Wigan date set for steam train's Settle to Carlisle excursion

A date has been confirmed for an iconic steam train excursion to visit a Wigan station.

By Sian Jones
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 3:45 pm

Heading for the famous Settle and Carlisle Line, heritage rail special is scheduled to depart from Wigan North Western on Saturday July 16.

Organised by The Railway Touring Company, The Cumbrian Mountain Express will depart the station diesel-hauled before being joined by an historic steam locomotive when it reaches Carnforth.

From there it will steam across the dramatic Settle & Carlisle Line, with its iconic Ribblehead Viaduct and magnificent views of the Three Peaks.

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Jubilee Class 45690 Leander is one of the locos which could haul The Cumbrian Mountain Express

The steam train for July 16 is not confirmed yet, but it will be one from a pool of historic machines based at Carnforth, including: the 45690 Leander and 45699 Galatea, both, appropriately for this Queen’s Jubilee year, Jubilee Class locos built in 1936, as well as the 1945-built 35108 British India Line, the 1927-built 46115 Scots Guardsman and the LMS Stanier Class 8F.

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The Cumbrian Mountain Express will take around 320 passengers for a dose of nostalgia and a taste of the Golden Age of rail travel.

Heritage rail operator The Railway Touring Company is celebrating 25 years of organising steam days out.

Even though British Railways ran its final regular steam-hauled passenger service on the mainline in 1968, fascination with steam is as strong today as ever, say the firm.

In addition to The Cumbrian Mountain Express, The Railway Touring Company’s steam trains from stations in the North West this summer also include The North Wales Coast Express, which will be steam hauled out of Liverpool, Broad Green and Warrington Bank Quay, taking passengers to Chester and from there into Wales, along the Dee Estuary.

This trip provides views across to the Wirral, through Prestatyn, Rhyl and Colwyn Bay to Llandudno Junction, before heading onwards to Bangor and across the Menai Strait to Holyhead on Anglesey.

Passengers will be able to choose from visiting Llandudno, Bangor or Holyhead.

There is also The Welsh Mountaineer steam special, which will depart from Preston, Warrington, Frodsham and Chester on Tuesday, July 19, and head up into stunning Snowdonia to visit Blaenau Ffestiniog, known as the Victorian slate capital of the world and a popular tourist attraction today.