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THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

2014 Edition


FAMOUS STEAM TRAIN

FORT WILLIAM TO MALLAIG “The World’s Greatest Railway Journey” Voted By Wanderlust Magazine Mon 12th May – Fri 24th October 2014 Morning and afternoon trips. And weekends in Summer months Line used in filming the Harry Potter movies. 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. 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.

Follow us on Twitter @westcoastrail

Like us on Facebook facebook.com/westcoast.railways

STEAM TRAIN TO

YORK OR SCARBOROUGH

From Normanton, Wakefield, Woodlesford, Castleford & York Tues 15th July to Thurs 28th August 2014 (Tues, Weds & Thurs) & Bank Holiday Monday 25th August Travel by steam in traditional carriages across Yorkshire’s beautiful countryside. From York to Scarborough direct or take a circular route from York travelling via Normanton, Wakefield, Woodlesford (Leeds) and Castleford. Alternatively, travel from Normanton, Wakefield, Woodlesford (Leeds) or Castleford to York or Scarborough.

ADULT £31 Return* (std) - Children Travel Free!

LUXURY TRAIN

TO THE RYDER CUP - GLENEAGLES From Edinburgh & Glasgow to Gleneagles or Perth Thurs 25th September to Sunday 28th September • Gourmet Dining • Pullman First Class • Pullman Class Travel to the 2014 Ryder Cup in style!

Book online at: www.westcoastrailways.co.uk or Telephone: 0844 850 4680 * York to Scarborough † Child travels free with a paying adult in Standard Class


CONTENTS FOREWORD - LORD RICHARD FAULKNER................................................................... 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, Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company, Dean Forest Railway, Didcot Railway Centre, Downpatrick & County Down Railway, East Anglian Railway Museum, East Lancashire Railway, Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, Epping Ongar 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, Helston 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 ©David Wilcock, Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway, Manx Electric Railway, 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, Seaton Tramway, Severn Valley Railway, Snaefell Mountain Railway, Snowdon Mountain Railway, South Devon Railway ©Sarah Anne Harvey, South Tynedale Railway, Spa Valley Railway, STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway, Strathspey Railway, Swanage Railway ©Andrew Wright, Talyllyn Railway, Tanfield Railway, The Torbay Express – Mark Wilkins, The Vale of Rheidol Railway, Wells & Walsingham Light Railway – Ian J Williams, Welsh Highland Railway – Colin Lea, Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway ©Steve Sedgwick, Wensleydale Railway, West Coast Railways – Dick Manton, West Somerset Railway.

Published by Blueprint Travel Media Ltd Suite 1, Sabrina House, Sabrina Court, Longden Coleham, Shrewsbury SY3 7BF Tel: 01743 231135 Fax: 01743 243393 Email: tina@blueprintmedia.org.uk Website: www.blueprintguide.co.uk

Design & Production by: Caroline Jenkins THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE 2014 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.

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THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


FOREWORD A visit to one of the many heritage railways in UK and Ireland provides a brilliant venue for a group outing, or a pleasant interlude on coach tours of all types. Great Britain was the birthplace of railways so it is appropriate that we have a strong heritage and tramway sector with thousands of volunteers contributing much labour and love. Not only do heritage railways and tramways form an important part of the UK’s tourism industry, but they also make a valuable contribution to the economy of the local areas in which they operate. They also play an important part in retaining heritage engineering skills which we were in danger of losing. When you visit a heritage railway or tramway you will find that there is usually more on offer than just a train or tram ride through lovely or interesting scenery, as museums can be found on many lines. These portray not only the history of this line itself, but also railways in general or an associated local industry such as locomotive manufacture.

“Not only do heritage railways and tramways form an important part of the UK’s tourism industry, but they also make a valuable contribution to the economy of the local areas in which they operate.” Good catering facilities form an important part of the visitor experience and these include restaurants or buffets on stations, with many refreshment cars provided on the trains as well. Groups and individuals can enjoy excellent meals served in historic carriages very often restored Pullman Cars on Sunday luncheon or evening wine & dine trains. Disabled visitors are well looked after and carriages with suitable access and appropriate toilet facilities on stations are now provided on many railways. Whether you are a coach or tour operator, or a group travel organiser, please consider including a visit to one of the railways or tramways listed in this Guide. I am sure that your customers will enjoy a wonderful experience.

Lord Richard Faulkner President, Heritage Railway Association

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The Whisky Line Keith & Dufftown Railway Open weekends Easter to September Plus Fridays in June, July & August Licensed Restaurant at Dufftown Special & evening events - see website Group bookings & Charters welcome Disabled access & facilities Car & coach parking -coaches by appointment

www.keith-dufftown-railway.co.uk 01343 870429

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THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


Heritage railways are collectively one of the major tourist attractions of today and, as such they provide a reminder of our rich railway history. Located in most parts of the UK and Ireland heritage railways provide for a nostalgic ride down memory lane – gleaming steam locomotives and historic carriages running through scenic areas - some in National Parks. Although heritage railways are many and varied all those listed in the Guide have one thing in common – they all provide facilities to welcome groups. These include, subject to advance booking, reduced rates and reserved accommodation on trains. Catering for the average sized group is not a problem – in some cases on train, some at principal stations or both on some railways.

“...heritage railways provide for a nostalgic ride down memory lane – gleaming steam locomotives and historic carriages running through scenic areas...” Disabled groups are not forgotten as most railways provide appropriate toilet facilities and specially adapted carriages to take limited number wheelchairs, but advance booking is again essential in order to ensure the provision of a special carriage and appropriate assistance. The frequency of train services can vary from railway to railway, but as a basic guide most lines provide a service from Easter to October although these may not be on a daily basis during the early and late part of the operating season. Limited Winter services are available on some railways – especially during the Christmas and New Year periods and during school half-term holidays. For that special small group we would highly recommend the “Wine and Dine “trains which operate on some of our member railways. Excellent food, wine and service very often serviced in restored historic Pullman Cars. Advance booking essential. Special charter trains for larger groups can be provided on many of our member railways but these take time to plan and arrange so please make early contact with the railway or railways concerned. Listed railway museum and steam centres also provide an interesting venue for group visits.

David Woodhouse MBE Travel Trade Liaison

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BURE VALLEY RAILWAY Steam Trains to the Norfolk Broads

TRAINS FROM AYLSHAM AND WROXHAM Open All Year - Free Parking - Whistlestop Cafe Model and Gift Shop - Diasabled Access - Group Discounts

COMBINED TRAIN AND CRUISE

Norwich Road, Aylsham, Norfolk NR11 6BW - 01263 733858

www.bvrw.co.uk

OPEN AIR STEAM ADVENTURE 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.

www.kwvr.co.uk Find us at Haworth Station, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD22 8NJ

Groups Welcome • FREE Coach Parking • Seasonal Events

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THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


OUR PROMISE TO YOU

(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.

2.

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

3.

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.

4.

To describe accurately and display clearly :

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

5.

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.

6.

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

7.

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.

8.

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.

9.

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.

10.

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

11.

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.

12.

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.

13.

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.

14.

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.

15.

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.

16.

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.

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REGIONAL BREAKDOWN

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

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THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


YESTERDAY TODAY!

Steam back in time on the scenic Poppy Line along the north Norfolk coast

• Special low fares for groups of 20 – 200 • Ideal for a half-day visit • Easily reached from Norwich, Yarmouth and Cromer • Free coach parking by arrangement • Free travel for organiser

Visit www.nnrailway.co.uk or call 01263 820 800 @Teady_ North Norfolk Railway plc

NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY Sheringham Station NR26 8RA

LIVE STEAM – LIVING HISTORY

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AN IDEAL PLACE FOR ALL YOUR GROUP

EPPING ONGAR RAILWAY Essex’s Longest Heritage Railway

SPECIAL EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR Checkout www.eorailway.co.uk for more

E

ONE GREAT VALU DAY OUT!

2014

2014

3 EXPERIENCES*

For enquiries about your group booking call us on

01277 365200 or send an email to

groupbookings@eorailway.co.uk

@eorailway Epping Ongar Railway

*Not all experiences may be available on all operating days.

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THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


HERITAGE RAILWAYS, TRAMWAYS, MUSEUMS & STEAM CENTRES EAST OF ENGLAND

Leighton Buzzard Railway

Locomotion - NRM Shildon

Bure Valley Railway

Mid Hants Railway ‘Watercress Line’

National Railway Museum

Swanage Railway

Tanfield Railway

SOUTH EAST

Wensleydale Railway

Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre

THE ISLE OF MAN

Colne Valley Railway East Anglian Railway Museum Epping Ongar Railway Mid-Norfolk Railway Mid-Suffolk Light Railway Museum North Norfolk Railway (The Poppy Line) Wells & Walsingham Light Railway THE MIDLANDS Churnet Valley Railway Crich Tramway Village Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Foxfield Railway Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

Bluebell Railway Kent & East Sussex Railway The Lavender Line

Manx Electric Railway

Spa Valley Railway

WALES

SOUTH WEST

Bala Lake Railway

Avon Valley Railway

Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways

Bodmin & Wenford Railway

Midland Railway, Butterley

Dean Forest Railway

Nene Valley Railway

Helston Railway

Peak Rail

Launceston Steam Railway

Severn Valley Railway

Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway

Isle of Man Steam Railway

Snaefell Mountain Railway

Great Central Railway

East Lancashire Railway

Groudle Glen Railway

Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway

Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company

NORTH WEST

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway Seaton Tramway South Devon Railway

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway

Ribble Steam Railway

Torbay Express

South Tynedale Railway

West Somerset Railway

Great Orme Tramway Gwili Railway Llanberis Lake Railway Llangollen Railway Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway Snowdon Mountain Railway Talyllyn Railway Vale of Rheidol Railway Welsh Highland Heritage Railway Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway SCOTLAND Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway Keith & Dufftown Railway

SOUTH OF ENGLAND

YORKSHIRE & THE NORTH EAST

Strathspey Railway

Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

Beamish – The Living Museum of the North

West Coast Railways – The Jacobite IRELAND

Didcot Railway Centre

Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

Downpatrick & County Down Railway

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Kirklees Light Railway

Lartigue Monorail & Museum

Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway

THE THE HERITAGE HERITAGE RAILWAY RAILWAY ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION GROUP GROUP TRAVEL TRAVEL GUIDE GUIDE

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Museums Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre

Beamish - The Living Museum of the North

Amberley Museum is a 36 acre open-air site set in the South Downs National Park dedicated to the industrial heritage of the south east. Take a ride around the Museum on the narrowgauge railway or historic bus.

Beamish is no ordinary museum – you won’t see ‘please do not touch’ signs or find objects locked away in glass cases – this is hands-on history. Beamish is a whole day out and perfect for day trips or inclusion in short break holidays in North East England. Take a tram ride back to the 1820s, 1910s and 1940s. Explore The Town, Railway Station, Pit Village, Pockerley Old Hall and Waggonway and meet costumed folk from the past. Look out for two new attractions at Beamish this year. The 1940s Farm is a snapshot of life on the Home Front during the Second World War. North Eastern farmers played a huge part in helping Britain to win the War, intensive farming saved the nation from starvation. The Farm tells the everyday story of the people who lived and worked there the Land Girls, evacuees and the Home Guard. Explore the farm house, with its Aga cooker, anti-maccasars and radio playing wartime programmes. Stroll around the farmyard to see how things are changing - though horses are still very much in evidence, the farmer increasingly relies on tractors and petrol engines for a variety of farmyard tasks. The new pit pony stables in The Pit Village open in March 2014. They will house the museum’s seven pit ponies and are based on colliery stables near to Beamish. Throughout the year, there’s an exciting programme of special events, at no extra charge. The Great North Festival of Transport in March and April is a celebration of transport of all shapes and sizes. From visiting steam locomotives and trams to traction engines, motorcycles and cars, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. In June there’s a Georgian Fair, in September the five week long Great North Festival of Agriculture and, in December, a whole season of Christmas festivities.

Exhibits include the telecommunications hall, electricity hall, working printshop, lime kilns, road steam engines, radio and TV exhibition, stationary engines and more. As well as the working narrow-gauge railway, we are currently developing on our section of standard gauge line. Come and visit our loco “Burt” who can be seen at most rail events and by advance appointment. The Museum is also home to traditional craftspeople, such as the woodturners, wheelwrights and blacksmith, with a café, gift shop, nature trails and numerous picnic areas. The Museum hosts a number of events ranging from children’s activity days to classic vehicle shows and the ever-popular ale festival. Visit our website, www.amberleymuseum.co.uk for a full list. We open from mid-March to the end of October, seven days a week during West Sussex school holidays and on Bank Holidays, otherwise Wednesday to Sunday. Again please see our website for full details. We offer a bespoke service to every group planning a visit to Amberley Museum. We want to make your trip a really memorable day, so please book in advance with the Museum office. • • - Reduced entry rate for group visitors (parties of ten or more booked in advance) • - Free coach parking • - Free entry and lunch for coach drivers • - Free travel around the Museum site on our narrow-gauge railway or heritage bus • - Behind the scenes tours • - Specialist talks and demonstrations by traditional craftspeople • - Access to our education programme of workshops, talks and seminars • - Good disabled facilities Contact name for Group Bookings: office@amberleymuseum.co.uk Main periods of operation: 12th March – 2nd November 2014 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 Catering available for Groups: Yes (arrange in advance of visit) Conference Facilities available: Yes (arrange in advance of visit) Amberley, Near Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9LT Tel: 01798 831370 • Fax: 01798 831831 E: office@amberleymuseum.co.uk W: www.amberleymuseum.co.uk

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Opening times: Main Season - 5th April to 2nd November 2014 All period areas open, 7 days a week, from 10am to 5pm. Winter Season - 3rd November 2014 to 27th March 2015 Open 10am to 4pm, closed Mondays, Fridays and Christmas Day Christmas at Beamish - 15th November to 21st December 2014, plus 22nd, 23rd and 24th December. Please note – not all areas open midweek during the winter season. 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 – £11.50, Senior/student - £10.50, Child £6.00 (under 5s free) Midweek Winter Discount:- Adult/senior/student - £6.50, Child £5.00 Free admission for coach driver and Group Visit Organiser. Hospitality for coach drivers. Free coach parking on hardstanding. Vouchers accepted by prior arrangement. The Group & Venue Sales Team, Beamish Museum, Beamish, County Durham DH9 0RG Tel: 0191 370 4026 E: bookings@beamish.org.uk W: www.beamish.org.uk

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. 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 nrm.org.uk/stationhall 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 Catering available for Groups: Yes Conference Facilities available: Yes

Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ Tel: 01904 686263 E: groupbookings@nrm.org.uk W: www.nrm.org.uk

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 (13 & 14 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 or the ‘M’ for museum sign. STEAM is located in the Rodbourne area of Swindon. Coach parking is in the Designer Outlet North car park. For current admission prices, please see the STEAM website at www.steam-museum.org.uk For group bookings, please call the STEAM Groups Co-ordinator on 01793 466637 or email tnardoni@swindon.gov.uk Or contact STEAM by post at: STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway, Fire Fly Avenue, Swindon SN2 2EY Information hotline (24 hours): 01793 466646 Fire Fly Avenue, Swindon SN2 2EY Tel. 01793 466637 E: tnardoni@swindon.gov.uk W: www.steam-museum.org.uk

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East of England Bure Valley Railway

Colne Valley Railway

This 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 river Bure 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! 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 and café. 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. At Wroxham Station there is a gift shop and a large second-hand book shop run by the Friends of the Bure Valley Railway. 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.

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.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Judith Harvey Main periods of operation: Daily 5 April – 2 November 2014 Santa & Mince Pie Specials November & December 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) Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 200 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. Aylsham Station, Norwich Road, Aylsham, Norfolk NR11 6BW Tel: 01263 733858 • Fax: 01263 733814 E: info@bvrw.co.uk W: www.bvrw.co.uk

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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: Sally Halls Main periods of operation: March to October Coach parking facility: Yes Principal Group Rates: Contact railway for information Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15 Catering available for Groups: Max 60 Sidings Buffet (railway carriage hence max no.)

Yeldham Road, Castle Hedingham, Essex CO9 3DZ Tel: 01787 461174 • Fax: 01787 462254 E: info@colnevalleyrailway.co.uk W: www.colnevalleyrailway.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


East of England East Anglian Railway Museum

Epping Ongar Railway

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.

We welcome your group aboard a hidden gem of a railway!

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.

After four and a half years of dedicated restoration work by a team of volunteers, a steam and diesel railway now operates on the outskirts of London, passing through unspoilt countryside and within a few minutes’ drive of M11 and M25. Epping Ongar Railway, the award winning and longest heritage railway in Essex, operates heritage steam and diesel hauled trains between period stations dating from 1865. Step back in time, experience the romance of travel in days gone by; the sights and smells of an old country station, learn and discover the importance of the railway to local agriculture and industry. As the train pulls in, the party can board their reserved seating within one of our heritage coaches, letting the train take the strain as they chuff through the unspoilt rolling Essex countryside and historic Epping Forest unbelievably less than 20 miles from Central London! Wildlife and agriculture mix with the industrial heritage of bygone days. Our line is quite steeply graded so there are plenty of opportunities to hear the train working as you sit back, relax and watch the countryside. Then ride aboard one of our heritage buses or even charter one to bring you to the railway and back to your starting point after your visit. Our railway makes an ideal visit for groups and educational visits.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Karen Nelson Main periods of operation: All year except Christmas Day & Boxing Day 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: information@earm.co.uk W: www.earm.co.uk

Contact name for Group Bookings: Jeff or Keith on the phone or by email on groupvisits@eorailway.co.uk or for schools and educational visits, educationalvisits@eorailway.co.uk. Alternatively, complete and return by e-mail one of our Booking Forms which can be found on our website www.eorailway.co.uk Main periods of operation: February to November Coach parking facility: Yes Principal Group Rates: For groups of 15 plus we offer a 10% discount on prepaid all day tickets, but we also arrange tailor made visits at even lower prices. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min 15 and Max 200 Catering available for Groups: Teas/coffees/sandwiches, etc Ongar Station, Station Approach, Ongar, Essex CM5 9BN Tel: 01277 365 200 E: enquiries@eorailway.co.uk W: www.eorailway.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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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. 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. 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.

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.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Andrea Smith 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. Steam Services run Weekends from June to August. Heritage Diesel services at all other times 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: groups@mnr.org.uk W: www.mnr.org.uk

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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. 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 www.mslr.org.uk 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.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Chris Baddeley Main periods of operation: Easter to end of September Coach parking facility: Yes 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: secretary@mslr.org.uk W: www.mslr.org.uk

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.

This delightful little 10¼” gauge railway runs from the North Norfolk seaside 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.

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 Main periods of operation: April 1st - November 2nd, plus Santa Specials December weekends. Coach parking facility: Public coach parking close by Sheringham Station. Parking at Holt Station by prior arrangement. Principal Group Rates: 10% discount for groups of 20 -200, giving £10.35 adult, £9.45 senior and £7.20 child 5 - 15. Under 5s free. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 200 Catering available for Groups: Lunch or dinner trains may be hired by prior arrangement. Sheringham Station Buffet open to groups, but not exclusively. Conference Facilities available: (10 – 50 person capacity).Catering available. Facilities in Railway Institute at Holt Station but static carriage also available by arrangement. The Station, Sheringham, Norfolk NR26 8RA and Holt Station NR25 6AJ Tel: 01263 820 800 • Fax: 01263 820 801 E: enquiries@nnrailway.co.uk W: www.nnrailway.co.uk Twitter: @Teady_ Facebook: North Norfolk Railway plc

The gentle 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). 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 3 April to the end of October 2014 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 in our expanded car park at Wells. Prior arrangement needed. Bookings should be made well in advance of the required date as they are popular. Contact name for Group Bookings: Lt. Cmdr Roy Francis The main period of operation : 3 April to end of October 7 days a week. Timetable service – see website Coach parking facility: Coach Park about 300 yds from Walsingham Station, NR22 6BT Principal Group Rates: 10% reduction on all fares Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 50 Catering available for Groups: Excellent catering facilities at “Christine’s” - the Station Buffet at Wells Station. Good facilities in both Wells & Walsingham.

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

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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Midlands 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.

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 www.tramway.co.uk 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.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Admin Office Main periods of operation: Sundays Easter – end September. Saturdays Easter – June, July & August. Every Wednesday July and August, all Bank Holiday Mondays and Special Excursions on the Cauldon Lowe Branch line to Ipstones Loop throughout the year Coach parking facility: Cheddleton Station & Froghall Principal Group Rates: 10% discount when pre-booked

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Contact name for Group Bookings: Laura Greaves Main periods of operation: April to October Coach parking facility: Free - close to entrance Principal Group Rates: Adults - £9, Seniors - £8, Child - £5

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

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10

Catering available for Groups: By arrangement on trains & stations.

Catering available for Groups: Booked in advance.

Near Leek, Staffordshire Moorlands, Kingsley & Froghall Station ST10 2HA Cheddleton Station ST13 7EE Tel: 01538 750755 • Fax: 01538 758496 E: enquiries@churnet-valley-railway.co.uk W: www.churnet-valley-railway.co.uk

Crich, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 5DP Tel: 01773 854321 • Fax: 01773 854320 E: enquiry@tramway.co.uk W: www.tramway.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


Every journey ends with a memory. Whether it’s the breathtaking scenery, charming towns and villages or friendly people, a trip on the Severn Valley Railway is one your customers will never forget. • Heritage steam trains • Exciting Engine House Visitor Centre • Well-stocked gift shop • Reserved seating for groups from 15 – 300 • Pre-booked catering facilities along the line • Breathtaking scenery • Great in all weathers Contact Visitor Services today for more information.

Tel: 01562 757900

Email: grouptravel@svrlive.com

www.svr.co.uk

Number One Comberton Place, Kidderminster, DY10 1QR KIDDERMINSTER • BEWDLEY • BRIDGNORTH

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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Midlands Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Foxfield 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, Wednesdays and Thursdays in the high summer. The timetable is designed to connect with East Midlands Trains’ services to and from Derby and Nottingham. Visitors may wish to take advantage of a joint all Day Rover Ticket issued by the railway and Trent Barton providing an excellent opportunity for discount travel through the beautiful derbyshire countryside by bus and rail. 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 line’s 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 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, alternatively Arkwrights Mill at Cromford, the Cromford Canal or shopping at the nearby Masson Mills.

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.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Leigh Gration Main periods of operation: March to end of October

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.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Richard Barnett Main periods of operation: Easter to October and December

Coach parking facility: Ample free parking at Wirksworth Station

Coach parking facility: Tarmacked carpark for 6 coaches

Principal Group Rates: All line £11.00 Adult; £6.00 Child

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: Min:10. Catering available for Groups: Lunches & Afternoon teas available for up to 80 Conference Facilities available: 2 – 20 Wirksworth Station, Station Road, Wirksworth, Derbyshire DE4 4FB Tel: 01629 823076 E: ticketoffice@e-v-r.com W: www.e-v-r.com

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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.

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 25 Max: 200 Catering available for Groups: On-site cafe provides home cooked meals & desserts to suit requirements.

Caverswall Road, Blythe Bridge ST11 9BG Tel: 01782 396210 E: enquiries@foxfieldrailway.co.uk W: www.foxfieldrailway.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


10444 - GWR Groups Ad 2013_Layout 1 16/08/2013 11:44 Page 1

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

 Travel from Toddington, Winchcombe

or Cheltenham Race Course stations

 Generous discounts and reserved seats

for groups

 Free coach and car parking at all stations  Driver and tour guide travel free  Disabled access and facilities at all stations  Tea room, gift shop and museum at

Toddington, cafĂŠ at Winchcombe

 Refreshments available on the trains

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, The Railway Station, Toddington, Glos. GL54 5DT  01242 621405 email: grouptravel @gwsr.com

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

AFTERNOON TEA?

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 ~ groups@foxfieldrailway.co.uk www.foxfieldrailway.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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Midlands Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

Great Central Railway

With the full line and extension 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 Malvern hills and the Vale of Evesham, right across to the Black Mountains, 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 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.

For 2014 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 re-vamped Flag & Whistle Restaurant, the shop, the small museum, and the heritage trail at 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.

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 Shadowlands 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!

Contact name for group bookings: Claudette Oddy

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Main periods of operation: March to October plus Christmas to New Year

Contact name for Group Bookings: Booking Office

Principal Group Rates: £13.00 return or £8.70 single for full length of line (20+ passengers)

Main periods of operation: Weekends throughout the year: selected weekdays during the summer. Also special events.

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

Coach parking facility: On-street parking at Loughborough; car park at Quorn

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

Principal Group Rates: 10% reduction on groups of 15 or over. Coach drivers & guides travel for free.

The Railway Station, Toddington, Gloucestershire GL54 5DT Tel: 01242 621405 (answerphone when not manned) E: grouptravel@gwsr.com W: www.gwsr.com

Great Central Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 1RW Tel: 01509 632323 • Fax: 01509 239 791 E: sales@gcrailway.co.uk W: www.gcrailway.co.uk

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.

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


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

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

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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Midlands Midland Railway, Butterley

Nene Valley Railway

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

Nene Valley Railway offers something for everyone. For the rail enthusiast we have Heritage Steam Locomotives running on 7.5 miles of track through the picturesque Nene Valley. For those who are perhaps a little less enthused by the lure of steam the line offers stunning rural and river views, splendid country walks and a terminus that’s only a short hop from Peterborough’s busy shopping centre and magnificent medieval Cathedral. For the tour operator we offer value, convenience and flexibility. We are situated in a unique position literally a minute from the junction of the A47 and A1 just north of Peterborough. This location puts us about an hour from London and within a couple of hours of almost anywhere in the Midlands. Our main coach parking area is within 150 metres of the station buildings. However, should you have less mobile clients we also offer a convenient pick-up and drop off point a few metres from the front door. In addition to travel only we have several competitively priced ‘with extras’ packages in place, such as travel and ploughman’s lunch or travel and cream tea. We also appreciate that sometimes a one off is needed. With this in mind we are always pleased to work with an operator to build something that works brilliantly for them. Most things are possible, from part journeys with drop off in one location and pick up in another, to multiple round trips or even something in between. No matter what you want we will try to sort out a competitive price to allow you to offer to your customers something that does not break their bank, but still makes you a decent profit. Above all, we understand that by helping you we help ourselves...

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.

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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.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Just call the main number and somebody will help. Main periods of operation: Feb to December. Most 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 £13 (£16) Child £6.50 (£8 ) Senior £11 (£13) 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

Butterley Station, Ripley, Derbyshire DE5 3QZ Tel: 01773 747674 • Fax: 01773 570721 E: midland.railway@btconnect.com W: www.midlandrailwaycentre.co.uk

Wansford Station (A1) Old Great North Road, Stibbington, Peterborough PE8 6LR Tel: 01780 784444 • Fax: 01780 784440 E: nvr@nvr.org.uk W: www.nvr.org.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


Midlands Peak Rail

Severn Valley Railway

Peak Rail would like to welcome visitors old and new during 2014 to experience the thrill of a bygone era whilst travelling on their heritage railway which operates throughout the year.

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 2014 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.

The line which has been re-instated mostly by volunteers forms part of the old Midland Railway line between Manchester Central and London St Pancras which was closed in 1968. They currently operate for a distance of 4 miles between Rowsley South and Matlock Platform 2 Stations with both steam and diesel locomotives in operation. Groups can do a single or return journey which must be pre-booked. Discounted fares are available on all normal operating days but not when there is a special event. All train services have an on-board buffet coach serving a selection of cold refreshments and snacks, and a specially adapted coach for wheelchair users. Various special events are held throughout the year perfect for the family or enthusiast to enjoy or why not get your hands on the controls of a steam locomotive and participate in one of their hugely popular steam experience courses. In addition to the normal timetabled train service, Peak Rail has a fine reputation for dining, with their highly acclaimed Palatine Dining Restaurant train, where you can enjoy the luxury of Pullman Style dining as the train leisurely travels along the line. Peak Rail believes in the old fashioned values of quality and service and you are guaranteed to be pampered for the duration of your trip, whilst being served a sumptuous Sunday lunch, Cream or Afternoon Tea in their lovingly restored coaches seating a maximum of 71 people with fully licensed bar. So why not visit during 2014 and discover within the Derbyshire Dales the magical bygone era of the steam train. 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 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Catering available for Groups: Buffet on station & on train. Matlock Station, Matlock DE4 3NA Tel: 01629 580381 • Fax: 01629 760 645 E: peakrail@peakrail.co.uk W: www.peakrail.co.uk

Contact name for Group Bookings: Lisa Smith Main periods of operation: Open daily from May 3rd – October 1st 2014. All School holidays and most other weekends. See website for full information Coach parking facility: Free parking at Kidderminster, Bewdley & Bridgnorth Station Group Rates 2014: For pre-booked groups of 15 or more adults/ seniors on timetable A, B or C - £10.00 per person for a single journey Kidderminster to Bridgnorth. £14.40 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: pre-booked catering is available by prior arrangement at The Engine House at Highley & The Valley Suite at Kidderminster Station. Number One, Comberton Place, Kidderminster, Worcestershire DY10 1QR Tel: 01562 757900 E: grouptravel@svr.co.uk W: www.svr.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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North West East Lancashire Railway

Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

Board one of the East Lancashire Railway’s heritage steam and diesel trains and begin your journey back to yesteryear soaking up the beautiful Irwell Valley with its rolling green hills and charming villages as you go.

Established in 1973, The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway is a family run business steaming into the heart of The Lake District. Operating daily from 5th April-2nd November, carefully maintained steam locomotives haul carriages on this 3 ½ mile steeply graded former Furness Railway Branch Line from Haverthwaite to Lakeside, the southern tip of Windermere. At Lakeside connections are available with Windermere Lake Cruises where you can enjoy the stunning Lake scenery on board a steamer or launch to Bowness or Ambleside. The Victorian Station at Haverthwaite is home to the railway’s collection of steam and diesel rolling stock which are on display in The Engine Shed. Our Licensed Station Restaurant produces its very own Cumberland Sausage flavoured with the Railway’s own brew Fairburn Ale. It is served with The Railwayman’s All Day Breakfast, Crusty Baguettes, Traditional Basket Meals & Tasty Bites. Their famous giant homemade scones served with jam and cream are simply delicious. Haverthwaite Gift Shop boast an exciting array of gifts, books and souvenirs. Visit our Woodland Adventure Playground to discover climbing structures, nets, slide and much more. Enjoy the scenic surroundings of our open and undercover picnic areas whilst watching the trains go by. 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 www.lakesiderailway.co.uk “A Great Day Out.... Whatever The Weather!”

There are six different stops waiting to be explored from Heywood visit the Rochdale Pioneer Museum, the birthplace of the modern co-operative museum or grab a bargain at Bury’s famous market. Continue your journey through the pretty village of Summerseat to Ramsbottom, a thriving town with an array of independent shops before chugging through the most scenic part of our line en route to our terminus at Rawtenstall. There are plenty of things to see and do and our stations are well equipped for group visits with cafés, pubs, gift shops and our own Transport Museum. Admission into Bury Transport Museum is included in our Full Line Return ticket and enables visitors to get up close to restored vehicles and learn about the region’s rich transport heritage. Guided tours and talks are also available. The railway also has some fantastic events scheduled throughout the year from guided Rail Ale Tours of some of the excellent local drinking grounds to the nostalgia of our award winning 1940’s weekend. Group dining options can also be included as part of your visit, from light bites in The Buffet to a taste of Lancashire at The Trackside. Indulge in a little luxury with one of our dining experiences where your group can enjoy a cream tea and three course Lancastrian Lunch in a vintage Pullman style carriage. Itineraries can be tailored to suit your group and a fantastic 20% discount is now being offered on group bookings of 20 + for January – March 2015. Visit eastlancsrailway.org.uk for more information and to start to plan your next visit. 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: admin@eastlancsrailway.org.uk W: www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk

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Contact name for Group Bookings: Karen Maher Main periods of operation: 5th April - 2nd November 2014 Coach parking facility: Free Coach Parking at Haverthwaite Principal Group Rates: £3.60 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: info@lakesiderailway.co.uk W: www.lakesiderailway.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


North West Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway EvEry stop is a start...

Where steam

power meets breathtaking scenery

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway is the oldest and longest narrow gauge railway in the Lake District National Park. There has been a narrow gauge railway serving Miterdale and Eskdale since 1875, originally built to a 3ft gauge to carry ore from the mines at Eskdale. Affectionally known locally as La’aL Ratty meaning “little railway”. Today it is a popular tourist attraction and home to River Irt, the oldest working 15” gauge steam engine in the world. The journey covers seven miles of spectacular scenery from the coastal village of Ravenglass, once an important defence point in Roman times to the foot of England’s highest mountains. Scafell Pike at 3,209ft (978m) is one of a horseshoe of high fells open to the South surrounding the head of Eskdale Valley. There are four steam engines in regular service with a peak operating period between March and November. There are seven request stops en route for those wanting to enjoy some of the walking routes in the area with a one way seven mile journey taking approximately 40 minutes.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Claire & Ashleigh Main periods of operation: Daily trains from mid March to early November and most winter weekends in December. Santa Express for groups midweek afternoons in December. Open daily over main Christmas and New Year holiday period. 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 full line return on the railway & a one hour cruise with Ullswater ‘Steamers’) - £12.50 per adult; Steam on the Wild Side, (a full line return journey on the railway & a visit to the neighbouring attraction of Muncaster Castle) - £13.50 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. Free Wi-Fi. Conference Facilities available at both Ravenglass and Dalegarth: (up to 75 person capacity). Catering provided. Private Carriage/Engine Charters available, please contact us. Ravenglass, Cumbria CA18 1SW Tel: 01229 717171 • Fax: 01229 717011 E: steam@ravenglass-railway.co.uk W: www.ravenglass-railway.co.uk

• Stunning 24-mile round trip • Steam-hauled dining train with cream tea, lunch & evening services • Bury Transport Museum with a collection of vintage vehicles & original artefacts • Guided tours & themed talks • Award-winning 1940s Weekend • Flexible itineraries & group discounts • Coach drop-off point & parking nearby

Open every weekend, Wednesday–Friday, April–September.

www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk Bolton Street, Bury BL9 0EY | 0161 764 7790

RIBBLE STEAM RAILWAY Chain Caul Rd., Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston PR2 2PD www.ribblesteam.org.uk Telephone: 01772 728800

STEAM TRAINS RUNNING EVERY WEEKEND FROM EASTER TO SEPTEMBER

Special events take place throughout the year; visit the website for full details. Artwork produced by Atkinson Publications

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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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. 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. Please check the Railway’s website for latest news before travelling. 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. Principal Group Rates: 10% discount on all groups. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 25 Catering available for (Pre-booked) Groups: Buffet with light refreshments. Chain Caul Road, Preston PR2 2PD Tel: 01772 728800 E: ribblesteamrailway@gmail.com W: www.ribblesteam.org.uk

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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. 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. 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. Coach parking facility: adjacent to Alston and Lintley Halt stations Principal Group Rates: Discounts for 10+ on application Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 100 Catering available for Groups: Cafe at Alston station. On train: Buffet carriage – 25 seats. Town Centre: 5 minutes walk from Alston station. 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: strps@hotmail.com W: www.strps.org.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


South of England Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway

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.

The railway is a friendly country branch line providing Heritage Steam and Vintage Diesel train rides along the foot of the scenic Chiltern Hills. Starting out from the delightfully restored Chinnor station with its café and souvenir shop, the line runs parallel to the historic Icknield Way and onward until it reaches the outskirts of Princes Risborough.

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. 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.

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 Principal Group Rates: 10% reduction for groups of 15 and 20% reduction for groups of 25 or more 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: office@bucksrailcentre.org W: www.bucksrailcentre.org

The round trip is a leisurely 45 minutes long allowing your visitors to take in some very attractive open countryside and to enjoy outstanding views across the Vale of Whiteleaf. ‘Sitting in the afternoon tea car enjoying a delicious cream tea served by attentive staff, and all the while watching the steam lazily curl back over the train with those fantastic views of the Chilterns all around us, plus the Red Kites circling overhead, it was a truly magical experience for my group’, wrote Mrs Hunt in appreciation of her organisation’s visit last autumn. As well as our timetabled train services with departures between 10.15 and 16.00 hours (see operating days below), there are many special event days throughout the year including our popular Wildlife on the Move trains, Quiz evenings and Murder Mystery dining trains, and more. We are just 6 minutes from Junction 6 on the M40 and offer reserved coach parking and refreshments for your driver. An attentive Train Manager is on every train and reserved accommodation is arranged for your guests. Please call us to discuss your requirements – we look forward to hearing from you. Contact name for Group Bookings: Don or Les Main periods of operation: Every Sunday and Bank Holiday from 30 March to 26 October and also on some Saturdays and midweek in August 2014 Coach parking facility: Reserved parking at Chinnor and free refreshments for driver Principal Group Rates: 20% reductions for 15 or more Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Please discuss your requirements Catering available for Groups: Ploughman’s Lunches, Cream Teas, Cafe at Chinnor and Buffet on train – please ask for details. Chinnor Station, Station Road, Chinnor OX39 4ER Tel: 07979 055 366 or 0118 947 3436 E: groupchinnor@hotmail.co.uk W: www.chinnorrailway.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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South of England Didcot Railway Centre

Exbury Gardens Railway

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. 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.

The Exbury Gardens Steam Railway in the New Forest has welcomed many famous guests – including HM The Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. The Railway follows a one and a quarter mile circular route on a 12 ¼” gauge and is a wonderful and evocative way to see the gardens. The sights and sounds of the liveried blue engines are a draw for visitors of all ages. After leaving Exbury Central Station the train enters the Summer Lane Garden with a bridge, tunnel, causeway and series of themed gardens based on character and texture. The collection of plants reflect the seasons and can only be seen from the train. Passengers will enjoy spotting a number of woodland moss animals, including deer, rabbits, a squirrel, fox and frog, together with contemporary metal sculptures. Passing out of the Summer Lane Garden, the train travels through a wooded area, revealing glimpses of the Rock Garden. A steep gradient leads to a curving timber viaduct, with fine views over the Wildlife Ponds. The train then passes a Plant Nursery and an Exotic Fruit Patch and on to a second lake, home to “Hump-phrey, The Lake Moss Monster” before looping around the oldest tree in the Gardens, the Domesday Yew. Exbury North Halt in the American Garden enables visitors to hop off the train and explore this area before returning to Exbury Central on foot or by train. After their train journey, passengers may 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; accessible carriages may be fitted. NEW FOR 2014 - A children’s play area will open in the Gardens, together with an exclusive, spring opening of the ‘Gilbury Lane’ garden, showcasing 200 named varieties of Camellias.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Michael Bodsworth Main periods of operation: Open daily 24 May – 14 September, during school holidays, and all weekends.

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

Contact for Group Bookings: Janis Orchard Janis.orchard@exbury.co.uk Main periods of operation: Sat 15 March – Sun 2 November 2014. Gardens open 10am Coach parking facility: Free parking for up to x 50 coaches, hard standing Principal Group Rates: £9 per person for Gardens; £3 per person for Steam Railway, if booked in advance (£4 on day). Groups constitute 15 or more paying individuals. Gardens entrance required to purchase railway tickets. Free Group Organiser visit and Coach Driver incentives. Catering available for Groups: Group lunch menus available. Guided tours of Gardens available. Special events.

Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 7NJ Tel: 01235 817200 • Fax: 01235 510621 E: info@didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk W: www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk

The Estate Office, Exbury, Southampton, Hants SO45 1AZ Tel: 023 8089 1203 • Fax: 023 8089 9940 E: info@exbury.co.uk W: www.exbury.co.uk

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.

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THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


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

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South of England Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Leighton Buzzard Railway

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. 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 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! New for 2014… Explore our Train Story Discovery Centre, a fabulous new attraction bringing to life those swaggering locomotives, cheerful carriages and quirky wagons, uncovering their impact on all our lives and showing what happened when no longer needed on the railways. The IW Steam Railway has three times been named Independent Railway of the Year, and in 2012/13 won the Tourism South East Silver Award for Best Large Visitor Attraction. The Railway has also been 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.

With the centenary of the First World War very much in mind, we invite you to bring your group to experience living history, on a railway which has its roots firmly planted in that dreadful conflict. Demand for Leighton Buzzard foundry sand soared during the war, and after the armistice, lots of narrow-gauge railway equipment—used to supply the battlefields— became available. The Leighton Buzzard Railway was one of several British lines to be built as a result of this windfall, but is the only one still operating. Since the 1960s, it has been a working museum railway, with national accreditation, operated and managed by volunteers. Its collection includes several items from the War Department Light Railways, including this steam engine, No 778, which was built in the USA in 1917 for operation with the British forces. 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 rolling Bedfordshire countryside, with great views across to the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Going at a sedate pace, with sharp curves, steep inclines and level crossings, your party will relive the long-lost era of the English narrow-gauge light railway. The round trip takes 70 minutes by scheduled service, although charter trains can run at other times. Refreshments can be booked in advance at the station buffet, and the Engine Shed Show—a free guided tour of the museum collection—also adds to the time your party spends with us. The Leighton Buzzard Railway is within easy reach of the M1, A5 and A505, and close to other attractions such as Whipsnade, Woburn and Bletchley Park.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Liz King Main periods of operation: Trains run daily from late June until late September; on most days during March, April, May & June; and on selected days in October and December 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 Catering available for Groups: The licensed Refreshment Rooms are ideal for a warming meal, a light bite, or a scrumptious cream tea! Conference Facilities available: (10 – 60 person capacity) Catering provided

The Railway Station, Havenstreet, Isle of Wight PO33 4DS Tel: 01983 882204 • Fax: 01983 884515 E: liz.king@iwsteamrailway.co.uk W: www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk

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Contact name for Group Bookings: Traffic Manager Main periods of operation: Sundays & Bank Holiday weekends; 16th March – 29th October, plus extra days in school holidays and summer months. See website for full information. Coach parking facility: Page’s Park Station, free of charge. Please notify requirements in advance. Principal Group Rates: Adult £7.60, Seniors £6.40, Child (2 -15 years) £4.40, 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. Please book in advance. Page’s Park Station, Billington Road, Leighton Buzzard, Beds LU7 4TN Tel: 01525 373 888 E: station@lbngrs.org.uk W: www.buzzrail.co.uk

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THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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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!

Whatever the weather take a journey back in time and enjoy a day of excitment and nostalgia at the award winning Swanage Railway. Sit back and relax in style and enjoy a leisurely 12 mile return trip behind an historic steam locomotive through the beautiful countryside of the Isle of Purbeck, a Designated Area of Natural Beauty, including the stunning views of the ruins of Corfe Castle. The stations at Norden, Corfe Castle, Harmans Cross, Herston and Swanage provide access to historic villages, country walks and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Rebuilt from nothing Swanage Railway is one of the country’s most intensively operated steam railways with trains running daily from April to October as well as most weekends throughout the year. In addition the Railway runs regular themed events. A visit to Swanage and Swanage Railway makes an ideal trip in itself or as part of a longer stay in Dorset. it is within easy reach of Bournemouth, Weymouth and The New Forest as well as many other local attractions. There is a lot more here than just steam trains. Whilst passengers travel to Swanage with its blue flag beach, Victorian pier, shops and restaurants they 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. As part of their Swanage Railway day out passengers have the opportunity to visit the recently opened Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum next to Norden station. Visitors can discover part of Purbeck’s amazing hidden history and explore the rich ball clay mining history of the region. The Museum tells the story of the clay industry, the narrow gauge railways which served it and the lives of the workers. The Museum is open on selected days April to October.

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. The new viewing galleries at Ropley station allow 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 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+ Adult £14, Senior £13; and 30+ Adult £13, Senior £12. Group Child (2-16yrs) Rate - £8 We also operate multi-destination packages with local attractions: Jane Austen’s House, National Trust property Hinton Ampner, Basingstoke Canal 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! Conference Facilities available: 10 – 90 person capacity. Catering provided. Steam train trip & driving experience can be included. The Railway Station, Alresford, Hampshire SO24 9JG Tel: 01962 733810 • Fax: 01962 735448 E: info@watercressline.co.uk W: www.watercressline.co.uk

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Contact name for Group Bookings: Reservations (01929 475207) Main periods of operation: Daily from April until October as well as most weekends throughout the year. coach drop off facility: Norden Park & Ride. Swanage coach drop off facility adjacent to Swanage Station Principal Group Rates: Singles - adults £6.00, children £4.00 (age 3 to 15) Day returns - adults £8.50, children £6.00 (age 3 to 15) Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15 Catering available for Groups: Buffets at Swanage, Norden & on train Wessex Belle dining trains also available. Groups should be booked in advance.

Station House, Swanage, Dorset BH19 1HB Tel: 01929 425800 • Fax: 01929 475208 E: info@swanage-railway.co.uk W: www.swanagerailway.co.uk

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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: info@bluebell-railway.co.uk W: www.bluebell-railway.com

Ride the Spa Valley Railway Tunbridge Wells - High Rocks - Groombridge - Eridge Travel by heritage train through the beauty of the Kentish Weald. From the Royal splendour of the Georgian Pantiles arcade and Chalybeate Spring in Tunbridge Wells, to the towering sands sandstone rocks and Inn at High Rocks, then onto Groombridge village with its traditional village green, historic pub and picturesque church. Visit Groombridge Place Gardens and the Enchanted Forest, or take the train onto Eridge passing Harrisons Rocks en route. Eridge Station offers connections with Southern Mainline trains to London Bridge. * Book Cream Teas or a Fish and Chip meal to be served on the train * * Charter your very own train * * Special rates for parties / groups * * Coach park at Tunbridge Wells *

www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk 01892 537715

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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. Contact name for Group Bookings: Sales Office Main periods of operation: Please refer to timetable. Daily service 30th July – 1st September 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. Conference Facilities available: (50 person capacity) Catering provided. See website for details. Tenterden Town Station, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6HE Tel: 01580 765155 • Fax: 01580 765654 E: enquiries@kesr.org.uk W: www.kesr.org.uk

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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. 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: Marion Taylor 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: Yes - room for several coaches on site. There is also turning room. Principal Group Rates: 10% discount on entrance fees Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Catering available for Groups: Buffet on site serving hot & cold food and drinks.

Isfield Station, Isfield, Nr Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 5XB Tel: 01903 761455 E: mariontaylor0@googlemail.com W: www.lavender-line.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


CALLING ALL GROUP ORGANISERS

TO ONE OF KENT’S TOP VISITOR ATTRACTIONS

Kent’s Mainline in Miniature

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.

Full-day combined visit options available with other local attractions.

us our own highly Plsuccessful 1940’s Guided Tours.

Full details on our website www.rhdr.org.uk/groups

Replica Armoured Train at New Romney Station.

For more details go to www.rhdr.org.uk/groups, email: groups@rhdr.org.uk or call: 01797362353 BOOKING To guarantee your seats on your preferred train, please book well in advance.

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

AMBERLEY

MUSEUM & HERITAGE CENTRE D I S C O V E R L E A R N H AV E F U N

Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, Amberley, Near Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9LT T: 01798 831370 E: office@amberleymuseum.co.uk

Group visits with a difference at Amberley Museum We offer a bespoke service to every group planning a visit to Amberley Museum. We want to make your trip a really special day to remember so please book in advance with the Museum office. Reduced entry rate for group visitors (parties of ten or more booked in advance) Free coach parking Free entry and lunch for coach drivers Free travel around the Museum site on our narrow-gauge railway or heritage bus Behind the scenes tours Specialist talks and demonstrations by traditional craftspeople Access to our education programme of workshops, talks and seminars Good disabled facilities

www.amberleymuseum.co.uk THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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South East Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway

Spa Valley Railway

87 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 midMarch to the beginning of November between Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge where there is a mainline connection 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 for steam and to Eridge by DEMU. 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. 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 is 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: www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk or telephone 01892 537715 (an answerphone service may operate on some days) or email us on enquiries@spavalleyrailway.co.uk We look forward to welcoming you to the Spa Valley Railway in 2014.

The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway is proud to operate the most complete collection of one third full size Steam Locomotives in the world. 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 & designated as a National Nature Reserve. Six Stations span the length of the line, with each one being in easy reach of either clean beaches, amusements for the children, shops, nature walks, cycling paths or at Dungeness, the Old Lighthouse. Why not make best use of our famous RomneyRover ticket (£16ad, £14conc, £8.00ch 3-15yrs, £43.50 2ad & up to 3ch or 1ad & up to 4ch) and hop on and off trains all day long! Stop at New Romney Station and visit our Model Railway Exhibition and, from Easter to September, our 1940’s Exhibition. Group discounts available on most train. Open most weekends throughout the winter, with a daily service from the end of March to the end of October, free car/coach parking at most stations, railway shops and cafés, and facilities for our visitors with mobility problems, the RH&DR is an any weather, all generations great day out.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Steve Richards Main periods of operation: Most weekends throughout the year and each day from end of March to end of October Principal Group Rates: Group discounts available on most trains. Visit www.rhdr.org.uk to see our selection of Combined Day Tours, including our own 1940’s Guided Tours. Dayrover Ticket: Adult £16.00 Child £8.00 (3-15yrs) Conc £14.00 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: Can cater for large groups but must be pre-booked. Catering available for Groups: Full self-service restaurant, plus snacks/ sandwiches at New Romney & Dungeness stations. Group meals can be arranged but must be pre-booked. Greenly Coffee Shop at Hythe station. Open all running days.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Carol Barnett Main periods of operation: Weekends and public holidays 15th March to 2nd 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 £3.50 per child. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Catering available for Groups: Cream teas available on the train at £4.50 supplement per person (max. 48). 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: info@rhdr.org.uk W: www.rhdr.org.uk

West Station, Nevill Terrace, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5QY Tel: 01892 537715 E: enquiries@spavalleyrailway.co.uk W: www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk

For Timetable information, details of our Special Events or to visit our on-line shop go to www.rhdr.org.uk.

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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 is Cornwall’s only full size railway still operated by steam locomotives. Relax in style and enjoy a 13 mile round trip through beautiful countryside evocative of a 1950’s Cornish Branch line. Trains operate from Bodmin General, the line’s main station, to both Bodmin Parkway and Boscarne Junction. Connections can be made with main line railway services at Bodmin Parkway. Boscarne Junction is situated directly adjacent to the Camel Trail recreational footpath and cycle way. The Camel Trail continues along the disused track bed to the fishing village of Padstow. There is a buffet at both Bodmin General and Bodmin Parkway stations, and most services have a buffet and bar on board the train. 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. Advance booking is essential for groups and generous discounts are available. If arriving by car it is recommended that you join at Bodmin General. The best value ticket is the Freedom of the Line and this normally takes about two hours. Great value First Great Western through fares available to Bodmin Parkway and it’s simple to change for the Bodmin & Wenford Railway. Heritage diesel locomotives operate occasionally. 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.

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. 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

Contact name for Group Bookings: Bookings Team Main periods of operation: Selected dates Feb-May, daily 24 May - 5 October 2014, selected dates October-December Coach parking facility: FREE parking available for coaches at Bodmin General Station by prior arrangement.

Catering available for Groups: Cream Teas, snacks, lunches (pre-booking essential)

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

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

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

Bitton Station, Bath Road, Bitton, Bristol BS30 6HD Tel: 0117 932 5538 • Fax: 0117 932 5935 E: info@avonvalleyrailway.org W: www.avonvalleyrailway.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/avrbitton Twitter: @avrbitton

Bodmin General Station, Lostwithiel Road, Bodmin, Cornwall PL31 1AQ Tel: 01208 73555 • Fax: 01208 77963 E: enquiries@bodminrailway.co.uk W: www.bodminrailway.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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South West Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company

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 village of Dittisham. Harbour Cruises operate daily from Dartmouth. 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. Other trips include:Cruises on the historic paddle steamer Kingswear Castle, the last remaining coal-fired paddle steamer in the UK. “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. “Steam & Cruise”. Paignton to Kingswear by steam train followed by a circular harbour cruise. Plus lots of other fantastic excursions and combinations!

Contact name for Group Bookings: Sarah Jordan Main periods of operation: February - December 2014 (with a selected dates timetable in November & December). Santa Specials in December. Coach parking facility: No coach park but two minutes away from multi-storey car park Principal Group Rates: Please call for a timetable or visit our website Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 300 Catering available for Groups: Cafés at both Paignton & Kingswear. Queen’s Park Station, Torbay Road, Paignton, Devon TQ4 6AF Tel: 01803 555 872 • Fax: 01803 664 313 E: bookings@dsrrb.co.uk W: www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk

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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 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, an interesting accredited museum displaying many artefacts from local lines and for 2014 a newly constructed 70 seat cafe. 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 March and run through until October. Thereafter, Santa and Mince Pie Specials take place in December. On train dining options are available, from a simple coffee and cake, to a full 4 course meal, all whilst being whisked along by a steam engine! Contact name for group bookings: Mrs Lynne Wentworth Main periods of operation: March to Oct & 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 Pre booked catering available for Groups Coach drivers can receive a free return trip on the railway or a redeemable voucher for use in the cafe on the day of the visit.

Forest Road, Lydney, Gloucestershire GL15 4ET Tel: 01594 845840 E: Enquires through DFR website W: www.dfr.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


South West Helston Railway

Come and visit Britain’s most Southerly Railway near Helston in Cornwall and enjoy the beautiful setting of the little Helston Railway, as the train trundles through the Cornish landscape taking in stunning views. Experience a ride in our Brake Van - no cushion seats, but a unique view of the line from an open veranda, and feel the Cornish breeze in your hair! Our two mile long ride could leave you glowing! In 2005, a group of railway enthusiasts got together with the aim of reopening part of the old railway branch line from Gwinear Road to Helston that closed in 1964. All that remained was the old track bed and a few of the bridges, and that was overgrown and in poor condition. Eight years later and after a lot of hard work there is now a mile long railway line which has been open to the public for two years. The current railway line runs from Trevarno Farm in the north to the site of Truthall Halt in the south and has some magnificent views towards The Lizard. You can ride either in the diesel shunter or in the brake van, and if you are feeling adventurous, you can stand on the open veranda of the brake van to take in the full glory of the Cornish countryside. What would be better than to finish with a visit to our little shop or have a cup of tea in the buffet and learn more about the project to reopen the branch line, its history and our plans for the future.

DEVON RAIL H UT KFASTLEIGH • STAVERTON • TOT WAY O NE S BUC S

7 MILES OF TRACK. 140 YEARS OF HISTORY.

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STEP BACK IN TIME AND EXPERIENCE DEVON AT A PACE YOU’LL ENJOY. Contact name for group bookings: Barbara Barnes, details below. Main periods of operation: Thursdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday weekends from 17th April to 2nd November 2014. 10.30am to 4pm. With additional days during July and August – see website for more details and information on events. Coach parking facility: FREE parking. Principal Group Rates: Adult £5; Child £3, Children under 5 free; Family £12, (2 adults + 3 children). Catering available for groups by arrangement: Light refreshments. Near Helston in Cornwall, Trevarno Farm, Prospidnick, Helston TR14 0PR Tel: 07901 977 597 E: barbara@helstonrailway.co.uk W: www.helstonrailway.co.uk

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 groups. TRAINS MARCH - OCTOBER

0136 4 6 4 4370 • w w w. southdevonr ailway.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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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: www.launcestonsr.co.uk and www.visitlaunceston.co.uk Contact name for Group Bookings: Jonathan Mann Main periods of operation: April 13th - 25th, May 18th - 23rd, 25th - 30th June - Sun/Mon/Tues, Daily (except CLOSED on SATURDAYS) July 1st - September 26th, October 26th - 31st 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. Train Ride and Luxury Cream Tea: Adults £9, Children £6.50 must be booked in advance with travel tickets. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Minimum 15 Catering available for Groups: By arrangement Launceston, Cornwall PL15 8DA Tel: 01566 775 665 E: jm@lsr.eclipse.co.uk W: www.launcestonsr.co.uk

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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-for-profit 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: ask for the Commercial Manager Main periods of operation: Easter to end October, December Santa Specials - group bookings will also be considered in November. Coach parking facility: Yes Principal Group Rates: £3.50 per person, tickets valid all day Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 200 Catering available for Groups: Cream teas, sandwiches, cakes and beverages etc. Woody Bay Station, Martinhoe Cross, Parracombe, Devon EX31 4RA Tel: 01598 763487 E: enquiries@lynton-rail.co.uk W: www.lynton-rail.co.uk

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 Cliff Top Café is situated at the top of the railway.

Cornwall’s Premier Steam 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.

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 Principal Group Rates: 10% discount on normal rates for pre-booked groups. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: 25 Our Café can accommodate groups with prior arrangement at the time of booking.

The Esplanade, Lynmouth, North Devon, EX35 6EQ Tel: 01598 753486 E: enquiries@cliffrailwaylynton.co.uk W: www.cliffrailwaylynton.co.uk

making memories...

STEAM TRAINS In the heart of Cornwall

Discover the excitement and nostalgia of steam travel with a journey back in time on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway Cornwall's only full size railway still operated by steam locomotives.

01208 7355 www.bodminrailway.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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South West Seaton Tramway

South Devon Railway

Seaton Tramway is one of East Devon’s most loved attractions. Running along the former branch line from Seaton to Colyton, it offers unrivalled views of the Axe valley and its wildlife.

Just the ticket

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. 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. Colyton Station also provides a brand new Garden Room restaurant/café where we can accommodate and seat groups of 100+. Buffet lunches, 1, 2, and 3 course hot and cold meals can be booked in advance. We cater for all dietary requirements and can tailor-make any menu to suit your group.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Sue Bowman Main periods of operation: 29th March – 2nd November, 28th December & 1st January 2015 Coach parking facility: Seaton-East Devon District Council Coach Park & own car park at Colyton Principal Group Rates: Return Journey – Adult £9.00 Senior £8.50 Children (3-15) £4.50 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 12 Catering Available for Groups: Devon Cream Tea £4.75, Soup and Sandwich £6.95 to include a drink, Two Course Lunch £10.95 to include a drink – further details on request. Conference Facilities available: (12 – 30 person capacity). Catering provided.

Harbour Road, Seaton, Devon EX12 2NQ Tel: 01297 20375 E: info@tram.co.uk W: www.tram.co.uk

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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. For more information please visit www.southdevonrailway.co.uk 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 £6.80 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15 Catering available for Groups: Our Refreshment Rooms at Buckfastleigh are open every day and serve a range of hot & cold meals. The Station, Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0DZ Tel: 01364 644370 E: sales@southdevonrailway.org W: www.southdevonrailway.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


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Tel: 0117 932 5538 / info@avonvalleyrailway.org

www.avonvalleyrailway.org

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THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

28/01/2014 16:40

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South West

48

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. 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. Pick-up 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. Enjoy a break of up to five hours at seaside Paignton or stay aboard to visit beautiful and historic Dartmouth.

The West Somerset Railway is a 20 mile heritge steam railway running between Bishops Lydeard (nr. Taunton) and Minehead on the Somerset Coast. All trains are wheelchair accessible and have a Buffet Car and Bar and toilets. New for 2014: Bring your group on the West Somerset Railway to take part in our new ‘Heritage Hunter’ App. Bring the railway to life with 3D content on their iOS or Android device and learn about the history of the line, its Stations and Locomotives. We can help plan your day out itinerary with optional add-ons as part of your trip including Free guided talks, admission in to Dunster Caste and Hestercombe Gardens. For enthusiasts why not visit one of our major special events? Spring Steam Gala – March 27th – 31st. Mixed Traction Weekend on June 6th – 8th and Autumn Steam Gala on October 2nd – 5th. 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. Family Character Visit Days: Wallace & Gromit Visit: Saturday 12th April, Mike the Knight Visit: Saturday 3rd May, Day Out With Thomas July 5th, 6th & 12th, 13th, Bowlore Medieval Encampment: Sat 26th & Sun 27th, The Octonauts Visit: Saturday 2nd August, Peppa Pig & George Visit: Saturday 20th September and Fireman Sam Visit: Saturday 25th October.

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 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: over 10 Catering available for Groups: Catering included as part of package for First Class & Premier Dining passengers

Contact name for Group Bookings: Samantha Minter Main periods of operation: Regular services from February – November and selected dates in Jan, Nov & Dec. Coach parking facility: Free at Bishops Lydeard Station and Minehead Station. See website for other stations. Principal Group Rates: Adults - £10.00, Seniors - £9.50, Children - £5.00 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 16 Catering available for Groups: Yes, special Catering Menu available. 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: contact@torbayexpress.co.uk W: www.torbayexpress.co.uk

The Railway Station, Minehead TA24 5BG Tel: 01643 700384 • Fax: 01643 706349 E: info@wsrail.net W: www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk

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. 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. 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.

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. 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

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

Main periods of operation: Every weekend throughout the year & daily in summer months. See website for full timetables. Coach parking facility: Oxenhope & Ingrow Station Principal Group Rates: Please call us for further details. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20

Bolton Abbey Station, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 6AF Tel: 01756 710614 • Fax: 01756 710720 E: embsay.steam@btinternet.com W: www.embsayboltonabbeyrailway.org.uk

The Railway Station, Station Road, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8NJ Tel: 01535 645214 E: admin@kwvr.co.uk W: www.kwvr.co.uk

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Catering available for Groups: 2 Cafes plus Buffet Cars

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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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.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a great day out for groups of all ages with trains running every day from the 5th April to 2nd November between Whitby and Pickering. Also at weekends and on school holidays in winter between Pickering and Grosmont Station.

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.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Stuart Ross or Nicola Wilcock Main periods of operation: Weekends and June through to September Coach parking facility: Large free car & coach park Principal Group Rates: 15-29 Persons: Adult £5.50, Concession £5, Child £4.50, 30+ Persons: Adult £5, Concession £4.50, Child £4. On non-operating days, there is a minimum charge of £120. 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: info@kirkleeslightrailway.com W: www.kirkleeslightrailway.com

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Why not get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and climb aboard a steam train like Harry Potter for the ultimate trip through Heartbeat Country in cosy compartments on the world’s most popular heritage railway. Journey into the heart of the North York Moors whist relaxing in your comfy seat as you enjoy the enchanting landscapes of the National Park as you steam through the glacial valley. Stop off at Levisham, Goathland or Grosmont Station and embark on an energising walk through the countryside, before rewarding yourself with a cream tea in a station tea room. Why not explore the market town of Pickering or head to the coast and to Whitby to sample the best Fish and Chips in Yorkshire. Group rates are applicable for pre-booked groups of 20 or more throughout the main running season with the exception of Special Event days. One coach driver or Tour Guide is permitted to travel free of charge provided that there are a minimum of 20 people in the group. Why not add on a little something extra special for your group with a visit to the engine sheds or pre-order a cream scone or packed lunch to greet your group on-board when they arrive. All bookings and extras are subject to availability and must be pre-booked at least 14 days prior to the date of travel. Contact name for Group Bookings: Gerry Bacon Main periods of operation: 5 April – 2 November 2014 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: info@nymr.co.uk W: www.nymr.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


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Great days out for groups on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and climb aboard a steam train like Harry Potter for the ultimate trip through Heartbeat country in cosy teak carriages. Spoil yourself with a cream tea in a station tea room or embark on a walk through the moors from Pickering, Levisham, Newtondale Halt, Goathland, Grosmont or Whitby Stations. Discounts available for groups 20+ Buy your tickets online www.nymr. co.uk, call 01751 472 508, follow us on Twitter @NYMR or Facebook @ North Yorkshire Moors Railway

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 www.kirkleeslightrailway.com info@kirkleeslightrailway.com

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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Yorkshire & North East Tanfield Railway

Wensleydale Railway

Take a trip on the World’s oldest railway, with a history stretching back to 1725.

One of the longest operational heritage lines in the UK (16 miles), the railway predominantly runs heritage diesel locos (with some steam during the summer months). 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. Principal stations: Leeming Bar - close to the A1 (junction 51), has a shop and buffet car. Bedale - attractive market town with good range of shops and attractions and The Whistle Stop Cafe on the station platform. Leyburn - main market town of mid Wensleydale with shops and cafés clustered around the historic market place and Arther’s Tea Bar and shop at the station itself. Redmire - with stunning views across to Penhill, and ideally placed for a walk or cycle further into Wensleydale.

Enjoy a journey through the picturesque Causey Valley in Victorian style carriages with a lovingly restored steam locomotive. The railway is steeped in history, a perfect addition to any visit to Durham or Newcastle, Gateshead, just minutes from Beamish, Metrocentre and other attractions. Take a stroll across Causey Arch, a triumph of early engineering and the World’s oldest surviving railway bridge. Step inside Marley Hill engine shed, the oldest building of its type in Europe still carrying out its original role. Guided tours by knowledgeable and friendly staff can be arranged at no extra charge. Our period style refreshment room at Andrews House offers a range of drinks and snacks in the ambience of a countryside station. Trains run every Sunday and Bank Holiday throughout the year, plus selected Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during school holidays. What else is in the area? The city of Newcastle is only a few miles away as is Gateshead with its amazing Millenium Bridge.

Railway events include: Afternoon Tea Trains and Dining in the Dales, Diesel Gala, Murder Mysteries, Jazz and Real Ale and Santa Specials. Driver Experience available - Learn to drive a diesel multiple unit (from £99). Combine the railway with a visit to Bolton Castle (¾ mile walk from Redmire Station), a spectacular medieval fortress over 600 years old. For groups - enjoy a rail journey, guided tour of Bolton Castle and lunch or afternoon tea at castle (min no 15 people). Vintage Tuesdays (April to October) - a vintage bus meets the train at Redmire and goes to Bolton Castle, Aysgarth Falls - a famous beauty spot with a triple flight of waterfalls - or travel to Hawes (market day) before returning to Redmire later in the day. Also available is a rail journey, guided tour of Constable Burton Hall and Gardens with optional buffet lunch or afternoon tea on the train (min no 20 people).

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Contact name for Group Bookings: Tommy Knox 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 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 15

Main periods of operation: April 2014 to early January 2015 (please see website for full timetable). Coach parking facility: At Leeming Bar & Redmire and nearby at Bedale & Leyburn. Group Discount Rates available (min 12 people). Catering available: Light refreshments / buffet lunch / afternoon tea.

Old Marley Hill, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear NE16 5ET Tel: 0845 463 4938 E: info@ tanfield-railway.co.uk W: www.tanfield-railway.co.uk

1 Leases Road, Leeming Bar, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 9AR Tel:  08454 50 54 74 E: admin@wensleydalerailway.com W: www.wensleydalerailway.com

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 www.ggr.org.uk

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. 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 heritagerailways@gov.im. Resident’s tickets and Rail cards are available now from the Welcome Centre, offering unlimited or discounted travel. Check online at www.iombusandrail.info for various options and prices to suit you.

Main periods of operation: 7th March to 5th November 2014

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: ggr@ggr.org.uk W: www.ggr.org.uk

Catering available for Groups: Douglas & Port Erin.

Department of Infrastructure Headquarters, Banks Circus, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 5PT Tel: 01624 662525 • Fax: 01624 663637 E: heritagerailways@gov.im W: www.iombusandrail.info www.facebook.com/isleofmanrailways

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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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 trams 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 Isle of Man Astronomical Society.

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!

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Main periods of operation: 4th April to 2nd November 2014 Principal Group Rates: Contact for details. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Catering available for Groups: Laxey. Special events put on throughout the year, check our events section online or contact for details.

Main periods of operation: 11th April to 2nd November 2014 Principal Group Rates: Contact for details. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Catering available for Groups: Laxey and Snaefell Summit. Special events and Snaefell Summit Dining Experiences are put on throughout the year, check our events section online or contact for details.

Department of Infrastructure Headquarters, Banks Circus, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 5PT Tel: 01624 662525 • Fax: 01624 663637 E: heritagerailways@gov.im W: www.iombusandrail.info www.facebook.com/isleofmanrailways

Department of Infrastructure Headquarters, Banks Circus, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 5PT Tel: 01624 662525 • Fax: 01624 663637 E: heritagerailways@gov.im W: www.iombusandrail.info www.facebook.com/isleofmanrailways

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 to bring slate down from Blaenau Ffestiniog’s quarries to the harbour at Porthmadog by gravity, the narrow-gauge Ffestiniog Railway has now used steam power for over 150 years! Some of those 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. Running from Porthmadog’s newly enhanced Harbour Station (shared with the Welsh Highland Railway) the line crosses the estuary on the Cob - a 200 year old embankment - 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 and pass above the picturesque reservoir before returning to the original trackbed just outside the town. Blaenau Ffestiniog has recently undergone a £4.5m regeneration scheme with a completely revamped area around the station - so it is well worth spending some time exploring the town’s shops, cafés and its unique poetry trail set into the pavements. Though proud of its Victorian heritage, the railway uses modern heated carriages for a service that runs daily between late March and the beginning of November together with a regular winter service. Most Groups do a single journey as part of a circular tour of Snowdonia. An ‘at your seat’ light refreshment service is provided on the train and pre-booked refreshments are available for Groups. 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.

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.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Roger or Bobby Hine Main periods of operation: Easter to end September except some Mondays & Fridays Coach parking facility: At Llanuwchllyn, roadside at Bala Principal Group Rates: £4.40 single, £7 return Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 100 Catering available for Groups: Cold filled rolls, tea, coffee, cakes. Café seats 48 maximum. The Station, Llanuwchllyn, Gwynedd LL23 7DD Tel: 01678 540666 E: balalake@btconnect.com W: www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk

Contact name for Group Bookings: Samantha Hughes, Victoria Towers or Ben Kelly Main periods of operation: Daily 22nd Mar - 2nd Nov 2014. Winter trains: November* - Wed, Thurs, Sat & Sun. December* - Wed & Thurs to Christmas (*running between Porthmadog and Beddgelert on the Welsh Highland Railway). Daily trains 26th Dec to 1st Jan on the Ffestiniog Railway. Coach parking facility: Coach parking available at Porthmadog Harbour Station, Blaenau Ffestiniog (adjacent council car park) Principal Group Rates: Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog Single - Adult £8.50 • Concession £8.50 • Child £4.30 Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog Return - Adult £17.00 • Concession £15.30 • Child £8.50 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 100 Catering available for Groups: ‘At your seat’ buffet service, prebooked catering for Groups available either on-train or at station restaurant. Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd LL49 9NF Tel: 01766 516024 • Fax: 01766 516005 E: groups@ffwhr.com W: www.festrail.co.uk

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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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. 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. 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. 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 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.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Jeremy John Contact name for Group Bookings: Julie Jones Main periods of operation: Late March to late October 10am to 6pm daily (5pm during March & October) Coach parking facility: Dedicated coach parks within the town, drop off point at Prince Edward Square near the Pier

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Main periods of operation: Main period of operation from Easter to October. Please check website for operating days. Coach parking facility: Plenty of parking. Coaches welcome 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.

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

Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10

Environment, Roads & Facilities, Mochdre Offices, Conway Road, Mochdre, Colwyn Bay, LL28 5AB Tel: 01492 577877 • Fax: 01492 574027 E: tramwayenquiries@conwy.gov.uk W: www.greatormetramway.co.uk

The Railway Station, Bronwydd Arms, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire SA33 6HT Tel: 01267 238213 E: jjohn@gwili-railway.co.uk W: www.gwili-railway.co.uk

Catering available for Groups: Strawberry teas, cream teas, light lunches, teas & coffee, bacon rolls.

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!

Group

discounts & reserved seats

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

www.talyllyn.co.uk

LLANGOLLEN RAILWAY

LLANBERIS LAKE RAILWAY

Steam Trains in the Heart of Snowdonia

“Nostalgia for Everyone”

For Groups

Running through the spectacular Dee Valley.

    

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

• 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

book in advance,15+ people

 

Group Rates for pre booked Country Walks from Stations Facilities for the Disabled Tearooms & Shops Picnic Areas

Picturesque views all the way along the line Trains operating throughout the year Photographs by Matthew Collier, Lewis Maddox, David Wilcock & Andrew Gale

01286 870549 sales@lake-railway.co.uk

The Great Little Trains of Wales

LLANGOLLEN RAILWAY The Station · Abbey Road · Llangollen · LL20 8SN www.llangollen-railway.co.uk Tel: 01978 860979

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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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 primarily a steam hauled heritage railway located beside the historic Dee Bridge (built in 1345) in Llangollen.

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 line follows the River Dee, classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), for its entire length. The small section of line, which in its day crossed Wales from Ruabon to Barmouth, offers a sample of the sights and sounds of yesteryear passing through some of the finest natural beauty North Wales has to offer. The railway is located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and this is evident as you meander through the Dee Valley. From lambs in the Spring to the multicoloured falling leaves of Autumn, the views from the carriages are picturesque and ever changing. The line is currently being extended another 2 ½ miles to the town of Corwen, which is hoped to be completed by Summer 2014. As well as steam hauled trains, the line also run Diesel locomotive and Heritage Railcar services on selected days throughout the season and 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. Come and visit Llangollen Railway and see how train travel used to be. Visit the website for more information.

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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 £ 6.20 ; 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.

Main periods of operation: Running full time from April to September. Coach parking facility: Market Street carpark, Llangollen LL20 8PS 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.

Gilfach Ddu, Llanberis, Gwynedd LL55 4TY Tel: 01286 872028 • Fax 01286 870549 E: sales@lake-railway.co.uk W: www.lake-railway.co.uk www.facebook.com/LlanberisLakeRailway • Twitter - @LakeRailway

The Station, Abbey Road, Llangollen LL20 8SN Tel: 01978 860979 • Fax: 01978 869247 E: llangollen.railway@btinternet.com W: www.llangollen-railway.co.uk www.facebook.co.uk/llangollen.railway • Twitter - @llangollenrail

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


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 nearly sixty 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.

FFESTINIOG & WELSH HIGHLAND RAILWAYS, HARBOUR STATION, PORTHMADOG, LL49 9NF groups@ffwhr.com 01766 516024 www.festrail.co.uk

THE GREAT ORME TRAMWAY Llandudno’s unique heritage attraction

STUNNING SCENERY Regular services throughout the year on one of the most scenic railways in Britain

THE

H E R I D E O L L A RAILWAY V OF

2014

1902

T RAMS OPERAT E FROM LATE M ARCH UNTIL LATE O CTOBER

7 DAYS A WEEK

RDD FFO RHEIL

C WM

RHE IDOL

DISCOUNTS for pre booked groups FREE TRAVEL for Drivers FREE Coach Parking

E VERY 20 MINUTES

1 0 A M —6 PM

Victoria Station, Church Walks, LLANDUDNO, NORTH WALES, LL30 2NB tramwayenquiries@conwy.gov.uk

www.greatormetramway.co.uk

www.rheidolrailway.co.uk Bookings and Enquires (01970) 625 819

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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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. 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 www.pontypool-and-blaenavon.co.uk or email info@pbrly.co.uk

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.

Contact name for Group Bookings: John Turton Main periods of operation: April - October + December Coach parking facility: Yes - up to 20 - Coach parking is at the station - Furnace Sidings, NP4 9SF Principal Group Rates: 10% discount Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 70 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. 33 Broad Street, Blaenavon, Torfaen NP4 9ND Tel: 01495 792263/029 2083 0261 E: info@PBRly.co.uk W: www.pontypool-and-blaenavon.co.uk

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For more than 118 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!

Contact name for Group Bookings: Group Bookings Team Main periods of operation: 15th March – 2nd November 2014 Coach parking facility: Drop off point at the station & third party parking nearby Principal Group Rates: For a full list of fares, please visit www.snowdonrailway.co.uk Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 25 Catering available for Groups: Please contact us for further details. Llanberis, Gwynedd LL55 4TY Tel: 01286 873 498 • Fax: 01286 872 518 E: bookings@snowdonrailway.co.uk W: www.snowdonrailway.co.uk

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Wales Talyllyn Railway

Vale of Rheidol Railway

Did you know that the World’s First Preserved Railway, the Talyllyn, is right here, in Tywyn on the Welsh coast? And that it dates back to 1865? And that it still owns its two original steam engines (which both ran nearly 5000 miles in 2013 on the seven mile track!) and all five original carriages?

Travelling on the Vale of Rheidol Railway is the finest way to explore the stunning Rheidol Valley. Opened in 1902, the railway has been delighting passengers young and old for over a century. So sit back, relax and let us take you on a nostalgic journey through some of Wales’ most spectacular scenery. The line is a masterpiece of engineering, built to carry lead ore, timber and passenger traffic. The narrow track gauge allows the railway to follow the contours of the terrain with many sharp curves and steep gradients which add to the railway’s charm.

By the late 1940s the reason for the Railway’s existence, the Bryn Eglwys Slate Quarry, had closed. With the death in 1950 of the Railway’s owner and MP for Merioneth for many years Sir Henry Haydn Jones, closure of the Talyllyn seemed inevitable. Rescue came with the formation of the Preservation Society in October 1950 led by Industrial Archaeologist, Engineer and Author Tom Rolt. The seed was sown for the growth of railway preservation worldwide. Volunteers from all across the UK such as managing directors, engineers, clerks, students, wives and even school children were attracted to Towyn (as it was spelt then) to get their hands dirty and escape from their hum-drum existences. Many had left the forces at the end of the war, and had much practical experience to offer. Additional engines were obtained either free or at knock down prices, and after an early BBC TV outside broadcast more carriages were hurriedly constructed to carry the sudden influx. The worn out track was progressively reconstructed. The Talyllyn had been reinvented. Even today all trains are hauled by engines burning Welsh steam coal. A round trip through the Snowdonia National Park from Wharf Station at Tywyn takes about two and a half hours including a refreshment break at Abergynolwyn, where the children will find a challenging playground. There are several stations where journeys can be broken to enjoy invigorating country walks. Not to be missed are the spectacular waterfalls at Dolgoch. Forest walks through gorges, waterfalls and the fascinating remains of the slate quarries are all easily accessible from Nant Gwernol station. At Tywyn are the award winning Narrow Gauge Railway Museum, the tempting King’s Licensed Cafe and well stocked Railway Shop. Just the place to purchase holiday souvenirs.

Feel the wind in your hair in one of our Open Summer Carriages or watch the scenery passing by from the comfort of our First Class Observation Saloons. See the countryside change as you travel through wide open fields and meadows, woodland and rugged mountain scenery, the line twisting and turning as it clings to the hillside. Alight at one of our recently restored intermediate stations and explore the many walks the valley has to offer. Listen to the sound of a powerful narrow gauge steam locomotive working hard to climb 700ft (200m) in the 11¾ miles from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge. Birds of prey such as Red Kite and Buzzards are regularly seen soaring high above the valley floor and breath taking views can be enjoyed by all. The railway’s season has been extended for 2014 with trains running daily from 29th March until 2nd October, with additional trains, including Santa and Halloween Specials on other dates.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Lorraine Simkiss Main periods of operation: 6 April - 2 November and at Christmas for Santa specials etc 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.

Contact name for group Bookings: info@rheidolrailway.co.uk or 01970 625 819 Main periods of operation: Open daily from 29th March until 2nd October and on selected dates in February, March, October and November. See our timetable for details Coach parking facility: at Aberystwyth and Devil’s Bridge stations Principal Group Rates (Groups of over 15): Adult/Senior Return £14.00; Adult/Senior Single £10.50; Child Return and Single £5.00 Refreshments and Souvenirs: Refreshments available from Aberystwyth Booking Office and Two Hoots Tearoom at Devil’s Bridge. Souvenirs including an extensive range of books and DVDs available from Aberystwyth Booking Office.

Wharf Station, Tywyn, Gwynedd LL36 9EY Tel: 01654 710472 • Fax: 01654 711755 E: enquiries@talyllyn.co.uk W: www.talyllyn.co.uk

Park Avenue, Aberystwyth SY23 1PG Tel: 01970 625819 E: info@rheidolrailway.co.uk W: www.rheidolrailway.co.uk

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Wales Welsh Highland Railway

Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway

The narrow-gauge Welsh Highland Railway is a phoenix risen from the ashes: closed for over 80 years, but now running again between Caernarfon and Porthmadog. 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 the newly enhanced Harbour Station, shared with our other line - the Ffestiniog Railway.

The Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway narrow-gauge line boasts a highly attractive steam train ride with challenging steep gradients and lots of sharp curves, fascinating rolling stock and helpful and friendly staff.

Powerful Beyer-Garratt steam locomotives (the largest in the world on 2ft 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 can be provided. 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 start of November with some winter opening. Joint bookings can also be made for travel on the Ffestiniog Railway.

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The W&LLR has long been a favourite with coach tour operators. It is easy to reach, located just across the MidWales 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 coach 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 Station Tearoom. Locomotive power in service during 2014 includes both of the line’s original 0-6-0 tank engines dating from 1902, and an 0-6-2 tank built in Stoke-on-Trent for hauling sugar cane in Antigua. 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.

Contact name for Group Bookings: Samantha Hughes, Victoria Towers or Ben Kelly Main periods of operation: Most days 22nd Mar to 1st Nov 2014. Winter trains: November* - Wed, Thurs, Sat & Sun. December* - Wed & Thurs to Christmas (*running between Porthmadog and Beddgelert). Daily trains 27th Dec to 1st Jan over full length of the Welsh Highland Railway. Coach parking facility: Drop off / Pick up at Caernarfon, Waunfawr (Pub Car Park), Rhyd Ddu, Beddgelert or Porthmadog. Principal Group Rates: Caernarfon to Porthmadog Single - Adult £15.00 • Concession £15.00 • Child £7.50 Caernarfon to Beddgelert Single - Adult £10.80 • Concession £10.80 • Child £5.40 Caernarfon to Rhyd Ddu Single - Adult £8.80 • Concession £8.80 • Child £4.40 Porthmadog to Rhyd Ddu Single - Adult £10.00 • Concession £10.00 • Child £5.00 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 20 Max: 50 Catering available for Groups: Refreshment trolley & fresh hot snacks. Pre-booked catering options for Groups are a good way of combining travel with lunch or morning coffee.

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

Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd LL49 9NF Tel: 01766 516024 • Fax: 01766 516005 E: groups@ffwhr.com W: www.festrail.co.uk

The Station, Llanfair Caereinion, Powys SY21 0SF Tel: 01938 810441 E: info@wllr.org.uk W: www.wllr.org.uk Twitter: @LlanfairLine

Contact name for Group Bookings: Kevin Heywood 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 £9.50 Return. Further discounts for children Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 200 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 the new halt at Manuel. 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 5 April - 26 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: office@srps.org.uk W: www.bkrailway.co.uk

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 www.keith-dufftown-railway.co.uk and www.spiritofspeyside.com 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: info@keith-dufftown-railway.co.uk W: www.keith-dufftown-railway.co.uk

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Scotland Strathspey Railway

West Coast Railways - The Jacobite

Home to Britain’s highest and most massive mountain range, its biggest and best ancient forests, vast moorlands, fields and villages, rivers and lochs, red squirrels, reindeer, ospreys, eagles and wildcats in the woods, and 25% of Britain’s threatened species, the Cairngorms National Park boasts a truly stunning catalogue of nature, culture and heritage. And what better way to explore this stunning locale, than on board one of our special, vintage engines.

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.

Our Heritage Railway boasts an incredible history, including a steam engine that dates back to 1899, another which was involved in the first ever rail accident attributed to the blackout of the Second World War, and a diesel that celebrated its special 50th anniversary last year. Coupled with the original, authentic carriages, Strathspey Railway offers the most vintage, idyllic trip through the Highlands. From Mince Pie Specials, to the Santa Express, to Teddy Bear weekend – there are plenty of specials planned throughout the year. From tea and coffee, locally brewed and distilled ales and whiskies, Light Lunches and Afternoon Teas, right through to full five course evening meals, there are plenty of wining and dining experiences on offer here. From walking and cycling packages, to vintage tours and excursions, there are a host of experiences on offer to give you a trip through the Highlands with a real difference!

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 12th May to 24th October.

Visit our website, www.strathspeyrailway.co.uk for full information.

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: £8.20. Return Aviemore-Broomhill-Aviemore: £12.00 Number of passengers required for Group Rate: Min: 10 Max: 150 Catering available for Groups

Aviemore Station, Dalfaber Road, Aviemore PH22 1PY Tel: 01479 810725 • Fax: 01479 812220 E: information@strathspeyrailway.co.uk W: www.strathspeyrailway.co.uk

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Jacobite – Fort William to Mallaig. Contact name for Group Bookings: Michael Townley Main period of operation: May – October - morning and afternoon service Coach parking facilities: Fort William Principal rates: Adult day return Standard £34 – Adult single Standard £29 – 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 West Coast Railways, Jesson Way, Carnforth, Lancashire LA5 9UR Tel: 01524 737751/53 • Fax 01524 735518 E: jacobite@wcrc.co.uk W: www.westcoastrailways.co.uk

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: 10% discount on group rates on advertised running days, bespoke group visits also welcome Number of passengers required for Group Rate: No minimum Catering available for Groups: Teas/coffees/sandwiches, etc. Conference Facilities available: Yes, in new Carriage Gallery but subject to availability. Market Street, Downpatrick, Co. Down, Northern Ireland BT30 6LZ, Downpatrick Tourist Info Centre Tel: 028 4461 2233 E: info@downrail.co.uk W: www.downrail.co.uk

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: €6.00 Seniors: €5.00 Children over 5years €3,  Children under 5 free Family: €15.00 Group rates available on request. Number of passengers required for Group Rate: 10 or more Catering available for Groups: light refreshments not available. Conference Facilities available: Yes (for small groups) John B. Keane Road, Listowel, Co. Kerry, Ireland Tel: +353 (0)68 24393 E: station@lartiguemonorail.com W: www.lartiguemonorail.com

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INDEX OF ADVERTISERS AMBERLEY MUSEUM & HERITAGE CENTRE.............. 39

LEIGHTON BUZZARD RAILWAY...........................................4

AVON VALLEY RAILWAY......................................................... 47

LLANBERIS LAKE RAILWAY.................................................. 57

BEAMISH MUSEUM.......................................................................8

LLANGOLLEN RAILWAY......................................................... 57

BODMIN & WENFORD RAILWAY....................................... 45

LYNTON & BARNSTAPLE RAILWAY.................................. 47

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE RAILWAY CENTRE...................... 35

LYNTON & LYNMOUTH CLIFF RAILWAY...................... 11

BURE VALLEY RAILWAY.............................................................8

MID HANTS RAILWAY ‘WATERCRESS LINE’................. 33

CHINNOR & PRINCES RISBOROUGH RAILWAY.......... 35

MIDLAND RAILWAY, BUTTERLEY..................................... 25

CHURNET VALLEY RAILWAY............................................... 21

NENE VALLEY RAILWAY........................................................ 12

CRICH TRAMWAY VILLAGE.................................................. 23

NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - (THE POPPY LINE) ... 11

DARTMOUTH STEAM RAILWAY & RIVER BOAT COMPANY...................................................... 47

NORTH YORKSHIRE MOORS RAILWAY.......................... 51

EAST LANCASHIRE RAILWAY.............................................. 29

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

ECCLESBOURNE VALLEY RAILWAY................................. 25

RAVENGLASS & ESKDALE RAILWAY/

EMBSAY & BOLTON ABBEY STEAM RAILWAY............ 51

ULLSWATER ‘STEAMERS’...........................................................4

EPPING ONGAR RAILWAY..................................................... 12

RIBBLE STEAM RAILWAY........................................................ 29

EXBURY GARDENS & STEAM RAILWAY......................... 33 FFESTINIOG & WELSH HIGHLAND ..................................... RAILWAYS...............................59 & OUTSIDE BACK COVER

SEATON TRAMWAY................................................................... 47

FOXFIELD RAILWAY................................................................. 23

SEVERN VALLEY RAILWAY................................................... 21

GLOUCESTERSHIRE WARWICKSHIRE STEAM RAILWAY......................................................................... 23

SOUTH DEVON RAILWAY...................................................... 43

GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY.................................................. 12 GREAT ORME TRAMWAY....................................................... 59 GROUDLE GLEN RAILWAY......................................................4 ISLE OF MAN RAILWAYS............................................................6 ISLE OF WIGHT STEAM RAILWAY..................................... 35 KEIGHLEY & WORTH VALLEY RAILWAY.........................8 KEITH & DUFFTOWN RAILWAY............................................6

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ROMNEY, HYTHE & DYMCHURCH RAILWAY.............. 39

SPA VALLEY RAILWAY.............................................................. 37 STEAM - MUSEUM OF THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY.............................................................................................6 SWANAGE RAILWAY.................................................................. 33 TALYLLYN RAILWAY................................................................. 57 TANFIELD RAILWAY................................................................. 11 VALE OF RHEIDOL RAILWAY............................................... 59

KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY........................................ 39

WELSHPOOL & LLANFAIR LIGHT RAILWAY............... 57

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

WEST COAST RAILWAYS ........... INSIDE FRONT COVER

LAKESIDE & HAVERTHWAITE RAILWAY...................... 12

WEST SOMERSET RAILWAY................................................... 45

THE HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


SUPERB SCENERY • COMFORTABLE CARRIAGES • ON-TRAIN TOILETS AND BUFFET SERVICE

THE FFESTINIOG RAILWAY starts beside Porthmadog's harbour and takes you on a 13½ mile journey through the beautiful Vale of Ffestiniog - passing majestic vistas of rugged farmland, moors, mountains, rivers, lakes and waterfalls - to reach the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, with its famous slate caverns, just a few miles from Betws-y-Coed. Operated by the Oldest Independent Railway Company in the World, this historic line, with its unique Victorian 'two-ended' Fairlie steam locomotives, has provided a quality experience for its visitors for the past sixty years. Spooner's Café/Bar and our gift shops also enhance your day... 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 from sea-level 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 - providing a wide variety of journey options and destinations to suit tour operators and group travel organisers alike. Our train services run all year round, but with a limited winter timetable. On-Train catering can be arranged for your group by prior request. Our experienced staff are happy to supply further information, advice and help with suggestions for your itinerary...

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