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The Wensleydale Railway


Saturday 1 September 2018

The attractive Wensleydale Railway runs for twenty two miles from the East Coast Main Line at Northallerton, through Leeming Bar and the pretty Yorkshire market town of Leyburn to remote Redmire, deep in the heart of the idyllic Wensleydale countryside.

The first five mile section between Northallerton and Leeming Bar has been little used in recent years but it is now being refurbished and it will very soon be possible to run a main line train all the way from London to Redmire.

Our train will travel via Doncaster and York to Castle Hills Junction, just to the north of Northallerton. Here we make a reversal and within a few hundred yards the train passes the groundframe that marks the boundary between Network Rail and the Wensleydale Railway.

The meandering single track branch was kept alive in British Railways days by a sparse freight service, regular passenger trains having ceased as long ago as 1954, over a decade before Dr Beeching’s axe saw more widespread cutbacks to the network. There is plenty to see as we head slowly up into Wensleydale itself, not least several old stations. Many still stand unloved while some have been converted into residences by people looking for somewhere quirky to live.

The line originally extended through to Hawes and then onward to Garsdale where it met the Settle & Carlisle Railway. The grandness of the scenery towards the remote upper reaches of the branch around Redmire gives a taste of this.

The train will run firstly to Leyburn where we take a break of around an hour. You can take a stroll into the agreeable market town itself before rejoining the train for the final five miles to Redmire itself. Here you can step off the train for  a shorter break of twenty minutes or so.

Alternatively you could forego the final few miles and enjoy a break of nearly two hours in Leyburn. You do not need to decide whether to do this until the day of the tour.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

StationDepartArrive
London King's Cross08.1022.05
Potters Bar (for M25)08.3021.45
Stevenage08.5521.20
Peterborough09.3020.40
York11.2518.15