The Railway Touring Company have organised two trips on the main line featuring 76084 as motive power (always subject to availability).
One of the highlights of the first trip day will be the rare opportunity to traverse the recently reinstated Todmorden Curve by a steam hauled train. The return to Manchester will be via the Peak Forest route and Stockport, extending the set down stations to Wigan and Preston.
The train will depart from Manchester Victoria double headed behind newly main line approved BR Standard Class 4MT 2-6-0 No. 76084 and Jubilee Class steam locomotive No. 45690 Leander. Going via Bolton (pick up) the train will traverse the steeply graded line via Sough Tunnel and Darwen to Blackburn passing the site of Lower Darwen MPD (24D later 10H) 76084’s early base in BR days. From Blackburn the train will head eastwards through Accrington and Burnley, followed by the 1 in 65 climb to Copy Pit Summit. Passing from Lancashire into West Yorkshire and the train will take the recently reinstated Todmorden Curve, opened in May 2015, allowing through trains once more from Burnley to Manchester.
Running towards Manchester via Rochdale, the train will thread its way around the suburbs of Greater Manchester and run via the Brewery Curve and Ashton Moss to Denton and Stockport. At Hazel Grove the train will take the line via Disley Tunnel and head for Chinley. Just after Chinley, we leave the Hope Valley line to Sheffield and take the freight-only route through Dove Holes tunnel and Peak Forest, dominated by the huge Tunstead limestone quarry. At Millers Dale we curve sharply to the right and follow Ashwood Dale through to Buxton, where you will take an afternoon break allowing the exploration of the local attractions in the highest market town in England, including the Pump Room, The Crescent, Pavilion and its extensive gardens.
Leaving Buxton, the train will return to Manchester Victoria via Peak Forest, Stockport and Denton calling to set down passengers at Manchester Victoria before continuing additionally on to Wigan North Western and Preston, ending what promises to be a day of scenic contrasts and numerous challenges for both 76084 and 45690.
To book your seats and view the train times click here.
The second excursion on 25 February follows a slightly different itinerary – view this trip here.
We are justly proud of our achievements in not only returning a Barry loco to traffic but also achieving main line status. Join us as we celebrate 76084’s return to main line duties in February 2017.