Excursion Details

Settle & Carlisle Golden Express II


Image courtesy of Graham Nicholas.

Wednesday 15th August, 2018




For a second outing to commemorate the 'End of Steam' we offer this excursion, diesel hauled from Didcot via joining points from Oxford to the railway 'crossroads' at Crewe. Here the power of steam, in the shape of A1 Pacific no. 60163 ‘Tornado’, will take over for the main line run across the Cheshire Plain and over the Mersey into Lancashire. Just south of Preston we turn right, climbing towards Blackburn then on the cross-country line through Clitheroe to Hellifield. Soon we reach Settle Junction, where our loco will be opened out to full power for the 'Long Drag', the unbroken eighteen mile climb through Settle, past Penyghent and through Upper Ribblesdale to the great viaduct at Ribblehead, with mountains on all sides. From Blea Moor Tunnel we emerge in Dentdale, with superb views to the valley floor as the line sweeps round the hillside to Dent, over viaducts and through tunnels to Garsdale and on to Ais Gill summit. Downhill then, following the infant River Eden as it flows beneath Mallerstang Edge to Kirkby Stephen, and to Appleby for over an hour or two's afternoon break. A complimentary bus shuttle will link the station with the town.


Restarting we can enjoy the green delights of the Eden Valley, but with the Pennine Chain close by until the approach to Carlisle, where we avoid the station and head directly onto the West Coast Main Line. Once again Tornado will be put to it, working hard to gain speed before sweeping through Penrith and onto the seven miles of tough grades that lead to Shap Summit. Descent into the delightful Lune Gorge leads to Grayrigg, and on down to Oxenholme and finally to sea level as we run along the edge of Morecambe Bay.

The hard work may be over, but speed will now be important, to keep us out of the way of the frequent service trains on this busy main line, through Lancaster, Preston, Wigan and Warrington, to eventual arrival at Crewe. A diesel will then take us back as outward to Didcot to complete our memorable day.



Estimated Timings    
Joining Stations



Didcot Parkway 0600 2325
Oxford 0615 2310
Banbury 0645 2240
Leamington Spa 0705 2215
0725 2155
Birmingham Int'nal 0745 2135
Tame Bridge Parkway
0815 2105
0850 2030
Crewe 0950 1930



Adult Junior Party of 4
Standard Class £125.00 £65.00

First Class

£180.00 £140.00 £700.00
First Class Plus £199.00 £159.00 £776.00
Premier Dining £289.00 £249.00 £1136.00


No tables for 2 available in First Class Plus or Premier Dining. Please ask to be added to the waiting list.

Private 'Table for Two' seats are available at a supplement of £30 per person in First Class, First Class Plus and Premier Dining.

No tables for 2 available in First Class Plus or Premier Dining. Please ask to be added to the waiting list.




Updated 23/04/18


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