South Tynedale Railway
Location : Alston – Grid Ref : NY 717467
England’s highest narrow gauge railway
The Railway Station, Alston, CA9 3JB. Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
General Enquiries – 01434 381696. Talking timetable – 01434 382828.
Preserved steam and diesel locomotives from Britain and overseas run between Alston Station (875 feet above sea level) and Kirkhaugh, following part of the old Haltwhistle to Alston branch line along the Tyne Valley in North East Cumbria. The line has recently been extended from Gilderdale (which is now closed) to Kirkhaugh – a distance of some two miles. Hopefully in the future the line will be extended to Slaggyford.
Along the route there are fine views across the South Tyne valley, in the heart of the North Pennines Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty.
The Haltwhistle to Alston branch line, opened by the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway Company in 1852, was closed by British Rail in 1976. The Preservation Society was formed in 1973, and although unable to save the original standard gauge line, succeeded in opening a narrow gauge line along part of the old trackbed in 1983.
Built in the UK in 1940 for export to South Africa, this Hunslet steam loco of 0-4-2T type has a distinctive spark-arresting chimney and is rated at 90hp.
With the latest extension opened in 2012 the line is now 3.5 miles in length and runs between Alston in Cumbria and Lintley in Northumberland. The new 1 mile section represents the latest section of the old Alston Branch to be brought back to life, following the extension of the original South Tynedale Railway from Gilderdale to Kirkhaugh in 1996. However, the Society’s eye’s are still firmly focused on moving the railhead northwards to the village of Slaggyford, and also, possibly, to the reinstatement of Gilderdale Halt to serve the picnic site on the South Tyne Trail.
There is a railway shop and refreshment facilities at Alston station, as well as a picnic area.
Related Links :
- www.strps.org.uk – official website