One of the great sights of the UK is seeing a steam train chugging its way through a countryside landscape dusted in snow.
It may seem like with the introduction of powerful and less costly locomotives that those days may be something of the past but that could not be further from the truth. The autumn and winter season are great times to enjoy a steam train excursion and there a host of routes to choose from.
With Christmas markets and events happening all over the country during November and December there is no better time to experience a steam train ride through the English countryside. The Railway Touring Company has a host of excursions available to suit all tastes and here are a selection of those on offer this year.
The Capital Christmas Express – Saturday, November 23rd
The Capital Christmas Express allows people to enjoy the festivities going on around London in the build-up to the holiday season. It also gives passengers the opportunity to gaze upon the majestic Dorset countryside as it makes its way up to the capital.
That is not all because the 50-year old railway carriages are guided along the track by the 'Battle of Britain' class steam locomotive No. 34067 "Tangmere". Passengers can hop on at Weymouth at 08:25 GMT before stopping off at Poole, Bournemouth, Southampton and Eastleigh before it makes its way to London Waterloo.
People will able to take in the sights the capital has to offer with Trafalgar Square, Madame Tussauds and the Tower of London sure to be on the list. The return train leaves Waterloo at 18:30 GMT.
Prices start at £79 for adults, £39 for juniors and £197 for families for standard class, first and premier are considerably more.
The Tynesider – Saturday, November 23rd
Many passengers will have no doubt travelled on the East Coast Main Line from the north-east down to London before but few will have done so on a steam train. The Tynesider gives people a unique trip from Newcastle down to the capital.
Leaving the north-east at 07:00 GMT the London & North Eastern Railway class A4 ‘Pacific’ No. 60009 “Union of South Africa calls at Durham, Darlington and York before heading to London. People can join in the festivities of the capital before heading back for the return journey at 18:20 GMT.
Prices start at £82 for adults, £40 for juniors and a family ticket for £204 travelling in standard class.
The York Yuletide Express – Thursday, December 12th
There are few places in the UK as picturesque as York and there is no time to visit the Yorkshire city like Christmas and what better way to visit than by steam train?
York is home to the National Railway Museum not to mention the plethora of market stalls, quaint shops and homely pubs. It makes the York Yuletide Express an absolute must for that perfect seasonal getaway.
Pulled by an A4 class ‘Pacific’ steam locomotive No. 60009 “Union of South Africa”, the route sets off from Norwich at 08:00 GMT, passing through scenic Norfolk countryside. It makes pick-ups at Wymondham, Attleborough, Thetford, Brandon, March and Peterborough before heading up the East Coast Main Line to York.
Passengers will have a good four hours to experience the city before returning on the 17:00 GMT service.
Prices start at £79 for adults, £39 for juniors and £197 for a family travelling in standard class.