All aboard the Wensleydale Railway for fun this summer

An iconic North-East railway will take passengers on a journey back in time this summer.

The Wensleydale Railway, which operates between Bedale Leeming Bar, and Scruton, is offering visitors the chance to experience a living history recreation of the railway’s fascinating past.

Like much of the country, the operation of the railway was affected by Covid restrictions, and the difficult choice was made to suspend services during lockdown. But staff and volunteers are eager to welcome back visitors this summer.

Rachael Roberts, from Wensleydale Railway, said: “We can’t wait to welcome back passengers to the railway – we’ve really missed operating the service and seeing how much joy it brings to people!

“This has been a very difficult year for everyone, but now the sun is shining, restrictions are lifting, and it’s the perfect chance to get out and explore the amazing heritage of our region.”

Costumed volunteers will bring history to life as they entertain passengers at each stop on the diesel pacer train’s journey through the stunning landscape of the Yorkshire Dales and Vale of Mowbray.

Passengers will be welcomed to the Wensleydale Railway’s award-winning recreation of Scruton station as it looked at the turn of the 20th century, by the Station Master and his wife, who will conduct tours and share stories from yesteryear.

There will also be plenty of time to discover the village of Scruton itself, which boasts a local country pub in The Coore Arms, a play park, and beautiful scenery just begging to be explored.

Similar surprises await at Leeming Bar Station where the formerly rundown station is being restored to its 1920s’ splendour, thanks to a £368,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Built in 1848, this station was neglected when freight and passenger travel ceased in the 1950s, and gradually fell into disrepair.

However, its fortunes changed when the site was purchased by the Wensleydale Railway in 2002, becoming the headquarters of the organisation.

The Northern Echo:

Railway staff hope the newly renovated station – which now enjoys an authentic parcels office, ticket office, waiting room, station master’s parlour, traditional kitchen, and washhouse – will help showcase the local heritage with the surrounding community as the site of a series of talks and tours, an oral history project, a community art project, reminiscence sessions, and school visits.

The Wensleydale Railway is running every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Pre-booking tickets is essential. To book, or for more information, visit www.wensleydale-railway.co.uk.

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