40, Senior Citizen - £9.90 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 200

Conference Facilities available: (5 – 40 person capacity): Catering provided. Mobile & static facilities.

Catering available for Groups: Lunches, Cream Teas etc. Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements.

Bitton Station, Bath Road, Bitton, Bristol BS30 6HD Tel: 0117 932 5538 • Fax: 0117 932 5935 E: W:

Bodmin General Station, Lostwithiel Road, Bodmin, Cornwall PL31 1AQ Tel: 01208 73555 • Fax: 01208 77963 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


South West Dartmoor Railway

Dartmoor Railway is the name given to the 15.5 mile long line that runs across the northern edge of Dartmoor between Meldon Quarry in the West and Coleford Junction near Yeoford, in the East. The route of the Dartmoor Railway is part of what was once the Southern Railway main line from London Waterloo to Plymouth and North Cornwall. When many of the lines in the South West were axed in the 1960’s, this particular stretch of line was kept open to transport ballast from Meldon Quarry for use on all parts of the British Railways Southern Region.

Dartmouth Steam Railway steam trains travel seven miles along the most spectacular South Devon coast down into the Dart Valley, a designated area of outstanding beauty; with stations at Goodrington Sands, Churston and the beautiful village of Kingswear which sits proudly opposite the pretty Port of Dartmouth. Dartmouth River Boats operates on the stunning River Dart offering daily scheduled services to the historic town of Totnes and regular services to the picturesque villages of Dittisham and Stoke Gabriel.  Harbour Cruises operate daily from Dartmouth.

Explore the beautiful countryside of Mid-Devon and North Dartmoor with the Dartmoor Railway. Now a Community Interest Company, the Dartmoor Railway forms part of what was once the route of the famous Atlantic Coast Express.

We are unique in offering combined steam railway, river and sea adventures for days out in Devon. The Round Robin is an award-winning full day out - a steam train journey, ferry crossing, river cruise and bus ride, it is easy to see why it’s got the title it deserves.

The scenic journey operates between Meldon Quarry and Sampford Courtenay offering breath taking views and photographic opportunities along the way. A wonderful family day out or an exciting opportunity for enthusiasts, the experience is one not to be missed. Okehampton Station has and ambience of the 1950’s after being extensively restored. Meldon Station, the highest railway station in southern England, offers stunning views of Dartmoor and access to the Meldon Viaduct as well as a buffet facility and picnic area.

Other trips include:-

Walking from Meldon station you can gain access to the Dartmoor National Park or simply stroll to Meldon Viaduct to take in the views of Yes Tor and High Willhays and Cyclists will be able to continue their journey on Route 27 of the National Cycle Network. The Dartmoor Railway experience can be combined with a walk or cycle ride or simply enjoyed as it is.

“Steam & Cruise”. Paignton to Kingswear by steam train followed by a circular harbour cruise.

Passenger train services operate between Okehampton and Meldon from Easter 2013, check the timetable on our website for details.

Main periods of operation: See the website


Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company

“Round Robin”. The award winning day out. Round trip including steam train journey, ferry, river boat cruise and bus journey. “Sea Train Adventure”. Departs from Torquay, Haldon Pier. Sail to Dartmouth and return by steam train and bus. “Salcombe Voyage”. Sail along the coast from Dartmouth to the lovely port of Salcombe on selected dates throughout the summer.

Plus lots of other fantastic excursions and combinations!

Contact name for Group Bookings: Sarah Roach Main periods of operation: February - October 2013. Santa Specials in December. Coach parking facility: No coach park but two minutes away from multi-storey car park

Coach parking facility: Contact the railway

Principal Group Rates: Please call for a timetable or visit our website

Principal Group Rates: Contact Jo Brown, Marketing Manager

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 300

Catering available for Groups: Contact the railway

Catering available for Groups: Café at Paignton & Kingswear.

Okehampton Station, Okehampton, EX20 1EJ Tel: 01837 55164 E: W:

Queen’s Park Station, Torbay Road, Paignton, Devon TQ4 6AF Tel: 01803 555 872 • Fax: 01803 664 313 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

Blueprint Guide:Layout 1

Dean Forest Railway

In the relatively less well explored part of Gloucestershire, between the rivers Severn and Wye, is a delightful remnant of an extensive system of tramroads and railways which once served the extensive industries of the Forest of Dean. A little more than four miles of typical single line has been brought back to life featuring, at the south end, Lydney Junction, near the harbour on the river Severn and with a connection to the national network, and Parkend at the northern end in the heart of the forest. Currently, Great Western locos predominate on the DFR, including the charming auto train, dating from 1936, and also a small fleet of diesel railcars and some heritage mainline diesels for occasional use also. Unusually, the headquarters of this railway is halfway along its length at Norchard, just north of Lydney, where all the usual facilities exist, including a large flat car/coach park, cafeteria and an interesting accredited museum displaying many artefacts from local lines. A round trip on the line takes about an hour and a half but visitors are encouraged to explore the forest’s walks as part of a day out, especially as there are convenient real ale public houses along the line. An all-day rover ticket allows complete flexibility and good value for money. Services start in February and run through until November. Thereafter, Santa and Mince Pie Specials take place in December. The ‘branch line’ theme predominates in the special event schedule and the auto train hogs the limelight on certain Saturdays from June to October.

South West



Page 1

West Somerset Railway

Regular services from February – November 2013 Snowdrops & Steam • Steam & Diesel Galas Lunchtime and evening specials TV Character Meet & Greet Days • Day Out With Thomas Group Discounts for 16 passengers & above

Book online at Tel: 01643 704996

Contact name for group bookings: Mrs Lynne Wentworth Main periods of operation: Mid Feb to mid Nov & Dec for Santa and Mince Pie Specials. Coach parking facility: Large FREE car & coach park at Norchard station on the B4234 just north of Lydney. Principal Group Rates: 15% discount offered for groups of 20+. The discount applies to reductions on standard rate fares which apply to normal running days. We DO NOT give group discounts on special days, i.e. DOWT and Santa Specials. Refer to website for days of operation & timings. Standard Fares: Adults £11.00. Senior Citizens £10.00. Children 5 – 16 yrs, £5.00. Family (2A+2C) £30.00. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20. Payment: A deposit is required, but full payment can be made on the day BUT before travel, for all members of the group. Catering available for Groups: Light buffet facilities are available. When booking, please indicate the number of persons who require these facilities. Coach drivers can receive a free return trip on the railway or a redeemable £5 voucher for use in the buffet on the day of the visit. Forest Road, Lydney, Gloucestershire GL15 4ET Tel: 01594 845840 E: Enquires through DFR website W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


South West Launceston Steam Railway

Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

The Launceston Steam Railway links the historic town of Launceston with the hamlet of Newmills. The line runs for two and a half miles through the glorious Kensey Valley along the trackbed of the old North Cornwall Railway, where once express trains from Waterloo thundered along.

The legendary Lynton & Barnstaple Railway in North Devon was opened in 1898 and closed in 1935 only 37 years later to universal regret. Affectionately known by locals and visitors alike as the “toy railway”, it was built to the unusually narrow gauge of 1ft 11½in to allow for tighter curves as the track climbed from the Taw estuary on to the heights of Exmoor. In 2004 enthusiasts reopened one mile of the original route from the unspoilt Woody Bay Station 1,000ft above sea level, the highest working station in southern England.

Your train is hauled by narrow gauge (2’ 0”) locomotives built in Victoria’s reign, and you can ride in open or closed carriages depending on the weather; whatever you choose, you are assured of a marvellous view. Tickets are “Day Rovers” so you can ride the trains as often as you wish, or you can break your journey for a picnic, to explore the footpaths around the Kensey Valley or visit the Newmills Farm Park. Trains run hourly from 11.00am – 4.00pm. The Station Buffet offers a good choice of hot and cold refreshments, whilst the Shop has a wide range of gifts for all ages, and the book department features an excellent selection of railway books. The museum houses a fascinating collection of items associated with transport, from the days when British engineering was the envy of the world. The station area was once the site of an Augustinian Priory, some of which can be seen by visitors to the Railway. The historic town of Launceston, once the Capital of Cornwall, is well worth a visit, with its Norman castle, the famous carved granite church of St Mary Magdalene, and excellent town museum. Further details at: and

Today the railway offers a two-mile round trip by steam train with glorious views down the Heddon Valley to the sea - and across the Bristol Channel to South Wales on a clear day. The station at Woody Bay has been beautifully restored to all its 1930s charm and houses a well-stocked gift shop. There is also a delightful traditional tea-room with a sheltered tea-garden adjoining. The station is easily accessible along the A39 and parking is free. The railway is owned by a charitable trust and operated by a not-forprofit company. What else is in the area? The water-powered Cliff Railway between Lynton and Lynmouth four miles from Woody Bay was also built by Victorian engineers. The standard-gauge West Somerset Railway runs from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard; the coast road from Lynmouth to Minehead is particularly scenic. Arlington Court, a late Georgian National Trust property eight miles west of Woody Bay, has a large carriage collection.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Jonathan Mann Main periods of operation: March 29th to April 5th incl. and April 7th - 12th incl.; May 12th - 17th incl. and May 26th - 31st incl.; Sundays/Mondays/Tuesdays in June; Daily except Saturdays July 1st - September 27th incl,; October 27th - November 1st incl. Coach parking facility: Free coach and car park. Principal group rates: 15 persons or more: Adults £5.75 (if an adult group contains a few children, these will be £4 each); Child Groups (3 - 16 years, under 3 Free) 15 children or more, £4 each, 1 adult travels free for every 6 children.

Main periods of operation: Easter to end October, December Santa Specials - group bookings will also be considered in November. Coach parking facility: Yes

Train Ride and Luxury Cream Tea: Adults £9, Children £6.50 - must be booked in advance with travel tickets.

Principal Group Rates: £3.50 per person, tickets valid all day

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Minimum 15

Catering available for Groups: Cream teas, sandwiches, cakes and beverages etc.

Catering available for Groups: By arrangement Launceston, Cornwall PL15 8DA Tel: 01566 775 665 E: W:


Contact name for Group Bookings: ask for the Commercial Manager

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 200

Woody Bay Station, Martinhoe Cross, Parracombe, Devon EX31 4RA Tel: 01598 763487 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

South West Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway

No group trip to the picturesque towns of Lynton and Lynmouth would be complete without a trip on the world famous funicular Cliff Railway. As you ride up and down the 862 foot length of track, from Lynmouth nestling at the foot of the cliffs to Lynton perched 500 feet above, there are stunning views of the Devon coastline and beyond in an area nicknamed ‘England’s Little Switzerland’. This fascinating cliff lift uses only water and the weight of the passengers on board as its motive power. The car going down must weigh more than the one going up to make it work – it is most ingenious and is probably one of the most environmentally friendly tourist attractions in the country. It is open from March until early November from 10:00 each morning, closing times vary. There are nearby public car parks in both towns and plenty of shops and cafés too. The award winning ‘Cliff Top Cafaurant’ is situated at the top of the railway. The cafe offers hot and cold meals, drinks and ice cream throughout the day. Why not stop and refuel while taking in the spectacular views across Lynmouth Bay and the Bristol Channel.


One great day out. VON RAIL H DE T WA U O Sstep back in time and experience Y devon at a pace you’ll enjoy.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Ceri Hughes or Ashley Clarke Main periods of operation: Mid February to beginning of November Coach parking facility: Not onsite but nearby in Lynton, Bottom Meadow Carpark & Lynmouth, Lower Lyndale Car park, there is coach parking, for which at the time of writing there is a nominal fee of £1 per coach. Principal Group Rates: 10% discount on normal rates for pre-booked groups. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: 10 Catering available for Groups: Nearby in the Towns of Lynton & Lynmouth.

The Esplanade, Lynmouth, North Devon, EX35 6EQ Tel: 01598 753486 E: W:

under 3s free. Free car and coach parking at Buckfastleigh, TQ11 0DZ, just off the A38. Short walk from Totnes town and station. Excellent rates and a perfect venue for coach parties! tr a i n s m a rc h - oc to b e r

• one train not to miss • 0 8 43 357 142 0 • w w w. so u th d e vo n r a i k

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


South West Seaton Tramway

South Devon Railway

Seaton Tramway is one of East Devon’s most recognisable landmarks. Serving Seaton, Colyford and Colyton in the Axe Valley, it offers unrivalled views of the valley and its wildlife.

One train not to miss!

Never mind the weather! Our trams run every day throughout the season. Discover Devon’s hidden secrets, find out about our history and travel in our “Time Machines”. Start your journey at Seaton and ride inland to Colyton one of Devon’s hidden jewels, or start at Colyton and arrive at Seaton, the gateway to the Jurassic Coast. The late Claude Lane founded the tramway in 1949. Initially a portable 15” gauge system, it evolved into the 2’ gauge Eastbourne Tramway in 1954. Claude Lane purchased the Seaton to Colyton section in 1969 and, after moving from Eastbourne, the first section of the 2’9” gauge Seaton Tramway opened in 1970. Claude Lane’s creation continues to inspire and delight thousands, and the company is committed to protecting its inheritance. Further improvements are planned in the coming years so that the Tramway can offer the best possible service, both as a tourist destination and a useful local amenity, just as Claude Lane envisaged. Seaton Tramway is a great day out for all age groups and even more fun when you’re travelling with a like-minded group! We have open toppers and enclosed saloons, giving a comfortable ride. Whatever the weather groups will enjoy a leisurely trip on the Tramway. NEW FOR 2013 We are proud to announce a separate dining and/or meeting area for groups seating up to 80 people. Contact name for Group Bookings: Sue Bowman Main periods of operation: 23rd March – 3rd November, 27th December – 1st January 2014 Coach parking facility: Seaton-East Devon District Council Coach Park & own car park at Colyton Principal Group Rates: Return Journey – Adult £8.10 Senior £7.50 Children (3-16) £4.10 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 12 Catering Available for Groups: Devon Cream Tea £4.50, Buffet Style Lunch (min 12 people) £7.95 to include a drink, Two Course Lunch £8.95 to include a drink – further details on request.


Take a trip back in time on the South Devon Railway, a delightful steam train journey along the banks of the River Dart, through some of Devon’s most beautiful and hidden countryside on a typical West Country rural branch line. It’s a top destination for groups and parties because it offers a hugely memorable experience with outstanding appeal across all age ranges and interests – and at very attractive rates for groups too. At Buckfastleigh, the main station, there is a riverside walk and picnic area, play area, gardens, a fascinating museum, an absorbing engineering workshop where heritage locomotives from all around the country are repaired and restored, the railway’s fleet of historic locomotives and rolling stock as well as a well-stocked shop and refreshment rooms where a great variety of freshly made food is served. There is also plenty of parking for cars and coaches there. The journey to Totnes takes visitors on a journey through outstanding countryside along the valley of the River Dart, which is rich in wildlife. Passengers can take a single or return journey to the SDR station at Totnes, which is about 500 yards from the main line station and a short walk to the fascinating mediaeval town. The trip is about 30 minutes in each direction. The South Devon Railway’s appeal is very wide: if you want to stay longer and see more, you can combine it with great value ‘3 Great Attractions 1 Amazing Day’ tickets to visit the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm at Totnes and Dartmoor Otters & Buckfast Butterflies next to the station at Buckfastleigh. Buckfastleigh station is just off the A38, midway between Exeter and Plymouth. More details are at Contact name for Group Bookings: Neil Smith Main periods of operation: End of March – end of October Coach parking facility: Free at Buckfastleigh Principal Group Rates: Adults from £6.70 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15

Conference Facilities available: (12 – 30 person capacity). Catering provided.

Catering available for Groups: Our Refreshment Rooms at Buckfastleigh are open every day and serve a range of hot & cold meals.

Harbour Road, Seaton, Devon EX12 2NQ Tel: 01297 20375 E: W:

The Station, Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0DZ Tel: 01364 642338 • Fax: 01364 642170 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

Travel back in time to the golden age of travel An all weather family attraction! OPEN DAILY FROM 10AM MID FEBRUARY TO EARLY NOVEMBER


Tel: 01598 753486 EMAIL: WEBSITE: The Cliff Railway,The Esplanade, Lynmouth, North Devon EX35 6EQ

Journey from Seaton, gateway town to the World Heritage Jurassic Coast through two nature reserves alongside the Axe estuary to historic Colyton . Open daily: 1st-6th Jan, 16th-24th Feb, 23rd March-3rd Nov, 27th Dec-1st Jan 2014 Open weekends: 2nd-10th Feb, 2nd-17th March Halloween Tram of Terror: 26th - 31st Oct Birdwatching, Birthday Parties, Tram Driving Experiences and Lessons available all year. Santa Specials: 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd & 24th Dec Group bookings available during the festive season for Turkey & Tinsel or Mince Pie Magic. Harbour Road, Seaton, Devon EX12 2NQ tel: (01297) 20375 e:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


South West The Torbay Express

West Somerset Railway

The Torbay Express is one of the most famous express steam trains of the post-war years. It follows the route of Brunel’s Great Western Railway, speeding across the Somerset levels and around the beautiful Devon coastline on one of the most enchanting railway journeys in the world. Travelling aboard The Torbay Express with its heritage carriages, comfortable seats, large picture windows and historic steam locomotives (70000 Britannia, 34046 Braunton, 5209 Nunney Castle and 4464 Bittern) takes you on a journey back to the romantic days of steam and summer excursions to the seaside resorts of the English Riviera.

The West Somerset Railway travels through 20 miles of beautiful Somerset countryside between Bishops Lydeard ( 4 miles from Taunton, Jnc. 25, M5) and Minehead, with its steam trains running through the Quantock Hills and along the Exmoor Coast. Possible places to explore include the ancient harbour town of Watchet, Washford with Cleeve Abbey and Torre Cider Farm and medieval Dunster with its famous Castle (why not catch the “Dunster Castle Express” at 10.25 from Bishops Lydeard on Wednesdays and Saturdays for a full day’s outing).

Operating on summer Sundays (7, 14 & 21 July, 4, 11 & 18 August, 1, 8 & 15 September) The Torbay Express departs Bristol Temple Meads about 09:10 on its scenic journey to the West and the spectacular coastal route to Torbay. Pickup stations are Weston-Super-Mare and Taunton (Premier Dining not available from here). Arrival back in Bristol is around 20:15. Premier Dining (£199) - silver service dining: a hearty English breakfast, morning refreshments, and champagne on the return journey followed by a four course dinner with chocolates. First Class (£129) - complimentary service of morning refreshments and an afternoon Devon cream tea. Standard Class (£82 Adult £49 u16) passengers travel at tables for four. A selection of light meals, snacks and drinks are available for purchase on board. Tables for two, with guaranteed window seats can be reserved at a supplement of £25 per person in Premier and First Class.

Trains run in all months of the year with regular steam hauled services from February to November and Festive Fun Trains in December including Santa, Carol and Dunster by Candlelight services. Special events for all ages and interests run throughout the year. For enthusiasts why not visit one of our major special events? Spring Steam Gala – March 16th – 19th & 21st – 24th, Mixed Traction Weekend on June 7th – 9th and Autumn Steam Gala on October 3rd – 6th. The West Somerset Railway offers a wide range of steam and diesel ‘Driver Experience Courses’. From the novice to expert the courses allow you to realise your ambition and make your long held dreams become reality. New for 2013: Family Character Meet and Greet Days: Peppa Pig and George Pig on Saturday 6th April, Fireman Sam on Saturday 4th May, Day Out With Thomas Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th & Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th July, Mike the Knight on Saturday 31st September and Scooby Doo on Saturday 26th October.

Enjoy a break of up to five hours at seaside Paignton or stay aboard to visit beautiful and historic Dartmouth. Contact name for Group Bookings: Commercial Dept. Contact name for Group Bookings: Hannah Watts Main periods of operation: July - September Coach parking facility: At pick-up railway stations (Bristol Temple Meads, Weston-Super-Mare & Taunton) Principal Group Rates: 5% reduction for groups of 10+ rising in increments of 1% for each ten passengers to a maximum of 10% discount


Main periods of operation: Selected dates in Jan, Nov & Dec and regular services from Feb – Oct. Coach parking facility: Free at Bishops Lydeard Station and Minehead Station. See website for other stations. Principal Group Rates: Adults - £10.00, Seniors - £9.80, Children - £5.00 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 16

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: over 10

Catering available for Groups: On application

Catering available for Groups: Catering included as part of package for First Class & Premier Dining passengers

Conference Facilities available: (8 – 16 person capacity – Bishops Lydeard. 12 person capacity - Minehead). Catering provided.

Stag House, Gydynap Lane, Inchbrook, Stroud, GL5 5EZ Tel: 01453 834477 / 835414 • Fax: 01453 834053 E: W:

The Railway Station, Minehead TA24 5BG Tel: 01643 700384 • Fax: 01643 706349 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

Yorkshire & North East Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

Situated just outside Skipton in North Yorkshire, the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway runs 4 miles between the award winning station at Bolton Abbey and the Victorian Embsay station.

This lovely standard gauge heritage railway is all you would expect from a period north country branch line, with engines puffing gallantly up the steep gradients through the Worth Valley.

The railway has long experience dealing with group visits and many visit us regularly. Trains are hauled by magnificently restored steam engines with seating normally in open carriages so you can all sit together.

It is perhaps best known for its starring role in the classic 1970 film The Railway Children. Stand on the bridge and watch the vintage steam trains pass by, and hop off at the Edwardian Oakworth station, a key setting within the film. Several of the railway’s steam locomotives featured in the film.

Both main station facilities are well able to cope with groups with ample toilets, gift shops and there is a large tea room at Bolton Abbey Station. There is ample free coach and car parking at both Bolton Abbey and Embsay Stations. Groups are welcomed with reserved seating on the trains and catering can be arranged to suit the organiser’s requirements, from tea and scones on the trains up to a full meal in the cafe. The railway holds a number of special events particularly popular with our group visitors such as our 1940’s Weekend in September and for our younger visitors Santa Specials in November and December. Increasingly, groups are also visiting over the Christmas Holidays as part of an inclusive package. Near to Embsay is the attractive market town of Skipton with its popular canal and castle and of course the world famous Bolton Priory is at the other end of the line and we are close to Harrogate, York, Leeds and Bradford, all of which are towns and cities with great accommodation for groups. We welcome group visits so please give us a try. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Contact name for Group Bookings: Stephen Walker Main periods of operation: All Year Coach parking facility: Ample - up to 30 spaces at Bolton Abbey Station Principal Group Rates: Adult £8.00 Return / £5 Single Concession £7.20 Return/£4.50 Single

Being such a beautifully maintained 1950’s line, the railway is also a popular location for film and TV programmes including Sherlock Holmes, Last of the Summer Wine and many more. This is truly a railway for all seasons with wild birds and flowers abundant in the summer, and atmospheric gas lamps lighting the stations in winter. The five-mile journey offers views of windswept moors, rushing streams and stone-built villages, and most of the stations along the route are little pieces of history in themselves, with original features galore. For those who like the great outdoors the Railway has plenty of spectacular walks and nature trails. Try the Top Withens Walk - taking you out of Haworth, the village where the Brontë sisters lived and wrote, along the pathways they walked and through the moorland that inspired them. At Ingrow West you will find two award winning transport museums, boasting several incredible Victorian and Edwardian carriages, sound and video presentations, several locomotives as well as displays, exhibits and archive film. Onboard catering is available, as well as real ale bars to whet your whistle. Try one of the guided tours, which include behind the scenes visits for enthusiasts. Special Events run throughout the year, including a Railway Children Weekend and a Haworth Village 1940s Weekend. Visit our website for details. There are car parks at most stations but Oxenhope is the best place for coaches with a large car park, shop and buffet.

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20

Main periods of operation: Every weekend throughout the year & daily in summer months. See website for full timetables.

Catering available for Groups: 2 Cafes plus Buffet Cars

Coach parking facility: Oxenhope & Ingrow Station

Conference Facilities available (70/80 person capacity): Catering provided and special Wine & Dine Service available.

Principal Group Rates: Please call us for further details.

Bolton Abbey Station, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 6AF Tel: 01756 710614 • Fax: 01756 710720 E: W:

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20

The Railway Station, Station Road, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8NJ Tel: 01535 645214 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Yorkshire & North East Kirklees Light Railway

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Climb aboard Yorkshire’s Great Little Steam Trains for a scenic railway journey from Clayton West to Shelley, in the beautiful South Pennine Foothills. Built on the historic Clayton West branch, the Kirklees Light Railway has developed into a popular destination for young and old. Shelley, situated high on the valley side offers splendid views of the surrounding countryside. Passengers can enjoy our cosy Tea Room which serves light refreshments whenever the trains are running. For walkers there is a vast network of rural public footpaths which intertwine through the local villages and among the surrounding area all linked to the Railway line.

Visit the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in 2013 and help us celebrate 40 years of running as a heritage railway.

Our main station at Clayton West boasts a café serving locally sourced seasonal food with a range of hot and cold meals. The souvenir shop is well stocked and provides plenty of choice for gifts and mementos of your visit to the railway. The Kirklees Light Railway has a large free car park to offer convenient coach parking and is located within 5 miles of the M1. There are several local attractions within a close distance to the Railway such as the National Coal Mining Museum, the village of Holmfirth famous for being the backdrop to the television series Last of The Summer Wine. The Peak District is also a short drive away.

The perfect day out awaits you at the world’s most popular heritage steam railway. Ride like Harry Potter for the ultimate trip through Heartbeat Country and be transported back to an era when magnificent steam engines ruled the railways. Services operate between Pickering and Whitby along the 24 mile line calling at Levisham, Newtondale Halt, Goathland and Grosmont Stations. Home to Sir Nigel Gresley 6007, Green Knight 80135 and Eric Treacy 45428 enjoy steaming along through the heart of the North York Moors at a leisurely pace behind these magnificent engines. It’s the perfect chance to enjoy the breath-taking landscape and take up some wildlife spotting no matter what the season. At Pickering discover the history of the Railway in the visitor centre, or why not visit Pickering Castle or Beck Isle Museum. Levisham is home to the railway’s artist in residence. Head further into the Moors and relive the magic of Harry Potter and Heartbeat with a visit to Goathland our celebrity station. At Grosmont visit the shed shop and sneak a peek from the viewing platform before travelling to Whitby and some seaside fun. Don’t forget to visit one of our traditional station tea rooms serving scrumptious Yorkshire Fayre.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Stuart Ross or Richard Shaw

Daily train services operate between Pickering and Whitby every day from 22nd March to 3rd November. For winter running check out our website.

Main periods of operation: Weekends & Whitsun through to September Coach parking facility: Large free car & coach park

Contact name for Group Bookings: Gerry Bacon

Principal Group Rates: 15-29 Persons: Adult £5.50, Concession £5, Child £4, 30+ Persons: Adult £5, Concession £4.50, Child £4. On non-operating days, there is a minimum charge of £120.

Main periods of operation: 23 March - 3 November 2013

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15 Max: Contact for details Catering available for Groups: Cafe & tearoom serving drinks and hot & cold food. Park Mill Way, Clayton West, Nr Huddersfield HD8 9XJ Tel: 01484 865727 Fax: 01484 866333 E: W:


Coach parking facility: Not at stations but coach park in Pickering Eastgate Car Park or Goathland in the village. Principal Group Rates: Prices on application, group rates available for 20 or more fare-paying passengers. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 100 Catering available for Groups: Tearooms at Pickering, Goathland & Grosmont. Tea hut at Levisham. 12 Park Street, Pickering, North Yorkshire YO18 7AJ Tel: 01751 472508 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

FR Gr E ou Se E C ps as o W on ac el al h P co Ev ar me en ki ts ng

OPEN AIR STEAM ADVENTURE Yorkshire’s great little steam trains 3 12 miles of narrow gauge scenic railway set in the South Pennine foothills. Café, Tea Room, Large Car Park, Picnic Area and souvenir shop. 4 resident steam locomotives and 1 diesel engine. Kirklees Light Railway, Park Mill Way, Clayton West, Nr Huddersfield HD8 9XJ Contact us on; 01484 865727 or

Step back in time on The Railway Children’s Railway in the heart of Brontë Country, a perfect day out for all the family! Enjoy a snapshot of the railway’s glory days. Steam and diesel trains run throughout the year and daily in summer and school holidays.

Find us at Haworth Station, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD22 8NJ

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Yorkshire & North East Tanfield Railway

Weardale Railway

Enjoy a 6 mile journey on the oldest existing railway in the world, in Victorian carriages behind a vintage steam loco through the picturesque Causey Country Park, running past the historic Causey Arch, built in 1725. The Causey Arch was the first arched railway bridge in the world and our loco shed dates back to 1854 and is the oldest loco shed in the UK that has been in continuous use since it was built. We also have around 60 locomotives of various sizes and gauges on site which makes it the largest collection of industrial locomotives in the country. Also on site is a Blacksmiths forge and a vintage workshop where belt driven machines can be demonstrated by prior arrangement.

The Weardale Railway follows the path of the River Wear and passes through the spectacular scenery of Weardale. With historic connections to the Stockton & Darlington Railway, it was once a vital link to the industrial heart of Teesside. Steeped in a rich industrial heritage, the area is also renowned for magnificent and unspoilt views of the countryside.

The present special price for coach companies is £5.00 per person with free travel and refreshments for couriers and drivers. One of our staff will accompany coach groups to explain the history of the line. Trains run every Sunday during the year plus extra days at Bank Holiday weekends. We also run Wednesdays and Thursdays during the school summer holidays. Directions – The Railway is located near to Sunniside in Gateshead Tyne & Wear. From the A1(M) use the A693 Stanley or from the A1 the A692 Consett Road. The Railway is off the A6076 Sunniside - Stanley Road and is only 15 minutes from Gateshead Metro Centre and is only 3 miles from North of England Open Air Museum at Beamish. The Post Code for Sat Nav. is NE16 5ET

A fun day out for all, young or old, our uniformed staff wait to welcome you aboard authentic carriages hauled by our heritage locomotives. Relax with refreshments from the buffet then sit back and enjoy the experience. The newly extended heritage service now offers departures from Bishop Auckland as well as Wolsingham and Frosterley before continuing to Stanhope. The Whistlestop Buffet is open daily from 10am – 4pm year round and offers a wide selection of locally sourced pies and pastries, freshly made daily specials and light snacks. Enjoy views of the Weardale countryside from our outside seating area. Enjoy Sunday Afternoon Tea on our Heritage Service. A selection of sandwiches, freshly baked scones and cakes are served on board our afternoon departure. Advance booking is required. Buffets and outside catering are available on request.

The city of Newcastle is only a few miles away as is Gateshead with its amazing Millennium Bridge.

The Lamp Room Gift Shop is located at Stanhope Station. Our shop is stocked with a wide variety of gifts, souvenirs and a range of Thomas the Tank Engine merchandise. Rail memorabilia, pocket money gifts, and Weardale Railway gifts are all available and we have a dedicated range of products for which profits are donated directly to the Weardale Railway Trust to help maintain our heritage stock.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Tommy Knox

Main periods of operation: April – October. See the website for special events, Santa Express (December) and updates on services and timetables.

What else is in the area?

Main periods of operation: Every Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday, plus Wed/Thurs in school summer holidays Coach parking facility: Hardstanding on site Principal Group Rates: £5 per head


The railway is a partnership between the majority stakeholder British American Railway Services, Durham County Council and the Weardale Railway Trust, with a united goal of delivering a reliable service and an enjoyable experience.

Coach parking facility: Contact the railway Principal Group Rates: Contact Jo Brown, Marketing Manager

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15

Catering available for Groups: Station buffet serving hot & cold drinks, light snacks, daily specials, sweets & ice creams.

Old Marley Hill, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear NE16 5ET Tel: 0845 463 4938 E: info@ W:

Stanhope Station, Station Road, Stanhope, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham DL13 2YS Tel: 01388 526203 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

Yorkshire & North East Wensleydale Railway

Great days out for groups on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway 10th anniversary year of the line re-opening! 16 miles - one of the longest operational heritage lines in the UK. From the flat Vale of Mowbray to the upland splendour of the famous Yorkshire Dales, this beautifully set rural railway line passes through market towns, small villages, woodlands and farmland. New for 2013 - services to Scruton, a newly restored NE Railway country station, and Northallerton West. Principal stations are: Leeming Bar - where rolling stock and locomotives are stored. Bedale - attractive market town with good range of shops and attractions including Bread Actually!(as featured on TV) and Big Sheep Little Cow farm attraction. Finghall Lane - well-preserved minor rural station, used in the filming of the All Creatures Great and Small TV series. Leyburn - main market town of mid Wensleydale with shops and cafés clustered around the historic market place. Redmire - this part of the line has the most magnificent scenery along the route and is ideally placed for a walk further into Wensleydale or up to Bolton Castle (¾ mile), a spectacular medieval fortress over 600 years old. On foot from Redmire Station: Aysgarth Falls (4 miles) Famous beauty spot with a triple flight of waterfalls.

Climb aboard and ride like Harry Potter for the ultimate trip through Heartbeat Country with plenty of time to stop off for a walk through the moors, or a cream tea along the way. Discounts available for groups 20+ Visit or call 01751 472508,, follow us on Twitter @NYMR or Facebook @North Yorkshire Moors Railway

A Complete Day out with the Wensleydale Railway . . . Driver Experience Learn to drive a diesel multiple unit. (from £99). Vintage Tuesdays (2 April to 29 October) - vintage bus meets the train and goes to Bolton Castle, Aysgarth Falls and Hawes. Medieval Meander - rail journey, guided tour of Bolton Castle and lunch or afternoon tea at castle or on train. min no 15 people (16 February to 3 November). Constable Burton Hall and Gardens - rail journey to Leyburn (via Redmire) with buffet lunch, guided tour of Hall and gardens. min no 20 people (29 March to 26 July, Tues and Fri only) Programme of Events include Murder Mysteries, Jazz and Real Ale, Santa Specials, Walks and Excursion. Main periods of operation: mid February 2013 – early January 2014 (not always daily - please see website). Coach parking facility: At Leeming Bar & Redmire. Nearby at Bedale & Leyburn. Group Discount Rates available (min 12 people). Catering available: Light refreshments / buffet lunch / afternoon tea. 1 Leases Road, Leeming Bar, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 9AR Tel:  08454 50 54 74 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Isle of Man Groudle Glen Railway

Isle of Man Steam Railway

The Groudle Glen Railway is an Isle of Man Registered charity which is owned and operated entirely by volunteers. It is a true narrow gauge railway, originally built in 1896, to cater for a holiday population whose ideals were short walks and the taking of bracing sea airs.

Dating from 1874, the Isle of Man Steam Railway is the Island’s oldest Victorian rail system, still running with its original locomotives and carriages to a choice of destinations in the south of the Island, such as the impressive Castle Rushen, the picturesque Port Erin beach and the beautiful Silverdale Glen.

The line runs through a secluded glen on the Isle of Man out to the cliff tops where originally in Victorian times there was a zoo containing Sea Lions and Polar Bears. The line was built to serve this zoo, and two steam locomotives Sea Lion (1896) and Polar Bear (1905) were ordered from Bagnalls in Stafford to run the line. They continued to operate in various guises until 1962, at which point the buildings were run down, the track in a poor state and only one steam engine was serviceable, so it fell into disrepair. The first section of the line was re-opened for public passenger trains in 1986, following a rebuilding project by BNFL at Sellafield, Sea Lion of 1896 returned to service in 1987. Train services were extended to the original terminus at Sea Lion Rocks in 1992. Trains now run from Lhen Coan to the rebuilt station building at Sea Lion Rocks, where light refreshments are available. A variety of trains operate during the year. Steam locomotives Sea Lion and Annie, diesel locomotives Dolphin and Walrus, and battery operated Polar Bear are operational. Trains run on Sundays from May to September, on Wednesday evenings during July and August. In addition there are Special events such as the Santa Specials, Mince Pie Trains, Jester Express and the Easter Bunny Trains, Cliff Top Concerts and the chance to join the Friends of Groudle Glen Railway organisation. More details can be found on their website

For some of the finest views of the east coast take a trip on the Manx Electric Railway, first opened in 1893. Laxey is the starting point of the Snaefell Mountain Railway, a unique Victorian enterprise which winds its way up above 2,000 feet to the top of Snaefell, the only place one can see the Seven Kingdoms: The kingdom of Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Mann, Heaven and Neptune. For visitors, there are many money saving, multi-journey ticket options and group discounts are available. Special events and driving experiences are put on throughout the year; enthusiasts will enjoy Rush Hour on the Railways and the Manx Heritage Transport Festival. 2013 however is the 120th anniversary of the Manx Electric Railway so the 7th September is a key date for your diary. Other events such as WWII Weekends and Rail Ale Tours are put on throughout the year so don’t miss out and sign up to their e-newsletter, email Resident’s tickets and Rail cards are available now from the Welcome Centre, offering unlimited or discounted travel. Check online at for various options and prices to suit you. Visit or follow us on facebook at Main periods of operation: 14th February to 5th November 2013

Main periods of operation: Sundays May to September (also Christmas)

Coach parking facility: Douglas: set down point, limited parking by prior arrangement. Castletown: set down/pick-up only by station. Coach park in Main town. Port Erin: coach spaces reserved in adjacent public car park.

Coach parking facility: Drop off Point

Principal Group Rates: Contact for details.

Principal Group Rates: 25% discount on Groups of 12 or more. Leader travels free.

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: 12

Special events put on throughout the year, check our events section online or contact for details.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Alex Brindley

Catering available for Groups: Cliff Top Tea Rooms Groudle Glen, Onchan, Isle of Man Tel: 01624 670453 (Recorded Timetable) E: W:


Catering available for Groups: Douglas & Port Erin.

Department of Community, Culture and Leisure, Transport Headquarters, Banks Circus, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 5PT Tel: 01624 663366/662525 • Fax: 01624 663637 E: W:,

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

Isle of Man Manx Electric Railway

Snaefell Mountain Railway

If you want to explore the north of the Island, do so in Victorian style by taking a charming electric tramcar. The 17.5 mile route from Douglas to Ramsey hugs the Island’s east coast, passing through gorse topped hills, glorious Victorian glens and spectacular coastal scenery. The Manx Electric Railway has been in operation since 1893. Indeed, trams number 1 and 2 hold a place in the Guinness book of world records as the oldest operating electric cars.

Dating from 1895, Laxey is the starting point for the Snaefell Mountain Railway, a unique Victorian enterprise which winds its way up above 2,000 feet to the top of Snaefell, the Island’s only mountain. The round trip takes 90 minutes.

Starting at Derby Castle at the end of Douglas promenade, and is served by the Horse Tramway and frequent bus services that also connect with the steam railway station. As well as offering some very pleasant walks, Groudle Glen - just a short hop north - is home to the lovingly restored Groudle Glen Railway which runs through the glen and out to the coast. Alight at Laxey for the ‘Mines Trail’ which includes the Great Laxey Wheel and the fascinating Great Laxey Mine Railway. Laxey Station is also the starting point for the unique Snaefell Mountain Railway. North of Laxey, the tram stops at Dhoon Glen, Glen Mona, Ballaglass and Cornaa; all are ideal for exploring the footpaths, glens and peaceful beaches along the coast. Further on, Ballajora, Dreemskerry, Lewaigue and Belle Vue provide the most convenient stops for exploring Maughold Church, the rugged coastline around Maughold Head and the quiet beaches at Port Mooar and Port Lewaigue. At the north end of the line is Ramsey with its impressive boating lake at Mooragh Park.

The trams climb steadily up the mountain, and when you arrive at the summit there are spectacular views on a clear day; it is the only place in the British Isles where you can see the seven kingdoms, (Mann, Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, The Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of the Sea) just by turning around. There are no roads to the summit of Snaefell but there are a number of paths that lead to the Bungalow, and Laxey, for those visitors who want to make their own way up or down the mountain. The newly refurbished Snaefell Summit Hotel now includes underfloor heating, new windows throughout, a fully compliant kitchen and brand new roof. There is a selection of dining experiences which can be booked on days the trains operate by calling 01624 673623. Events with a view are also held at the summit, such as the popular Sunset Dinners, Seven Kingdoms Sunday Lunch, and Pie in the Sky - featuring stargazing and supper with the Island’s Astronomical experts.

Group bookings are available and there is always an opportunity to hire a tram and almost any package can be tailored to fit in with your requirements. For special interest groups there is also the opportunity to drive one of the historic trams; an ultimate driving experience! Main periods of operation: 27th March to 31st October 2013 Main periods of operation: 9th March to 3rd November 2013

Principal Group Rates: Contact for details.

Principal Group Rates: Contact for details.

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20

Catering available for Groups: Laxey and Snaefell Summit.

Catering available for Groups: Laxey. Special events put on throughout the year, check our events section online or contact for details.

Special events and Snaefell Summit Dining Experiences are put on throughout the year, check our events section online or contact for details.

Department of Community, Culture and Leisure, Transport Headquarters, Banks Circus, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 5PT Tel: 01624 663366/662525 • Fax: 01624 663637 E: W:,

Department of Community, Culture and Leisure, Transport Headquarters, Banks Circus, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 5PT Tel: 01624 663366/662525 • Fax: 01624 663637 E: W:,

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Wales Bala Lake Railway

Ffestiniog Railway

Opened as a narrow gauge railway in 1972,the railway uses the original standard gauge station buildings and signal box at Llanuwchllyn from the time when it was a Great Western Standard gauge line. Whilst there have been considerable changes the character of the buildings remains.

Originally built as a line worked by gravity to bring slate down from the quarries at Blaenau Ffestiniog to the harbour at Porthmadog, in 2013 The Ffestiniog Railway is celebrating 150 years of steam! Some of the early locomotives still run today but it is the unique ‘push mepull you’ double Fairlie locomotives with a chimney at each end for which the Ffestiniog is most famous and you are bound to see one during your visit.

The smaller scale of the railways operation and the old buildings and locomotives means the railway has all the charm of the old fashioned narrow gauge railway, and it remains a place where the staff and volunteers have time to deal with passengers on an almost individual basis. The railways base is just off the A494 in the village of Llanuwchllyn, where there is adequate car parking, and of course café/gift shop. Based as we are in a village, and not having a station in the town at Bala can make us difficult to find. Travelling along the A494 you need to turn into the village of Llanuwchllyn. Towards the end of the village look carefully for the brown tourist sign and turn left into Station Road, cross the river bridge and the entrance is in front of you. If you prefer to travel from Bala Station, you must find the junction of the B4391 and B4403 and park on the road. The path across the field to the small station is near the corner, look for the signs by a gate. The time taken to find us will be rewarded by a trip on one of the friendliest little railways in Wales.

Running from Harbour Station in Porthmadog which it now shares with the Welsh Highland, it crosses the estuary on the 200 year old embankment, The Cob, before climbing up towards Blaenau Ffestiniog through the beautiful Vale of Ffestiniog. Once flooded by a hydroelectricity scheme, the line goes in a complete spiral to gain height to rise above the flooded valley floor before returning to the original track bed just outside the town. Blaenau Ffestiniog has recently undergone a £4.5m regeneration scheme with a completely revamped area around the station so is well worth spending some time exploring with several small shops and cafes and a poetry band trail set into the pavements. Though proud of its Victorian heritage, most trains contain modern heated carriages for a service that runs daily between late March and the beginning of November and also has a regular winter service. An ‘at your seat’ light refreshment service is provided in the modern carriages and a pre-booked refreshments are available for groups. Most groups do a single journey as part of a circular tour of Snowdonia. There is parking at Harbour Station for booked groups as well as Spooner’s café/bar and a well stocked gift shop. Advanced booking is essential as this railway is a popular destination for groups. Contact name for Group Bookings: Samantha Hughes/Victoria Towers or Ben Kelly

Contact name for Group Bookings: Roger or Bobby Hine

Main periods of operation: Daily 23rd March – 2nd November 2013. Winter timetable has trains on Wed & Thurs to Christmas then daily 26th Dec to 1st Jan.

Main periods of operation: Easter to end September except some Mondays & Fridays

Coach parking facility: Coach parking available at Porthmadog Harbour Station, Blaenau Ffestiniog(adjacent council car park)

Coach parking facility: At Llanuwchllyn, roadside at Bala

Principal Group Rates: Porthmadog – Blaenau Ffestiniog

Principal Group Rates: £4.40 single, £7 return

Single – Adult £8.30, Concession £8.30, Child £4.20 Return – Adult £16.60, Concession £15.00, Child £8.30

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 100 Catering available for Groups: Cold filled rolls, tea, coffee, cakes.


Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 100

Café seats 48 maximum.

Catering available for Groups: At seat buffet service, pre-booked catering for groups available either on train or at station restaurant.

The Station, Llanuwchllyn, Gwynedd LL23 7DD Tel: 01678 540666 E: W:

Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd LL49 9NF Tel: 01766 516024 • Fax: 01766 516005 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

Wales Great Orme Tramway

Gwili Steam Railway

Britain’s only cable-hauled street tramway is a unique attraction. This Victorian tramway still fits perfectly into its setting with Victoria Station nestling in the old Church Walks end of Llandudno. From here, it climbs up through the steep streets before emerging from the town and up onto the Great Orme. The views are breathtaking as the town spreads out behind you and on a good day you can see right across towards Liverpool and the Isle of Man.

Situated in the village of Bronwydd Arms, Carmarthen, in the very picturesque valley of the River Gwili, visitors are treated to the sight of a signal box built more than one hundred years ago and what is more they are welcome to step into the box and speak to the Signalman who is always willing to show the intricate workings of the signalling system and just maybe, be allowed to pull one of the levers, if they have the strength.

The tramway is suitable for groups of all ages. School groups are welcome here and special teachers’ packs are available. Due to the age and design of the trams there is limited accessibility, however, there is an access statement and you are welcome to phone for more details. At the half way station, an exhibition explains the history of the funicular tramway and how it works.

To take the visitor even further back there are two Great Western Carriages built in Birmingham in the 1890’s that have been converted into tea rooms that also serve as a reading room for the forthcoming literary Society!

It is open from late March until the end of October and trams run regularly throughout the day. What else is in the area? The old walled town and castle of Conwy is just a few minutes’ drive, as is Bodnant Gardens. Betws y Coed is a 30 minute drive from the town. The Great Orme is a wonderland of nature and history. Look out for the two varieties of butterfly which are unique to the area, the wild Kashmir goats and the rare flowers.

The Gwili Railway operates a steam heritage railway which dates back to 1860 when The Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway commenced business, although it never reached Cardigan but instead meandered its way to Aberystwyth. We have a small museum where in pride of place is “Prince”, who was the late Stationmaster’s retriever at Llanybyther Station in the 1930’s. Prince is now in a glass case which does attract some interesting comments. The line is being extended, at the moment we are using three miles of track on our nine miles of trackbed and hopefully we may be able to add another two miles by the end of the year. Visitors are always welcome to view the ongoing work in restoring our Victorian carriages.

Explore the headland’s amazing Bronze Age copper mines, the Iron Age fort and the Stone Age remains. Visit the 6th century St Tudno’s Church. Or simply breathe in the fresh air and beauty. Contact name for Group Bookings: Jeremy John Main periods of operation: Main period of operation from Easter to October. Please check website for operating days. Contact name for Group Bookings: Susan Kent/Julie Jones

Coach parking facility: Plenty of parking. Coaches welcome

Main periods of operation: 31st March – Nov 4th 10am to 6pm daily (5pm during March & October)

Principal Group Rates: Adult £9.00, Family Ticket £20.00, Over 60’s £8.00, Children aged 3-15 £2.00 and under 3’s free. Dogs £1.00 10% reduction for groups – drivers & couriers free. Different fares for special events.

Coach parking facility: Dedicated coach parks within the town, drop off point at Prince Edward Square near the Pier Principal Group Rates: £6.00 for adults, with a 10% discount for groups of 10 or more, each tram car takes 48 people Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 c/o Conwy County Borough Council, Government Buildings, Dinerth Road, Rhos on Sea, LL28 4UL Tel: 01492 577877 • Fax: 01492 574027 E: W:

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Catering available for Groups: Strawberry teas, cream teas, light lunches, teas & coffee, bacon rolls. The Railway Station, Bronwydd Arms, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire SA33 6HT Tel: 01267 238213 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Wales Llanberis Lake Railway

Llangollen Railway

Situated just a few minutes’ walk from the Snowdon Mountain Railway station, beside Padarn Park, this little railway offers a very scenic trip along Lake Padarn. Although the railway has only just celebrated its 40th birthday, the track bed was used as far back as the 1820’s and the tiny steam engines, lovingly restored, are typical of the little workhorses that once toiled in the local quarries, hauling slate rather than passengers.

Llangollen Railway is a Heritage Railway line which starts at Llangollen Station, located beside the Dee River Bridge in Llangollen Town and continues 7 ½ miles upstream to the village of Carrog.

The round trip from Llanberis to Penllyn takes about an hour. Groups are made very welcome on this railway and their season has recently been extended to accommodate them. Although the carriages are quite small, the railway is proud of its specially adapted wheelchair carriages which have earned it a place in the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain. Advanced booking is recommended as the line is popular. There are several events during the year. The main station is at Gilfach Ddu where there is a café and gift shop. The station is adjacent to the Welsh Slate Museum and the Old Quarry hospital is also worth a visit. What else is in the area? From Llanberis, it is only a short drive to the historic walled town of Caernarfon with its castle and just a little further, the Isle of Anglesey offers an attractive half day tour. No heritage lines but how about a visit to a little station with a big name, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch!

The railway was started in 1975 by a group of enthusiasts who saw the potential for a scenic heritage line through the Dee Valley. The line, located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), passes through one of the most scenic and historically interesting valleys in Britain with the Berwyn Mountains towering above on either side as it follows the course of the River Dee. The Dee is classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Historical sites abound, some like Castell Dinas Bran having Arthurian legends associated with them; during medieval times the valley was heavily involved in border warfare and the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr. As Britain moved into the Industrial Revolution the work of great engineers especially Thomas Telford, had a major impact on the valley. Telford was to build both the London to Holyhead road and the beautiful Llangollen Canal which flows close to the line. The line is currently being extended another 2 ½ miles to the town of Corwen, which is hoped to be completed by the end of 2013. The Railway offers service trains everyday from Easter to September, along with Santa Specials and Days Out With Thomas events for the children and Murder Mystery and Real Ale Trains for the adults to enjoy. Visit the website for more information.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Gwen Ackers Main periods of operation: Open from mid-February to early December, Tues/Weds throughout, then Daily from Easter to end October (except Sats in April, May, Sept, Oct & Fris in Oct). Coach parking facility: free coach park at Gilfach Ddu station for 12+ coaches, shared with Welsh Slate Museum. Principal Group Rates: Adult /senior return £ 6.00 ; child return £3 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 150 Catering available for Groups: Self service café at Gilfach Ddu station for lunchtime meals, light snacks & afternoon teas; seating for 56. Gilfach Ddu, Llanberis, Gwynedd LL55 4TY Tel: 01286 870549 • Fax 01286 870549 E: W:


Main periods of operation: Weekends February to Easter. Full running Easter to Middle of October Coach parking facility: Market Street Car Park, Llangollen Principal Group Rates: Groups of 10 or more - Adults-£10.50, Seniors-£9.50, Children-£5.50 Groups of 35 or more - Adults & Seniors £9.00 each, Children £4.50 each. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 35 Catering available for Groups: Afternoon teas & menu selections available onboard by prior arrangement.

The Station, Abbey Road, Llangollen LL20 8SN Tel: 01978 860 979 • Fax: 01978 869247 E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

Steam Trains in

Unspoilt Snowdonia

Take a historic steam train trip for Scenic Walks, Waterfalls, Free Museum, Playground, Licensed Cafe, Gift Shop & more! Free Coach Parking and Driver Hospitality too!


Gorsaf Wharf Station, Tywyn, Gwynedd. LL36 9EY 01654 710472

discounts & reserved seats book in advance,15+ people

SUPERB SCENERY • COMFORTABLE CARRIAGES • ON-TRAIN TOILETS AND BUFFET SERVICE THE FFESTINIOG RAILWAY - starts beside Porthmadog’s harbour and runs 13½ miles through the Snowdonia National Park to Blaenau Ffestiniog, with its famous slate caverns, just a few miles from Betws-y-Coed. This historic line - the world’s oldest independent railway company, with unique steam locomotives - has provided a quality experience to visitors for more than fifty years. Spooner’s Café/Bar and our gift shops also add to your visit... THE WELSH HIGHLAND RAILWAY - runs ‘coast to coast’ from the historic walled town of Caernarfon to the harbour town of Porthmadog in Cardigan Bay, and provides spectacular views of the magnificent scenery as it

twists and turns through one of the more ‘off the beaten track’ areas of Snowdonia. The trains climb, and then descend, over 650ft around dramatic horseshoe bends as they cross the slopes of Snowdon on a 25-mile journey, via Beddgelert and the magnificent Aberglaslyn Pass. The ever-changing views from the train allow our passengers to see Welsh landscape at its very best... WE OFFER YOU A CHOICE of two distinctive narrow-gauge railways with a wide range of journey options and destinations to suit tour operators and group travel organisers alike. Our experienced staff are very happy to supply further information, advice and help with itinerary suggestions.


The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Wales Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway

Snowdon Mountain Railway

The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway, Blaenavon’s Heritage Railway, sits in the Blaenavon World Heritage Site in Torfaen, South Wales. Following expansion it now offers a service direct from the world famous, Big Pit Mining Museum, as well as to Blaenavon itself. Services run from Easter through to October with Santa Specials at Christmas. Big Pit is served on all days and Blaenavon on all but low season days.

Travel in style and comfort in 2013 on our brand new carriages. Let Snowdon Mountain Railway take you on a journey of a lifetime to the rooftop of Wales. Snowdon, at 3,560ft dominates the landscape of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. Claim this mountain peak, the highest in Wales, as a lifetime’s achievement. With stunning scenery and awe-inspiring views it’s all part of a great day out for you and your family in North Wales.

Operations are based out of the railway’s main station Furnace Sidings, just north of Blaenavon, which offers full passenger amenities and a large (free) car park with ample room for coaches. Group bookings will attract a 10% discount. Trains leave from Furnace Sidings to Big Pit, Blaenavon High Level (only a short walk from the town) and the Whistle Inn. Nearby by are the Garn Lakes, ideal for walking and relaxing whilst not far away is the Iron Works, made famous by the BBC Coal House series and the Rhymney Brewery which has a visitor centre and bar. The railway holds a mixture of family and enthusiast events throughout the year and with stunning scenery, fearsome gradients and a very friendly staff, a good show is always guaranteed. Advanced booking is not necessary except for the Santa services but is recommended for large parties to ensure the railway can make all the necessary arrangements. With many of the World Heritage attractions nearby, the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway makes an excellent base to explore them all. For more details of our events please either phone the Railway Shop on 01495 792263 or visit our website or email Contact name for Group Bookings: Norman Clymer Main periods of operation: April - October + December

For more than 114 years holiday makers and day trippers have been appreciating the truly spectacular views they have experienced while claiming the ascent of Snowdon as a lifetime adventure. As the train climbs through the atmospheric landscape of Snowdon, passengers can absorb themselves in the rich myth, legend and history Snowdonia has to offer. Based on Victorian engineering Snowdon Mountain Railway is the only public rack and pinion railway in the United Kingdom and a true majestic mountain adventure. The new Snowdon Summit Visitor Centre, Hafod Eryri, opened in 2009. Sympathetically designed to complement the landscape, this landmark building, designed by Ray Hole architects, grows out of the mountain and features spectacular panoramic windows giving travellers to Hafod Eryri unimpaired views across the mighty Snowdonia range and the Irish Sea, with newly accessible views to the summit cairn only feet above the building. A warm welcome is further assured by the stunning Welsh Oak interior where visitors are given protection beneath the cloud-like granite roof. Much more than just a train ride!

Coach parking facility: Yes - up to 20 - Coach parking is at the station - Furnace Sidings, NP4 9SF


Principal Group Rates: 10% discount

Contact name for Group Bookings: Group Bookings Team

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 70

Main periods of operation: 16th March – 3rd November 2013

Catering available for Groups: Part of the Blaenavon World Heritage site, close by Big Pit, The Iron Works & Blaenavon’s World Heritage Centre (all free). At the head of the Eastern Valley of South Wales in a unique industrial landscape surrounded by mountains and the birth place of Britain’s Industrial Revolution. Rhymney Brewery (with visitors centre and bar). This is £5 for adults but the first pint (or take away bottle) is free.

Coach parking facility: Drop off point at the station & third party parking nearby

13A Broad Street, Blaenavon, Torfaen NP4 9ND Tel: 01495 792263/01874 730775 E: W:

Snowdon Mountain Railway, Llanberis, Gwynedd LL55 4TY Tel: 0844 493 8120 • Fax: 01286 872 518 E: W:

Principal Group Rates: For a full list of fares, please visit Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 25 Catering available for Groups: Please contact us for further details.

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Talyllyn Railway

“Nostalgia for Everyone”

Running through the spectacular Dee Valley.

Country Walks from Stations Facilities for the Disabled Driver Experiences Tearooms & Shops Picnic Areas

    

Take a ride on the Talyllyn Railway for a trip through some delightful scenery and a nostalgic trip back in time. Sit back in your reserved compartment and enjoy the click-clack of the rails and the smell of the coal as one of their historic narrow gauge steam locomotives hauls you through the Snowdonia National Park from Tywyn on the coast to Nant Gwernol and Abergynolwyn in the foothills of Cadair Idris. This part of Snowdonia is off the beaten track so you’ll enjoy unspoilt views of the sea, farms, mountains, woodland and ravines as the train snakes along the side of the Fathew Valley. The Talyllyn was one of the many railways built to carry slate and local traffic. Although the slate quarries are long closed, the line still possesses the quiet rural atmosphere that it has had since it opened in 1865. The original locomotives and carriages are still in service today. In 1951 it became the first railway to be rescued and run by a preservation society. Tywyn Wharf is home to the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum. A fascinating collection of locomotives, wagons, signs and equipment, that tells the story of little railways across the UK. Free admission. Group catering, gift shops and toilets are available at Tywyn Wharf and Abergynolwyn. Light refreshments, packed lunches or cooked meals can be included, call us to discuss your needs.

  

Picturesque views all the way along the line Group Rates Trains operating throughout the year Photograph by Lewis Maddox, Frank Richards, John Cobham & Andrew Gale

LLANGOLLEN RAILWAY The Station · Abbey Road · Llangollen · LL20 8SN Tel: 01978 860979


Steam Trains in the Heart of Snowdonia

For Groups

“Discover the timeless appeal of our narrow guage steam trains”

Drivers and couriers receive complimentary refreshments and travel. There is free parking for coaches too.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Lorraine Simkiss Main periods of operation: 23 March - 3 November and 26 December (2012) - 1 Jan 2013 Coach parking facility: Yes (Free) Principal Group Rates: Tywyn - Abergynolwyn Single: £7.50. Tywyn - Nant Gwernol Return: £11.00 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15 Catering available for Groups: By prior arrangement Conference Facilities available: (35 person capacity). Catering provided. Wharf Station, Tywyn, Gwynedd LL36 9EY Tel: 01654 710472 • Fax: 01654 711755 E: W:

• Hour long journey • All trains steam operated* • Superb views of Snowdon • Large Free Coach Park • Easy Wheelchair access • (up to 5 wheelchair spaces per train) • Excellent Café Facility • Gift Shop • Frequent Departures • Free Places for Tour Leaders • Free Refreshment for coach drivers • Discounted rates for coach groups *Diesels used in emergency only

01286 870549

The Great Little Trains of Wales

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Wales Welsh Highland Railway

Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway

The Welsh Highland Railway is a phoenix risen from the ashes, a line, closed for over 80 years, and now running again between Caernarfon and Porthmadog. All peak time trains run the full distance of 25 miles coast to coast from beside the famous castle, across the lower slopes of Snowdon and down through the forest and the pretty village of Beddgelert before passing along the Aberglaslyn Pass and on to the busy harbour town of Porthmadog. Its destination is Harbour Station, home of the Ffestiniog Railway.

The 2013 season is a special one for the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, as the line celebrates 50 years as a preserved railway running steam-hauled passenger trains through the rolling Welsh countryside.

Powerful Beyer Garratt locomotives, the largest at this gauge, haul modern heated carriages with an ‘at your seat’ refreshment trolley service. Sit back with a glass of local beer and watch the scenery go by! Hot snacks are also available and pre-arranged catering is available for groups. Most groups do a single journey which takes around 2½ hours though shorter trips are available. Your coach can travel easily along the main A487 giving plenty of time for a driver rest break while the train meanders through the less accessible parts of Snowdonia. Advanced booking is essential as this award winning railway is now very busy and demand is high. The main season runs from late March until the end of October with some winter opening. Joint bookings can also be made for travel on the Ffestiniog Railway.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Samantha Hughes/Victoria Towers or Ben Kelly

Tour operators have long found the W&LLR to be a favourite stopover. It is easy to reach, located just across the Mid-Wales border less than 20 miles beyond the A5 dual carriageway at Shrewsbury, and little over an hour from Birmingham. There is also ample parking for coaches at both ends of the eight-mile route. Many travellers begin their 50-minute train ride at Welshpool Raven Square, rejoining their coach at the railway’s headquarters in Llanfair Caereinion after having enjoyed refreshments in the Edwardian-style tearooms. Locomotive power in service during the 2013 celebration year includes both of the line’s original 0-6-0 tank engines dating from 1902, an 0-6-2 tank built in Stoke-on-Trent for hauling sugar cane in Antigua, and a large 0-8-0 tank from a forestry line in Romania. Equally popular with the passengers are the carriages, all boasting end balconies allowing travellers a close up view of the loco crew as they take on the challenging route of the line.

Main periods of operation: Most days 23rd March to 2nd Nov 2013. We also run at Christmas between 27th Dec and 1st Jan.

Full details of train times and facilities are available from the railway staff, who are well-versed in looking after group parties and will be happy to answer any queries.

Coach parking facility: Drop off / Pick up at Caernarfon, Waunfawr (Pub Car Park), Rhyd Ddu, Beddgelert, Pont Croesor or Porthmadog.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Kevin Heywood

Principal Group Rates: Caernarfon – Porthmadog single Adult £14.50, Concession £14.50, Child £7.30, Caernarfon – Beddgelert single Adult £10.50, Concession £10.50, Child £5.30, Caernarfon – Rhyd Ddu single Adult £8.50, Concession £8.50, Child £4.30 Porthmadog – Rhyd Ddu single Adult £9.60, Concession £9.60, Child £4.80 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 50


The narrow-gauge line boasts a highly attractive ride with challenging steep gradients and lots of sharp curves, fascinating rolling stock and helpful and friendly staff, most of whom are volunteers.

Main periods of operation: Weekends from Easter until end of October & most days in June, July, August, September & October half term Coach parking facility: At Welshpool & Llanfair Caereinion Stations Principal Group Rates: £6.50 Single or £9.20 Return. Further discounts for children

Catering available for Groups: Refreshment trolley & fresh hot snacks. Pre-booked catering options for groups are a good way of combining travel and lunch or morning coffee.

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 200

Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd LL49 9NF Tel: 01766 516024 • Fax: 01766 516005 E: W:

The Station, Llanfair Caereinion, Powys SY21 0SF Tel: 01938 810441 • Fax: 01938 810861 E: W: Twitter: @LlanfairLine

Catering available for Groups: Our tea room serving snacks & light refreshments is available at Llanfair Caereinion Station.

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

Scotland Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway

Keith & Dufftown Railway

This hidden gem, only 40 minutes from Glasgow and Edinburgh, is located in the historic town of Bo’ness. With excellent group rates including tasty refreshment options, free coach parking, free entry and meal voucher for coach drivers, a visit to the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway is a must.

Speyside, one of the hidden tourist gems of the UK, a quiet area, redolent with history and renowned for the friendly welcome given to visitors. It’s a land of mountain and glen, open moorland, deep forests, lochs and rolling farmlands; dotted with castles, cut by fast flowing rivers and hosting half the distilleries in Scotland. Hidden away in the hills of the old Scottish County of Banffshire and taking advantage of this enchanting landscape is the Keith & Dufftown Railway. Visit this volunteer run “Whisky Line” and enjoy the scenery and wildlife from our comfortable DMU’s that evoke the quiet nostalgia of the 1960’s branch line.

Climb aboard a wonderfully restored carriage and enjoy a scenic five mile journey to Manuel, where a new platform will be built soon. Stay all day, there’s plenty to see and do...make a stop at Kinneil Halt to explore the nature reserve and take a walk to Kinneil House, Museum and Estate and the remains of the Roman Antonine Wall. Bring your picnic and stop off at Birkhill to enjoy the picturesque surroundings of this countryside station. Follow our new Visitor Trail to the Museum of Scottish Railways, Scotland’s largest railway museum, and see more of what happens around the site. Take a fantastic journey into the past and explore three large buildings filled with locomotives, carriages, wagons and other railway artefacts. Discover how railways transformed the lives of our ancestors. There is plenty to keep everyone entertained. See Scotland’s only Royal Saloon coach, learn why the fish van has a sloping floor, come face to face with a mechanical horse and much more. Our popular and comfortable Station Buffet serves a full range of meals, snacks, hot and cold drinks and ice creams. Groups can also pre-order food to enjoy on the train. Gift Shop on site. For more information or to book your group simply call us on 01506 825855 Monday to Friday 10am-3pm.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Margaret Haynes Main periods of operation: Weekends 23 March - 27 October, most days in July & August Coach parking facility: Plenty of free parking for both cars and coaches Principal Group Rates: Discount of 10% for groups of 12-39 paying passengers, 20% for groups of 40 or more (excludes some special event days) Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 12 Max: 300 Catering available for Groups: The Station Buffet at Bo’ness offers a range of catering from teas, coffees & home baking to full meals. Union Street, Bo’ness, West Lothian EH51 9AQ Tel: 01506 825855 • Fax: 01506 828766 E: W:

The “Buffer Stop” restaurant at Dufftown Station provides morning coffee, light lunches and afternoon teas, all freshly prepared on the premises. The restaurant is fully licensed so you can enjoy a glass of wine or a dram with your lunch. Car and coach parking is available at Dufftown and Keith Town stations. There are disabled facilities and wheelchair access to Dufftown and Keith Town , and wheelchair access to the “Buffer Stop” restaurant and on most trains. You can combine your train ride with a visit to one of the local distilleries or castles. Take the train to Drummuir, to enjoy a healthy walk though our beautiful countryside or visit one of the many other local tourist attractions in the Speyside area. Trains run every weekend from Easter to the end of September and also on Fridays in June, July and August. Group bookings and coach parties are welcome and charter trains are available on days when no public service is running. Special arrangements and distillery visits are organised during the Spring and Autumn Whisky Festivals, details can be found at and Contact name for Group Bookings and Charters: Rod Furr Main periods of operation: Weekends, Easter to the end of September, plus Fridays in June, July and August and during special events. (See website for details) Car and limited coach parking at Dufftown and Keith Town. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min 10, Max 48(with catering) Catering available for Groups: by prior arrangement.

Station Road, Dufftown, Moray, AB55 4BA. Tel: 01340 821181(weekends) or 01343 870429(mid-week) E: W:

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide


Scotland Strathspey Railway

West Coast Railways - The Jacobite

The Strathspey Railway operates along a ten mile stretch of the former Highland Line, running from Aviemore to Broomhill via the very pretty station at Boat of Garten. The 90 minute round trip takes you on a journey through moorland and woodland, passing great sweeps of the River Spey and with the majestic Cairngorm Mountains providing a stunning backdrop to the scenery.

Voted by Wanderlust Magazine as the Greatest Railways Journey in the world for three years in succession, The Jacobite is the most regular steam excursion running on the national railway system and is run by West Coast Railways.

With the exception of February, trains are usually steam hauled and you might be lucky enough to travel behind Caledonian Railway locomotive number 828 which has recently been restored and proudly runs in its traditional deep blue livery. There is plenty of free parking for coaches at Aviemore station and this is the best place to start your journey. There is a drop off point at Boat of Garten station and both stations have shops and toilets. With its traditional rolling stock and pretty stations, The Strathspey Railway is justly popular with film crews and has been used for filming Monarch of the Glen, with Broomhill doubling as Glenbogle Station, Dr Finlay’s Casebook and the BBC’s Street Doctor series. The railway operates on selected days from February onwards with daily running from early June to the end of August. There are numerous special events throughout the year to suit all tastes and details are clearly posted on their website. There is also a chance to enjoy some food on the move as the train steams through this attractive part of the Highlands. In the summer there is an evening dining train on Wednesdays and Fridays and Sunday lunches are available from March to October. Tasty afternoon teas are also served on board and all are available for groups, though they must be pre-booked. What else is in the area? There are numerous attractions in the area including the Cairngorm Funicular Railway, but Speyside with its special waters is, of course, famous for its whisky so a visit to a distillery is a must. Cragganmore, Glenfarclas and Cardhu are three within easy reach and there is even a Spirit of Speyside Whisky festival which takes place on 2nd -6th May.


The 42-mile journey between Fort William and Mallaig in the Scottish Highlands is arguably one of the most scenic lines in Britain, being part of the West Highland line and passing over the famous 21-arch concrete Glenfinnan Viaduct featured in the Harry Potter films. Some of the carriages from the train were actually used in the films as West Coast Railways provided both the locomotive and carriages, making it an unmissable trip for Hogwarts fans. Starting in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, the train visits Britain’s most westerly station, Arisaig; passes close to the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and Britain’s shortest river, River Morar before finally arriving at Europe’s deepest seawater loch, Loch Nevis and the beautiful fishing village of Mallaig. The round trip is 84 miles but one-way tickets may be booked for groups continuing to Armadale on Skye by ferry. This is an extremely popular service with most of the train only available for advanced reservations so booking well in advance is essential (Seats may be purchased on the platform but places are limited). The Jacobite is running from 13th May to 25th October.

Jacobite – Fort William to Mallaig. Contact name for Group Bookings: Michael Townley Main period of operation: May – October - morning and afternoon service

Contact name for Group Bookings: Gill Kelly Main periods of operation: April to October Coach parking facility: At Aviemore and Broomhill Stations Principal Group Rates: Single Aviemore – Broomhill: £7.50. Return Aviemore-Broomhill-Aviemore: £11.00 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 150 Catering available for Groups: Tea or coffee and shortbread at table. Full meals available. Contact the caterer at

Coach parking facilities: Fort William

Aviemore Station, Dalfaber Road, Aviemore PH22 1PY Tel: 01479 810725 • Fax: 01479 812220 E: W:

West Coast Railways, Jesson Way, Carnforth, Lancashire LA5 9UR Tel: 01524 737751/53 • Fax 01524 735518 E: W:

Principal rates: Adult day return Standard £33 – Adult single Standard £28 – Child day return Standard £19 – Child single Standard £17 Principal Group Rates: 10% Discount Number of passengers required for Group rate: 10 Carriages available: Standard and First Catering available for Groups: Light refreshments

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

Ireland Downpatrick & County Down Railway

The Lartigue Monorail & Museum

This is Northern Ireland’s only full-sized heritage railway, the gauge in Ireland being 5 ft 3 in – a few inches wider than in Great Britain. Two miles of the old Belfast and County Down Railway mainline, which ran to Newcastle and abandoned over 60 years, have now been re-laid. There is a small shop at the station, and a buffet carriage for teas, coffees & buns. A new visitor centre, the “Carriage Gallery” has also opened, allowing visitors to get up close to the unique collection of vintage wooden Irish railway carriages as well as a workshop viewing area to see the behind the scenes activity involved in keeping these veteran carriages running.

A celebration and partial re-creation of the world-famous Lartigue Railway that ran from Listowel to Ballybunion from 1886 to 1924.

The railway runs through the beautiful countryside of the Downpatrick Marshes with totally different aspects in each season of the year. There are great views of the cathedral. Saint Patrick himself is rumoured to be buried beside it. The area is full of ancient history with tales of Vikings and fortified settlements. Your destination is Inch Abbey, the 12th century ruins of a Cistercian Abbey. The Abbey is home to a ‘living history monk’ on summer weekends who will tell you more of the history of this peaceful place in its wonderful setting. Inch means Island in Gaelic and the abbey was founded on an island in the tidal marsh of the River Quoile. Trains run at Easter, May Day and in summer and there are also special events at other times. And for something completely different, it is possible for groups to hire a train to King Magnus’ Halt on an extra stretch of line that is currently being extended towards Ballydugan Mill. The Viking King, Magnus Barefoot, was killed at this site back in 1103 and the history will be brought to life by a living history Viking Guide. Contact name for Group Bookings: Brian Goodfellow Main periods of operation: Summer and Bank Holidays Coach parking facility: Yes Principal Group Rates: £200 minimum charge Number of passengers required for Group Rate: No minimum Catering available for Groups: Teas/coffees/sandwiches, etc.

Based in Listowel, County Kerry, in the south-west of Ireland, the Lartigue Monorail and Museum offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to experience a unique form of rail travel. The Lartigue Monorail could justifiably claim to be the world’s strangest railway: a three-railed ‘monorail’ invented by French engineer Charles Lartigue (inspired by camel-trains in Algeria). The original Lartigue Monorail ran for nine miles between Listowel and Ballybunion in the south-west of Ireland from 1886 to 1924, carrying passengers, livestock and sand. It was the only Lartigue monorail ever to carry passengers and among its unique features were: • Locomotives with twin side-by-side boilers • Carriages divided by the central rail • An ingenious track switching system Nowadays, visitors can take a short demonstration journey on a full-scale replica of the original monorail, built by Alan Keef of Ross-on-Wye. In the museum, they can watch film of the original Lartigue and see models, displays and memorabilia of the Lartigue and main-line railways. Open from 1pm to 4.30pm daily, May 1st to September 30th. Otherwise, open to groups by appointment.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Martin Griffin Main periods of operation: Open May to September - Open daily from 1 pm to 4.30 pm. Open for group bookings outside of these hours (Please allow 2 days notice). Coach parking facility: Yes Principal Group Rates: Adults: €4.00 Children over 5years €3,  Children under 5 free Number of passengers required for Group Rate: 10 or more

Conference Facilities available: Yes, in new Carriage Gallery but subject to availability.

Catering available for Groups: light refreshments not available.

Market Street, Downpatrick, Co. Down, Northern Ireland BT30 6LZ, Downpatrick Tourist Info Centre Tel: 028 4461 2233 E: W:

John B. Keane Road, Listowel, Co. Kerry, Ireland Tel: +353 (0)68 24393 E: W:

Conference Facilities available: Yes (for small groups)

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide



LLANBERIS LAKE RAILWAY..............................................61

AVON VALLEY RAILWAY...................................................12

LLANGOLLEN RAILWAY....................................................61

BALA LAKE RAILWAY...........................................................8

LYNTON & LYNMOUTH CLIFF RAILWAY......................47

BEAMISH MUSEUM............................................................12 BLUEBELL RAILWAY...........................................................39 BODMIN & WENFORD RAILWAY......................................8 BUCKINGHAMSHIRE RAILWAY CENTRE.........................8 BURE VALLEY RAILWAY....................................................17

MIDLAND RAILWAY, BUTTERLEY...................................25 NENE VALLEY RAILWAY....................................................17 NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - (THE POPPY LINE) ......19


NORTH YORKSHIRE MOORS RAILWAY.........................53

CHURNET VALLEY RAILWAY...........................................23

PEAK RAIL............................................................................25

CRICH TRAMWAY VILLAGE.............................................21


DARTMOOR RAILWAY......................................................47

ULLSWATER ‘STEAMERS’..................................................11

DARTMOUTH STEAM RAILWAY & RIVER BOAT COMPANY............................................................................43

RIBBLE STEAM RAILWAY.....................................................6

DEAN FOREST RAILWAY.....................................................6 EAST LANCASHIRE RAILWAY...........................................29 ECCLESBOURNE VALLEY RAILWAY................................25 EMBSAY & BOLTON ABBEY STEAM RAILWAY..............12 EXBURY GARDENS & STEAM RAILWAY.........................35 FFESTINIOG & WELSH HIGHLAND RAILWAYS.............59 FOXFIELD RAILWAY.............................................................4

ROMNEY, HYTHE & DYMCHURCH RAILWAY.............39 SEATON TRAMWAY...........................................................47 SEVERN VALLEY RAILWAY...............................................23 SNOWDON MOUNTAIN RAILWAY . ......................................OUTSIDE BACK COVER SOUTH DEVON RAILWAY.................................................45 SPA VALLEY RAILWAY........................................................37

GLOUCESTERSHIRE WARWICKSHIRE STEAM RAILWAY.................................................................21


GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY..............................................23

SWANAGE RAILWAY...........................................................33

GROUDLE GLEN RAILWAY.................................................4

TALYLLYN RAILWAY..........................................................59

ISLE OF MAN RAILWAYS......................................................6 ISLE OF WIGHT STEAM RAILWAY....................................33 KEIGHLEY & WORTH VALLEY RAILWAY......................51 KEITH & DUFFTOWN RAILWAY........................................8 KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY......................................39




TANFIELD RAILWAY...........................................................53 WEARDALE RAILWAY........................................................51 WELLS & WALSINGHAM LIGHT RAILWAY....................19 WELSHPOOL & LLANFAIR LIGHT RAILWAY.................59

KIRKLEES LIGHT RAILWAY...............................................51

WENSLEYDALE RAILWAY.................................................11

LAKESIDE & HAVERTHWAITE RAILWAY........................29


LEIGHTON BUZZARD RAILWAY......................................31

WEST SOMERSET RAILWAY..............................................43

The Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide

THE HERiTAGE RAiLWAY AssociATioN Most parts of Great Britain are within easy reach of a heritage railway with the majority of' trains being hauled by a steam locomotive. Trains run through scenic areas - some within National Parks. Facilities for coach groups include reduced rates and reserved seats on trains. Toilet and refreshment facilities are available at stations and on most trains. Advance booking is recommended in order to ensure that groups are well looked after. For information and advice or to order further copies of this Guide please contact: HRA Travel Trade Liaison, c/o 8, Ffordd Dyfrig, TYWYN, Gwynedd LL36 9EH Tel: 0845 528 0335 Fax: 01654 712323 or email to Please visit our website at This will provide you with a link to our individual members.

A Majestic MountainTopAdventure. For pre-booked groups of 25+ passengers

New ar y or contemiapges carr for 2013

Visit the award winning Snowdon SummitVisitor Centre, Hafod Eryri, by travelling on a uniqueVictorian railway aboard stunning new carriages. FANTASTIC SAVINGS ON NORMAL RATES

Travel in stunning new carriages seating 74 passengers with our Traditional Diesel Service.

FREE audio-visual film in our dedicated theatre.

Scheduled departures throughout the day.

Shopping experiences at Llanberis and the Summit.

Choice of catering outlets at Llanberis and the Summit.





Summit Peak Season



Summit Off Peak Season



Clogwyn/Rocky Valley**



** Clogwyn / Rocky Valley fare only apply when trains are unable to access the Summit. Tel:0844 493 8120

Rheilffordd Yr Wyddfa

Group Travel Guide 2013  

Heritage Railway Association Group Travel Guide for 2013

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