Middleton Railway, Leeds
The Middleton Railway is a hidden gem in the bustling city of Leeds. Situated just 2 miles from the city centre, this historic little railway transports people to one of Leeds largest and most historic parks using historic steam and diesel locomotives, many of which have been built in the city itself.
This small railway has a huge history, being the oldest railway in the World. It was built back in 1758 to transport coal from local coal mines into the centre of the developing town of Leeds. For a number of reasons, colliery owner Charles Brandling opted to go for an Act of parliament to build his railway and thus Middleton was the very first railway ever to be authorised by such an Act and has operated trains every year since. This makes it the World’s Oldest continuously operating railway.
Then, in the early 1800s, increased prices caused problems for the colliery and its manager, John Blenkinsop, decided to use what were then called “Steam Carriages” to haul his coal trains and designed a rack system to allow small engines to haul heavy loads. Lo-
cal engineer Matthew Murray built four such machines in 1812 and these were the very first commercially successful steam locomotives in the World, being built before George Stephenson built his first engine. In 1960, the Middleton Railway became the very first standard gauge Heritage Railway in the UK, heralding the arrival of hundreds of such railways and preserved locomotives throughout the UK and Europe. Since 1960, the Middleton Railway has developed as a tourist attraction and is very much a part of the community of South Leeds, providing educational opportunities in addition to being a popular destination during our operating season. Our Moor Road headquarters is alongside junction 5 of the M621 motorway and has a
small, free, car park. On street parking is also available.
Once inside the building, there are ladies, gents and an accessible toilet with baby changing facilities. The building itself, along with the whole site is also step free with two lifts to take visitors to the first floor when needed. Having purchased your all day ticket, you proceed into the shop/café area which sells tea/coffee etc and a selection of light snacks. There are also toys and souvenirs to be had. There is also an audio visual presentation about the history of the railway here.
From the café area, proceed into the “Engine House” which has a selection of Leeds built steam and diesel locomotives on display, some of which have access to the footplate,
allowing you to see how they were driven. One engine has a whistle which children may pull, and the engine then proceeds to make steam noises as children image they are driving away! All these exhibits have a story to tell and in some cases there is an opportunity to get aboard and learn even more about how railways operated in days gone by. There are also various displays here, detailing the history of our railway and the locomotive builders of the city.
From the Engine House, proceed onto the station platform where your steam or diesel hauled train awaits you. This platform has a shelter and whilst waiting your train you can perhaps observed birds nesting in the boxes we have provided for them. Also visible is an insect hotel!
Unlike many railways, Middleton uses home-built coaches which are more suitable for use here than ex-main line railway vehicles. They are comfortable and with their many windows are very light and airy inside. Our trains always have at least one wheelchair carrying coach and our Guards are more than happy to assist with boarding using the ramps provided. Our trains run every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday every 40 minutes between 10.30 and 12.30, then between 1330 and 1540. During the school holidays, the railway operates Wednesdays in July and August using our Her-
itage Diesel fleet. Special Timetables operate on Events Days. Full details of all our operating days can be obtained from our web site, www.middetonrailway. org.uk or by telephoning 0113 2710320.
The train departs Moor Road station and immediately runs underneath the M621 motorway before making its way to Middleton Park terminus, where the engine will run round its train before returning to Moor Road. From the terminus, visitors can take walks into Middleton Woods and up to the park itself, which has a children’s playground and café facilities. The walk through the woods is very pleasant and in the spring they whole area is covered with bluebells – a breath-taking sight. With trains back to Moor Road departing every 40 minutes until 3.45pm, there is plenty of time to walk through the woods and enjoy the facilities in Middleton Park before returning on a later train.
The Middleton Railway also offers a variety of special events throughout the year, culminating in the “Santa Specials” run every weekend in December when the man in the red suit visits the railway, giving presents for the children and mince pies and hot drinks for the adults.
The railway opens on 1st April, and then every weekend until Sunday 29th October. Highlights of our special events include Easter Weekend on 8th, 9th and
10th April; Bluebell Walks and Teddy Bears Picnic on April 29th & 30th plus May 1st; Model Railway Exhibition on 8th & 9th July, Children’s Day on 5th August, plus Halloween on 29th October. On Coronation Weekend, the railway will open on Sunday & Monday 7th and 8th May only as many people will prefer to watch this historic event on TV on Saturday 6th May.
The railway can also offer
facilities for birthday parties and corporate events.
And then on every weekend in December, the railway operates our popular “Christmas Cracker” trains featuring a train ride with Santa himself and then a chance to be photographed with his in his grotto at no extra cost. The whole building and train are fully decorated and present a magical sight for children and adults alike.
Middleton Railway Steam and Diesel Trains every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday between April and October.
Birthday Parties and other organised events by request.
Special events throughout the year
See website for details: http://www.middletonrailway.org.uk
Travel in Time on Heritage Railways
Breath-taking vistas of mountain valleys, moorlands and forest. Stunning seascapes, and panoramas of rolling countryside, without a road in sight. Discovering little known routes and places, and sights that can’t be seen from a car or coach. For some, that means hiking boots, rucksacks and maps and, often, a hearty disregard for unfriendly weather. For some eleven million people each year, it means something much easier, and quite different: taking a ride on heritage railways.
Heritage railways come in all shapes and sizes. There are the modest (but totally professional) narrow gauge railways, with a mile or so of track; and there are sophisticated commercial railways of the kind that can take you from one holiday town to another, on trains that, in days long gone by, ran on the national network. And there are railways of every kind in-between,
whether steam, diesel or vintage electric. They’re all different, but they all offer an extraordinary breadth of visitor experience. The view from a railway carriage offers a unique outlook, a privilege afforded only to the rail passenger. Often the view is across open countryside, a hidden woodland or a panoramic landscape - all seen from a different angle. Sometimes it’s the view of a proud industrial landscape – one built by and for the railway itself. Either way, it’s never dull.
Heritage Railways Thomas An immersive experience
Heritage railway travel is evocative stuff, a kind of time travel. Squeezed on the painted wooden seat of an open narrowgauge carriage winding round a Welsh mountainside, it’s hard not to think you’re a
slate miner from 100 years ago, on his way to a long and hard day’s work. On the other hand, in the plush velvet and varnished mahogany of a First Class compartment hauled behind a majestic steam locomotive, you might be a member of a wealthy Victorian merchants’ family, en-route to an English seaside summer holiday. Heritage railways are very much a kind of living history, and they have a special way of making you a part of it. Almost invariably, at one or other end of the journey – sometimes both – there’s plenty to do. With museums, childrens’ activity areas, exhibits, workshops, tea-rooms, shops, learning zones and, often, other attractions – a heritage railway visit can be as entertaining, as educational, or simply just as absorbing, as you wish. Themed events like Santa Specials, a Hogwarts Express, or Thomas the Tank Engine Days mean great days out for families with
children. Special excursions with restaurant cars offer fine dining on the move for grown-ups. Guided tours round engine sheds and signal boxes help explain the part Britain’s railways played in shaping a society and an economy that became the envy of the world.
Railways – still the best way to travel
Heritage railways are much more than just destinations. On a charter train, for example, you can travel on Britain’s main line network, sometimes from one end of the country to the other, travelling in period style and comfort on a train hauled by world-famous locomotives like
the Flying Scotsman. On arrival, enjoy the destination city, spend a night in a good hotel, and return the next day. And here’s the thing: because so many of our heritage railways were once a part of the country’s rail network, you can often reach them by main line rail. That means a comfortable, stressfree, car-free day out for the whole family. There are around 130 heritage railways in the UK so, wherever you are, there’s one not far away. At www. heritagerailways.com, there’s a map showing the location of every member of the Heritage Railway Association.
The Friendly Line in the Cotswolds
The Friendly Line in the Cotswolds offers a unique opportunity to sample train travel from 50 years ago. The world was changing rapidly and so on our 29 mile round trip you can sample the glory of steam and those “new” diesel railcars with the panoramic views – and for the children (young and old!) those seats right behind the driver to see what he sees. Large diesel locos also haul some services. You pass through glorious Cotswolds scenery; to the west the Vale of Evesham, the Malverns and Wales. To the east the Cotswolds climb steeply uphill.
Our stations have modern facilities with Toddington and Winchcombe stations providing refreshments. Hot food at Toddington and a delightful 1950’s cafe at Winchcombe. Tea pots with tea cosies! On-train catering includes our legendary bacon baps! Large Free car parks are at Toddington and Cheltenham Racecourse and a small one at Winchcombe. All are suitable for disabled passengers and they are also catered for in specially adapted carriages.
Broadway Station was totally obliterated by British Railways when it was closed in the 1960’s and it has been rebuilt from the
ground up by our volunteers. This station re-opened at Easter in 2018. There is no parking at Broadway station but there will be a pay and display car park on the opposite side of the road to Broadway station which will be ready for the 2019 season.
Our Heritage group also rebuilt Hayles Abbey Halt which is only a 10 minute walk from the ruins of Hailes Abbey. The Great Western railway The Friendly Line in the Cotswoldsspelt it Hayles for some unknown reason and to
maintain the authenticity of the rebuilt Halt we have done the same.
Special events are held throughout the year – Wartime in the Cotswolds, Steam and Diesel galas, Classic Car Events, Bus Rally, Steam and Real Ale, a Food and Drink Fayre, and Santa Specials.
The Fish & Chip Specials are extremely popular so book early to travel on one of these because they always sell out! Rover tickets give you
unlimited travel all day and offer very good value for money. Tickets are available for journeys between specific stations.
Our volunteers run will be very pleased to see you and ensure you have a great day out.
Trains run throughout the season – full details and prices are on our website www.gwsr.com or call us on 01242 621405.
The Scottish Railway Preservation Society Railway to the Rescue
Join Us At The No.1 Tourist Attraction In North East Lincolnshire
Staring at the Churnet Valley Railway Winter Steam Gala, following the unavailability No. 7827 Lydham Manor.
Churnet Valley Railway are very grateful to the Scottish Railway Preservation Society for the hire of ex Caledonia Railway No. 419 at such short notice. Built by the Caledonian Railway at St Rollox Works, Glasgow, in 1907 No.419 was designed by J.F. Mcintosh for branch line work and fast suburban duties before ending its working career on pilot duties at Carstairs under the ownership of British Railways. Jack Ilczyszyn, Events Manager at Churnet Valley Railway said "we are indebted to the SRPS for the speed in
which they processed our request with mere weeks to spare before the gala following the unavailability of No. 7827.Owning representative at the Scottish Railway Preservation Society Mark Ashmole said "It is brilliant to be able to The Scottish Railway Preservation Society and the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway to the Rescue help a fellow heritage railway at such short notice. To see the engine operate south of the border is something really quite special and not been seen for a long time” No. 419 returned to traffic in October 2018 and has not visited England since 1982.
This is the perfect opportunity to come and see it South of the border. Operating alongside TKH 2944 ‘Hotspur’, 3694 ‘Whiston’ and subject to availability S160’s 6046 and 5197.
For more information on the event please visit : https:// www.churnetvalleyrailway. co.uk/events/febwinter-steamgala-2019.html or call 01538 750 755.
Rated by visitors on TripAdvisor as we celebrate our 70th anniversary!
The award-winning Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway has been delighting old and young alike for generations. Sit back and enjoy a 4 mile return journey along the picturesque Humberside Coast on one of Britain’s oldest seaside miniature railways.
Small in size but not lacking in choice, relax with a refreshing pint at our awardwinning pubThe Signal Box Inn. Why not visitPlatform One Cafe,
offering a delicious range of freshly prepared hot and cold food. Treat yourself to a quality souvenir at one of our well stocked gift shops.
We hold special events throughout the year such as Day Out With Thomas, Folk & Cider Festival, Rail, Ale & Blues, Santa Specials and so much more!
For further information, please head to our website www.cclr.co.uk or via social media Link https://www.cclr.co.uk Tel No01472 604657
After over 30 years Caledonian Tank Engine No.419 is to return to England
Gloucestershire & Warwick Railway
Gloucestershire & Warwick RailwayThe Friendly Line in the Cotswolds
The world was changing rapidly and so on our 29 mile round trip you can sample the glory of steam and those “new” diesel railcars with the panoramic views – and for the children (young and old!) those seats right behind the driver to see what he sees. Large diesel locos also haul some services. You pass through glorious Cotswolds scenery; to the west the Vale of Evesham, the Malverns and Wales. To the east the Cotswolds climb steeply uphill. Our stations have modern facilities with Toddington and Winchcombe stations providing refreshments. Hot food at Toddington and a delightful 1950’s cafe at Winchcombe. Tea pots with tea cosies! Ontrain catering includes our legendary bacon baps! Large Free car parks are at Toddington and Cheltenham Racecourse and a small one at Winchcombe. All are suitable for disabled passengers and they are also catered for in specially adapted carriages.
Broadway Station was totally obliterated by British Railways when it was closed in the 1960’s and it has been rebuilt from the ground up by our volunteers. This station reopened at Easter in 2018. There is no parking at Broadway station but there will be a pay and display car park on the opposite side of the road to Broadway station which will be ready for the 2019 season.
Our Heritage group also rebuilt Hayles Abbey Halt which is only a 10 minute walk from the ruins of Hailes Abbey. The Great Western railway spelt it Hayles for some unknown reason and to maintain the authenticity of the rebuilt Halt Gloucestershire & Warwick Railwaywe have done the same. Special events are held throughout the year – Wartime in the Cotswolds, Steam and Diesel galas, Classic Car Events, Bus Rally, Steam and Real Ale, a Food and Drink Fayre, and Santa Specials. The Fish & Chip Specials are extremely popular so book early to travel on one of these because they always sell out!
Rover tickets give you unlimited travel all day and offer very good value for money. Tickets are available for journeys between specific stations.
Our volunteers run will be very pleased to see you and ensure you have a great day out.
Trains run throughout the season – full details and prices are on our website www.gwsr.com or call us on 01242 621405.
Welcome to the friendly railway!
South Tynedale Railway is England’s highest narrow gauge railway and lies in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) sandwiched between two World Heritage Sites and a National Park. You can climb aboard at any of our four stations for a leisurely ride through the scenic South Tyne Valley and take in the stunning views of wide open skies and wildlife aplenty. You’ll meet our volunteer train crews who will happily tell you more about the railway and the local area. At Alston station you’ll learn more about the history of the railway and the vintage locos which haul our trains when you visit the Discovery Centre and Engineering Workshop Gallery. There’s also a gift shop stocked with something to suit every pocket and interest; from railway memorabilia, to souvenirs of your day, to locally produced gifts and toys for our younger visitors, and there’s even a free spotter sheet to collect for your journey! The Crossing Café at Alston serves an exciting seasonal menu with an emphasis on locally sourced produce and gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options and you can treat yourself
to an awesome afternoon tea in our bespoke afternoon tea
NEED TO KNOW
Trains run from Easter to October with special events throughout the year
carriage ‘Number 12’. A take-out menu is available so you can stop off at one of our four picnic areas or enjoy refreshments as you journey through the countryside. The lineside Buffet Car at Slaggyford station is usually open for drinks and snacks and it’s worth alighting from the train and exploring this picturesque little station. Welcome to the friendly railway! The historic market town of Alston with its quaint shops and cobbled streets is only a short walk away from the station and well worth a visit. Walk or cycle the South Tyne Trail which runs alongside our line and take advantage of our All Day Rover or Station Hopper Tickets. All areas of our award winning site (with the exception of the signal boxes) are accessible and we haul an accessible carriage on every train. All areas of the site are dog friendly so you can bring the four legged members of your family with you too! Trains run from Easter to October with special events throughout the year and at only 35 minutes away from Northumberland National Park we aren’t as remote as you might think!
Travel By Steam Train At Brecon Mountain Railway
Travel behind a vintage steam locomotive in one of our all-weather observation coaches and admire the beautiful views of the welsh countryside.
Brecon mountain railway was built on part of the abandoned brecon and merthyr railway which was originally built in 1859 and finally closed in 1964.
The railway re-opened to passengers in 1980 using sybil, 0-4-0 saddle tank locomotive to haul one carriage and using a small shed as the booking office. Between 1982 and 1996 the station and workshop you see today in pant were built. Outside the station the large free car park is on the original site of the former brecon & merthyr railway line into dowlais. 80 Feet below is the old l&nwr tunnel which closed in 1958, its three ventialtion shafts (pepper pots) can still be seen lining the car park.
The railway was extended to dolygaer in 1995 and in april 2014 extended further again and now reaches torpantau high in the brecon beacons, making it a 10 mile round journey taking in beautiful scenery.
After departing from our main station at pant, the locomotive travels past pontsticill station where it then runs alongside the taf fechan reservoir with its stunning views. The railway then climbs steeply to torpantau, high in the brecon beacons where the train stops for a short time before returns back to our station at pontsticill.
The train stops here long enough for you to visit the small steam museum, lakeside café, childrens play area or just to enjoy the views. There are leisurley walks around the reserviour which you are able to enjoy by returning on a later train.
On your return to pant station you can view our workshops where old steam locomotives are restored and new ones being built, make
a visit to our little gift shop where we have many gifts ideas and mementos of your day. Enjoy some light refreshments in our licensed tearooms, a perfect end to the day. We have facilitiies for disabled passengers including ramps, toilets and a carriage designed to accommodate wheelchairs.
All dogs are welcome to join you on the train for a small charge.We have reduced
fares for large groups and school parties.
There are special events running throughout the year including easter bunny and our very popular santa special trains where you travel by steam train to meet father christmas at his grotto.
If you haven’t been before then please come and enjoy the sights and sounds of days gone by.
Brecon Mountain Railway
Invites you for a great day out for all the family
Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the National Park from an ideal position - in a narrow gauge steam train! Travel in one of our-all-weather observation carriages behind a vintage steam locomotive to Torpantau high in the Brecon Beacons.
Trails run from February to the end of October and at Christmas. Shunters tearooms, gift shop, walks, lakeside cafe, picnic areas, children’s play area, model railway, locomotive workshop and restoration, steam museum, special events, free car and coach parking.
Tel: 01685 722988 www.bmr.wales
Brecon Mountain Railway, Pant Station, Merthyr Tydfil, CF48 2UP
Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway - 150 Years Of Steaming To The Cumbrian Hills
On the west coast of the Lake District, 25 miles north of Barrow-in-Furness and 50 miles south of Carlisle, lies the tiny village of Ravenglass. Once a Roman port, part of a chain of defence and supply for north-west Britain, Ravenglass is now chiefly known for the almost unique distinction of laying within two UNESCO World Heritage Sites –Hadrian’s Wall and the Lake District National Park – and, of course, its railway.
For nearly 150 years the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway has transported minerals and latterly tourists up Cumbrian hill and down Cumbrian dale behind delightful miniature steam locomotives. ‘La’al Ratty’, as it is known in local dialect, was built in 1875 to 3ft gauge as England’s first public narrow-gauge railway and, after re-gauging to 15inches in 1915, still carries over 100,000 passengers annually.Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway - 150 Years Of Steaming To The Cumbrian Hills
The undulating seven-mile route, with gradients as steep as 1 in 40, is as challenging for the locomotive drivers as it is spectacular for the passengers. From the estuary at Ravenglass the line follows the course of the River Mite before climbing steeply and crossing into Eskdale; coastal views and meadows giving way to mountainous vistas as the little line clings to the hillsides ascending over 150ft to reach the terminus at Dalegarth, nestling in the foothills of the Scafell mountains. ‘Visit the English Alps… the Highest Mountain, the Deepest Lake in England by the Smallest Railway in the World’
as period advertisements put it. During the 40-minute journey passengers can also appreciate Heron, Curlew, Red Squirrels and Deer and a profusion of Snowdrops, Bluebells and many other wildflowers depending on the time of year.
A daily service operates from March to October, with 13 departures from Ravenglass every day at the height of the summer season making the line one of the busiest steam railways in the country. Trains are hauled by 5 steam locomotives including River Irt – the world’s oldest working 15inch gauge locomotive and Whillan Beck, built in Germany in 1929 and a new addition to the fleet in 2018. Both are named for water courses along the line, together with two of
their sister engines - River Esk and River Mite. Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway - 150 Years Of Steaming To The Cumbrian HillsThe rich history of this fascinating line is celebrated in Ravenglass Railway Museum, reopened in 2017 after a massive Lottery-Funded redevelopment. Located at Ravenglass station, the Museum takes the visitor on a journey from the beginnings of mining in Eskdale to the construction of the railway in the 1870s, its preservation in 1960 and the story up to the present day as told through more than 3,000 objects ranging from locomotives and carriages to tickets, uniforms, models and artefacts from the Railway’s iron ore mining and granite quarrying heritage. A star attraction is the steam locomotive Katie which worked at Ravenglass in 1916 and has been restored to working order for the first time since the 1920s. Visitors can also get hands-on by taking the controls of an interactive steam engine exhibit, deciding what job on the Railway they would like or dressing as 1920s tourists for a family photo. For more studiously-inclined visitors a private archive store is available by appointment for delving deeper into the intricate artefacts and memorabilia from ‘La’al Ratty’s history.
With spectacular waterfalls, friendly pubs and other local attractions such as the historic Eskdale Mill to explore within walking distance, a journey on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway should be on the itinerary of any visitor to Cumbria.
For more information visit Ravenglassrailway.co.uk or call 01229 717171
Follow us on Twitter @rersteam and @ rermuseum
Journey back in time on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway
Discover the excitement and nostalgia of the glorious era of steam with a journey back in time on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway. Relax and enjoy a leisurely 13-mile round trip in style, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone age. Sit back and watch as the era of a Cornish branch line in the 1950s reveals itself during the course of your journey. Enjoy the atmosphere of a working steam railway as you browse the gift shop or enjoy a cup of tea on our 1950’s platform. Discover the charm and excitement of steam train travel on Cornwall’s only full-size railway still operated by steam locomotives.
Experience first-class luxury dining on the Cornish Belle, share a cream tea with someone special or enjoy a pint on the platform at one of the many exciting events and special trains in 2019.
From high teas to murder mysteries, even
live music and special visits from childhood favourites, you’ll find the everything from the traditional to the unexpected at the Bodmin & Wenford Railway.
Trains operate from Bodmin General, the principal station where free coach and car parking is available, to both Bodmin Journey back in time on the Bodmin & Wenford RailwayParkway station - where connections can be made directly with main line railway services - and Boscarne Junction, which is situated directly adjacent to the Camel Trail recreational footpath and cycle way.
Passenger train services operate throughout the year, and daily from late May to early October. A varied and interesting programme of special events and special trains are also an important part of the Railway’s calendar.
Bodmin General is situated inside the
historic town of Bodmin, which boasts 5 visitor attractions, a nature reserve and a nearby National Trust property, all in the heart of Cornwall.
Don’t miss an unforgettable visit in 2019, and discover Cornwall’s railway heritage at its best. Visit www.bodminrailway.co.uk or find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Tel 01208 73555 | email enquiries@ bodminrailway.co.uk
Launceston Steam Railway
Launceston is a picturesque market town built on the side of a hill. Launceston is overshadowed by a Norman castle an ancient and dramatic landmark built in 1070 by the half-brother of William the conqueror.
The town was featured extensively in Daphne du Maurier’s celebrated novel Jamaica Inn. Launceston is associated with the famous Cornish Fairing biscuits, the recipe for which is said to have originated at the ‘maid hiring’ fair which was held the week after Christmas in Launceston.
The track bed of the LSR once formed part of the journey of the Atlantic Coast Express or ‘ACE’ – as it was popularly referred to – on its celebrated run from London Waterloo
to holiday resorts in northern Cornwall via Salisbury and Exeter. Following closure of the North Cornwall line in October 1966 the ACE faded into history.
One other railway served Launceston - the former Great Western 7’0” gauge branch from Plymouth. This line was converted to standard gauge in May 1892 and finally closed in 1962. Ostensibly Launceston had lost its railways until a 2 ½ mile section connecting Launceston with Newmills was re-laid to a 2’0” gauge. The pioneer of this Launceston Steam Railwayimaginative scheme was Nigel Bowman who had purchased a 2’0” gauge steam locomotive named ‘Lilian’ from the Penrhyn Slate Quarry
in North Wales.
He considered Launceston an excellent place to run it, and received full backing from the local council who, quite rightly, saw the railway as an excellent attraction congruous with the history of the town.
All maintenance is carried out in-house, and the railway’s workshops are located at Launceston station, along with an engineering museum with a range of items associated with the days when British engineering was the envy of the world. The museum and associated workshop buildings were originally used by the Launceston Gas Company. The station site was once the location of an Augustinian Priory long forgotten since being destroyed by Henry VIII in 1539 and narrow gauge engines now run over track where monks once prayed.
The Launceston area is rich in wildlife and visitors may see – or hear – herons, woodpeckers and buzzards whilst the railway banks are known to be the home of stoats, badgers, lizards and grass snakes.
The town is 42 miles west of Exeter and 26 miles north of Plymouth. It is located a mile from the River Tamar which forms the divide of Devon and Cornwall.
Enjoy a memorable day out on Yorkshire's Great Little Steam Trains!
Jump aboard Yorkshire’s Great Little Steam trains at the Kirklees Light Railway in Clayton West, near Huddersfield. The light railway opened to the public in 1991 and is situated in the picturesque foothills of the South Pennines, running for three and-a-half miles along the track-bed of an old Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway branch line.
The branch line originally opened in 1879 to serve the local mining and textile communities but closed to the public in 1983 amid dwindling traffic.
The journey from Clayton West to Shelley offers fine views of the Grade II listed Emley Transmitting Station and passes through the ancient woodland of Blacker Wood which is
mentioned in the Domesday Book.
The trip also includes passage through the Shelley Woodhouse Tunnel which – at 467m long – is the longest tunnel on any 15-inch narrow gauge line in Great Britain!
Given the area’s rich cultural history, the railway makes a fantastic venue for an educational or group visit. With visits tailored to individual groups’ exacting needs, it’s definitely worth stopping by for a memorable day out! The railway is open from midFebruary to Christmas, allowing passengers the opportunity to take a nostalgic ride behind the fleet of unique
steam and diesel engines as they travel through the glorious countryside.
Younger visitors can run wild on the adventure playgrounds at both stations –with a brand new playground opening at Clayton West in the spring of 2018 – or in the sandpit and bouncy castle at Shelley (weather permitting).
There is an extensive gift shop to browse at Clayton West Station which also sells a selection of model railway equipment, or one can simply relax with a cuppa and slice of cake in The Buffer Stop Café or the Shelley Tea Room. With spacious outdoor picnic areas, visitors are welcome to bring their own food and make a day of it!
The railway is a dog-friendly attraction, so passengers can even bring the family pooch along for a ride or a walk along one of the many surrounding footpaths! In addition to the train ride, the railway also offers a number of experiences including Afternoon Tea & Steam, Driver Experience Courses, Photography Day Courses and children’s birthday parties in a Enjoy a memorable day out on Yorkshire’s Great Little Steam Trains dedicated birthday party carriage.
Details can be found at the railway’s website: www.kirkleeslightrailway.com.
The railway is also proud to offer a full programme of special events throughout the year including Days Out with Thomas, the Easter Eggspress, vintage vehicle rallies, Halloween Ghost Trains and Santa Specials – details and ticket information can be found at the railway’s website or by calling 01484 865727.