We are delighted to announce our first railtour of 2020, and what finer way to start than enjoying a steam-hauled journey over the magnificent Settle & Carlisle Railway in springtime?
Especially for our East Anglian customers, the train departs from Cambridge, Ely, March and Peterborough with a diesel locomotive at the head. We also call at Newark before reaching York, where Tornado will be waiting to take over at the front of the train.
From York 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 the superbly restored 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 to Doncaster where Tornado is detached. Our diesel locomotive will have made its way from York ready for the homeward run along the East Coast Main Line and across the Fens.