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The North Briton – 9 Feb

Saturday 9 February 2019

On ‘The North Briton’, Tornado will haul a series of trains across the magnificent Settle and Carlisle Railway.

Eminent railway engineers of the age proclaimed that it would be impossible to build a main line railway through this hostile terrain. Building the Settle & Carlisle almost broke the Midland Railway but determination was rewarded with a magnificent double-track main line railway sweeping through the hills. Passengers will enjoy breath-taking scenery with the landscape becoming more wild and beautiful as the train steams north, through tunnels and across viaducts to reach Carlisle. Come along and enjoy the experience of No. 60163 Tornado climbing to Blea Moor and Ais Gill summits once again!


Airedale Line (Between Leeds and Skipton). The Airedale Line is one of the busiest rail  routes outside of London. A former branch line off this railway now forms the Keighley and Worth Valley heritage railway which claimed fame as the setting of the ‘The Railway Children’ film. This leg of the journey also takes us past the industrial town of Saltaire, a Victorian model village and designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the1850s by leading industrialist in the woollen industry, Sir Titas Salt, the town is recognisable from the matching light stone houses and tall mill chimneys.

The 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.

The Eden Valley (Between Appleby and Carlisle). The north most section of the Settle and Carlisle Railway takes us through The Eden Valley. This is one of the most picturesque sections of the route with wooded valleys and open vistas following the course of the River Eden. Passengers can enjoy travelling through the lush green landscape and the views of the Lakeland Fells.

The Tyne Valley Line. (Between Carlisle and Newcastle). This stretch of railway was built in the 1830s by the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway Company and is often referred to as ‘The Hadrian’s Wall Country Line’ as the railway and the Roman wall intertwine through the stunning wild landscape. Travelling on the train is one of the best (and driest!) ways to see a good length of Hadrian’s Wall, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a common misconception that Hadrian’s Wall marks the boundary between England and Scotland, but the wall lies entirely within England and has never formed the Anglo-Scottish border. Other structures to look out for on the way include the sight of the quaint station building at Wylam, built soon after the opening of the railway, and now Grade ii* listed.

60163 ‘Tornado’ will haul the train from Doncaster via Settle to Carlisle, then as far as Tyne Yard just south of Newcastle.


East Coast Main Line (Between Newcastle and Doncaster) Modern traction hastens our journey over this stretch of railway, but that in no way diminishes the wonderful views en route. As we travel through the towns and cities along this line, the green landscape is punctuated by the sights of York’s grand arched station, the majestic towered Cathedral at Durham and the instantly recognisable Angel of the North at Gateshead.


There will be a break of over two hours for passengers to explore Carlisle; Carlisle is England’s biggest city by area and is the official capital Cumbria.

The city sits on the doorstep of both the Lakes and Hadrian’s Wall and blends 2000 years of human occupation with everything you would expect from a vibrant 21st century city. The Cathedral is within a few minutes’ walk of the spacious pedestrianised Greenmarket – a focal point for street entertainment and Farmers’ Markets. Nearby, the formidable fortress of Carlisle Castle stands proud over the cityscape. Overlying this rich heritage is a vibrant town centre of modern shops, pavement cafes and leisure facilities that rivals most other cities in the north of England.

This tour is promoted by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust with UK Railtours acting as ticket agents. All profits will go towards keeping Tornado on the main line in future years.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

Leicester07.00 22.15
East Midlands Parkway07.2021.55