Join us on ‘The Pennine Explorer’, as we travel from the East Midlands to Carlisle and return including the magnificent Settle and Carlisle Railway. Our tour also includes a fast run with Tornado along the ECML from York before taking the stunning Tyne Valley line that crosses Hadrian’s Wall through the beautiful Northumberland scenery.
Our tour begins from Leicester and we travel on through Derbyshire and South Yorkshire before arriving in York. Here Tornado joins our train and we take a fast run along the East Coast Main Line passing Darlington and Durham, with glorious views over the Norman Castle and the Cathedral. We then head west through Hexham as we follow the route of Hadrian’s Wall to arrive in the Border City of Carlisle. Here we have around two hours to explore the City with its fine museum and Castle, cosy public houses and various shops of interest.
Our return journey takes us south via the iconic Settle and Carlisle Railway. Famed for its beauty within the rolling landscape of the Dales and North Pennines, the Settle and Carlisle Railway demonstrates the skill and determination of Victorian civil engineering prowess in challenging and inhospitable terrain. Highlights of the journey include Tornado hard at work to complete the climb to Ais Gill summit, the highest point of the line at 1,169ft, and our train also passes through Dent Station, the highest in England at 1150ft. To accommodate for the rolling landscape, the railway was built along many viaducts and cuts through long tunnels, the longest tunnel at Blea Moor is over two miles long! One of the most iconic sights on the route is the Ribblehead Viaduct; the 24 arches stretch a quarter of a mile over 100ft above the ground and offer spectacular uninterrupted views of the landscape. Much is said of the beauty and scale of this railway, but to fully appreciate it, it must be experienced first-hand.
Once we have passed Settle Junction and its historic signalbox we head south through Skipton to skirt Leeds and Wakefield as we continue south. We say goodbye to Tornado on the outskirts of Sheffield before continuing our journey with a diesel locomotive as we return passengers to their outward stations.