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Step back in time on board one of our heritage carriages,
as we travel along Britain’s scenic mainline to an exciting destination of your choice

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AVAILABLE EXCURSIONS

See a list of all available excursions available this year, you can also book online with us.

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Pathfinder Tours

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Already know where you want to go? Then book online with us today!

Our customers just love to travel in authentic heritage carriages; others have a real passion for the locomotives, steam or diesel. Many travel with us time and time again – we’d love to welcome you on board too!

OUR EXCURSIONS

Book on one of our forthcoming excursions here
For all of the latest news on our excursions, see our News Page

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09marAll DayThe Cwm and GloTake the last passenger journey to the Welsh Coal Mine - Cwmbargoed: Joining Stations: Burton-on-Trent, Birmingham New Street, Worcestershire Parkway, Cheltenham Spa, Bristol Parkway, Severn Tunnel Junction.

Event Details

SATURDAY 9 MARCH 2024

THE LAST PASSENGER TRAIN TO CWMBARGOED?

By January 2024 centuries of large scale coal (Welsh = glo) mining in Wales will almost certainly have finished. This will bring the end of traffic on one of the longest non passenger branch lines in Britain, that to Cwmbargoed. Given the high (1200ft+) and remote location, with no habitation, further use for the line seems unlikely. This train, therefore, may well be the last chance for passengers to visit the upper parts of this wild valley, which has no roads, and little even in the way of tracks or footpaths.

With joining points in the Midlands and on Severn side, there are plenty of opportunities to board, and there are lots of bits of ‘red line’ track in the itinerary whilst in South Wales. An estimated 60 minute break is available at Bridgend as an alternative to going to Margam Knuckle Yard.

THE ROUTE REQUESTED (subject to confirmation): As pick-ups to BRISTOL PARKWAY (PU), then Down Pilning Loop, SEVERN TUNNEL JUNCTION (PU), Down Relief, East Usk Yard (rev), Uskmouth Branch, Newport, Alexandra Dock Jn Up/Down Goods, Rumney River Bridge Jn, Pengam Sidings, Cardiff Central, Down Miskin Loop, Pontyclun, Tremains Down Passenger Loop, BRIDGEND (optional), (SD). Stormy Down Passenger Loop, Margam Abbey Works East Jn, Margam Knuckle Yard (rev), Margam Abbey Works East Jn, Stormy Up Passenger Loop, BRIDGEND (PU), Pencoed Up Passenger Loop, Up Miskin Loop, Leckwith Loop, Ninian Park, Cardiff Central, Heath High Level, Ystrad Mynach South Jn, Cwmbargoed Branch (19m 35ch, reverse), Down Rhymney Loop, Caerphilly, Cardiff Central, Cardiff West (reverse), NEWPORT (SD), SEVERN TUNNEL JUNCTION (SD), Up Tunnel Loop, Severn Tunnel, Up Pilning Loop, BRISTOL PARKWAY (SD) and as outward, back to Burton-on-Trent.

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ON BOARD FEATURES INCLUDE:
– Reserved seats aligned with the carriage windows
– A printed excursion and journey guide for everyone
– A Gricers Grill will be served on this train
– A travelling licensed buffet with refreshments, including alcoholic and soft drinks 
– Cheerful, friendly and helpful Pathfinder Stewards!

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ESTIMATED TIMINGS


FaresAdultJuniorParty x4Availability
First Class£179£159£676Book Now
Standard Class£129£89£476Book Now

Book tickets

Table for Two seats are available at a supplement of £45 per person in First Class.
Passengers will be able to enjoy the comfort of travelling in 1970’s ex-BR Intercity MK2 carriages.
A Gricers Grill will be served on this train, with refreshments and Real Ale available from the buffet.
This train is expected to be hauled by DB Cargo Class 66s in top and tail formation.

Main Photo: Jack Boskett

 

29mar01aprThe Easter ChieftainA four-day land-cruise passing through spectacular Scottish scenery, travelling in classic First Class Carriages with delicious food and overnight accommodation at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort. Joining stations: Eastleigh, Salisbury, Westbury, Chippenham, Swindon, Oxford, Banbury, Leamington Spa, Dorridge, *Derby

Event Details

The Easter Chieftain 2024

FRIDAY 29 MARCH – MONDAY 1 APRIL

We are pleased to present our Easter Chieftain railcruise excursion to Scotland, with three nights at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort.

With comfortable First Class rail travel, fine food and accommodation, spectacular Highland scenery and views from coast to coast, this four-day excursion has something for everyone.    

ITINERARY

We ask that your choice of off train option for each day is advised at the time of booking.

FRIDAY

Our 2024 Scottish Highlander begins at Eastleigh, and from your choice of joining station, you will be warmly welcomed aboard our special private Premier Dining train. For those joining at stations as far as Dorridge, the Great British Breakfast will be served, whilst those joining at Derby will enjoy a lighter serving.

Once everyone is on board we will make our way through North Derbyshire to York, then across the Vale of York and the length of County Durham. After crossing the River Tyne, we take a short afternoon break at Newcastle, where the city centre starts right across the road from the station.

Continuing northwards, we run through the delights of Northumberland, eventually almost on the coast with views of legendary Lindisfarne before a climb to cross the River Tweed on the magnificent Royal Border Bridge.

Two miles north of Berwick-upon-Tweed we enter Scotland, with Evening Dinner Service commencing, enjoyed as the train makes for Edinburgh. From here we make our way along the Highland Mainline and then onto our destination of Aviemore. Road coaches will then take you on a short transfer to the Four Star Macdonald Aviemore Resort, which you should reach around 2145.

SATURDAY

After a Hotel Buffet Breakfast we leave Aviemore aboard our special train with Kyle of Lochalsh as the day’s destination, reached via Inverness and the undulating scenic single line railway that connects the east and west coasts of Scotland.

A Light Luncheon is served outward and Evening Dinner during the return.

The following selection of off-train options at Kyle completes your day.

OPTION A: SKYE BOUND

Road coaches, with local guides, will take you over the modern bridge onto the Isle of Skye for the road trip north to the main but small town of Portree for a short visit. The brooding Cuillin Mountains form a rugged backdrop.

 

 

 

 

OPTION B: PLOCKTON & CRUISE

After a short transfer by road coach, with guide, arrive at the pretty loch side village of Plockton for a relaxing stroll and a lovely hour’s cruise on Loch Carron with Callum looking for the seals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPTION C: EILEAN DONAN CASTLE

A short road coach transfer from Kyle leads to this historic 13th century castle, sat on its own islet, and so often a backdrop in films. You will have time to explore it and take in the loch side scenery.

 

 

 

OPTION D: EXPLORE KYLE OF LOCHALSH

Our journeys end at Kyle of Lochalsh offers the opportunity to explore this quiet small town and harbour facing the Isle of Skye.

 

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY

A relaxed Sunday begins with a Buffet Breakfast in the Hotel on the day the clocks go forward.

We then invite you to choose either:

OPTION F: RAIL TO ABERDEEN

A scenic full circle rail journey of the central Highlands, south to Druimuachdar Summit, down to Killiecrankie Gorge and Pitlochry, then Perth. Enjoy a Light Lunch as the train then follows the River Tay and Firth to Dundee, with beautiful beaches and sand dunes through Carnoustie to Arbroath.

After Montrose, the line travels inland for a while before the Stonehaven cliff tops and the descent to the ‘Granite City’ of Aberdeen, where the station is close to both the city centre and the harbour.

A couple of hours are available for exploration during the afternoon before you rejoin the train for a delicious Evening Dinner as the train heads towards the setting sun through Keith, Elgin, Nairn and Inverness, then the last leg over Slochd Summit back to Aviemore. 

 

 

OPTION G: AROUND AVIEMORE

Enjoy a non – train day, exploring this part of the Grampians with meals (Lunch and Evening Dinner) enjoyed at the hotel resort.

Included is a ride on the funicular up Cairngorm Mountain, to over 3000 feet for wonderful views, and a visit to the Highland Folk Museum.

 

 

 

 

MONDAY

It is time to head south, and so we leave Aviemore having enjoyed the Hotel Buffet Breakfast. Coaches will take you on a short transfer to Aviemore station where we rejoin the train at around 0900.

The return route will take us over the Highland Mainline to Perth. A full ‘Taste of Scotland’ Luncheon will then be served as we travel south towards York, by way of Edinburgh and Newcastle.

Travelling then via a cross country route, we make our way back to our first set-down at Derby, then as outward back to Eastleigh.

A Light Supper will be served to those who are alighting at stations later
in the journey.

 

Wherever you travel with us on this weekend excursion, we are sure that it will leave you with a treasure trove of incredible memories.

Estimated Timings

*A limited dining option is available for those joining at Derby.

SeatingInclusive Prices
Premier Seat£1495
Table for two Supplement - per person£225
Premier Table for three£4995
Premier Table for four£5780
Single Hotel Room Supplement£125

Additional Information

Seating in the carriages is arranged at tables of four, with two seats facing two. There are also a limited number of ‘Tables for Two’, with single seats facing each other. (Supplement Fare applies).Passengers will be able to enjoy the comfort of travelling in 1970’s BR MK2 carriages.

Dietary requirements: If you have any specific dietary requirements, please advise when you book.

Confirmation: All bookings will be confirmed in writing when the deposit payment has been processed. A non-refundable deposit of £200 per person is required upon booking.

Operating within the constraints of the national rail network, confirmed times are normally advised to us 7 to 10 days before the date of departure. Around one week before the departure date you will receive a letter from us with your reserved seat number(s), the confirmed timings and other details relating to the excursion. These times may vary by up to an hour in either or both directions – the times quoted now are for guidance only. 

Locomotives: We will be in the capable hands of DB Cargo UK who will provide suitable locomotives for the routes we traverse. The air conditioned carriages will be provided by Riviera Trains Ltd.

ABOUT US

Pathfinder Tours prides itself as one of the nation’s leading names in UK rail travel by special train.

WHY CHOOSE PATHFINDER TOURS TO TRAVEL WITH?

Pathfinder Tours prides itself as one of the nation’s leading names in UK rail travel by special train. We organise up to 40 day excursions every year, as well as a number of weekend trips, travelling to many interesting destinations and events.

Some customers just love to travel in our comfortable carriages; others have a real passion for the locomotives, steam or diesel. Many travel with us time and time again – we’d love to welcome you on board too!

Contact Us

TRAVELLING WITH MOBILITY EQUIPMENT 

We are happy to welcome aboard customers who have mobility equipment that requires storing on the train. As storage space is limited, the equipment must be foldable or demountable. We recommend lightweight equipment be brought to facilitate this. Please note that we do not carry any equipment for loan purposes on the trains – please bring along that which will make your day out manageable.

Often, we only have very limited stopping time at the stations – usually 2 to 3 minutes. Stewards are there to welcome all passengers onto the train and may not have the time to assist every individual who has equipment to manoeuvre. Travelling with a companion who can help you on and off the train would be beneficial.

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BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

To operate our main line excursions Pathfinder Tours uses these professional train operating companies (TOC’s)…

DB Cargo (DB)

Direct Rail Services (DRS)

GB Railfreight (GBRf)

each of which is owned by a respected national or international parent company.

Bookings can be made with us in the knowledge that each excursion is run with your safety and welfare as the absolute priority.

Book now!  

DOWNLOAD BROCHURE

Pathfinder Tours prides itself as one of the nation’s leading names in UK rail travel by special train. We organise up to 40 day excursions every year, as well as a number of weekend trips, travelling to many interesting destinations and events.

Some customers just love to travel in our comfortable carriages; others have a real passion for the locomotives, steam or diesel. Many travel with us time and time again – we’d love to welcome you on board too!

Download Brochure  .        Read Brochure online 

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