With its many viaducts, including the majestic Ribblehead, bridges and steep climbs, the Settle and Carlisle railway has become Britain’s most famous rail route. Now, over four Saturdays in February, rail enthusiasts and day trippers alike will be able to board a vintage train at Milton Keynes to experience this feat of engineering for themselves.
Heritage rail operator The Railway Touring Company is to run a weekly vintage train service from Milton Keynes during February.
The Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express, a train of restored 1950s and 60s rail carriages, will stop to collect passengers early in the morning and, hauled by a modern blue class 86 electric locomotive, will speed north to Carnforth where the train will be joined by a historic steam locomotive for the challenging Settle and Carlisle stretch.
60 year old steam locomotive 70013 Oliver Cromwell, famed for hauling British Railways’ last steam passenger service in 1968, or Black ‘5’ No. 45305 will be at the ready to haul the train along the arduous route, which includes gradients of 1 in 100, a 1,169 feet climb up to Ais Gill Summit, a pass through Blea Moor Tunnel and through Dent, England’s highest railway station.
“We are delighted to be giving people travelling from Milton Keynes the opportunity to experience the Settle and Carlisle line as well as giving these classic rail carriages and magnificent steam locomotives an outing,” said The Railway Touring Company’s managing director Nigel Dobbing.
In addition to travelling in comfortable 1950s and 60s style, passengers who choose the dining option on these trains will also have chance to relive on board dining as it used to be with food freshly cooked by on board chefs, silver service and white table linen.
The first of The Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express trains will depart on Saturday, February 4, with weekly Saturday departures until February 25. Booking is necessary.
For details and reservations contact The Railway Touring Company on 01553 661500 or visit www.railwaytouring.co.uk
The Railway Touring Company is offering Milton Keynes Citizen readers a £5 per person discount on fares booked using promotional code MIL.