The East Lancashire Railway (ELR) reopens in February and offers a packed calendar of events for all, young and old.
In mid-February children can enjoy one of the railway’s children’s adventure days, including pirate, dinosaur and wizard themed days, train enthusiasts can bask in nostalgia with Royal Scot at the Spring Steam Gala, while lovers can enjoy a Valentine’s Day dinner aboard an iconic Pullman-style horse-drawn carriage.
Wizarding Adventure Day for February Midterm takes place on Wednesday, February 16 and returns on April 6, and June 1.
This fun day will allow aspiring wizards and witches to share spells and have magic-themed fun. There will be a series of magical creature performances before visitors board the Wizard Express for a two-hour round trip through Irwell’s Valley of Wonders. To complete their day of sorcery, visitors will receive books teaching them the skills necessary to defeat evil wand-wielders.
Dinky Dinosaur Adventure
Dinky Dinosaur Adventure Day is held during February midterm on Thursday, February 17 and will return on April 7 and 14 and June 2.
Dinosaur lovers can encounter prehistoric creatures up close and even tickle a T-Rex under the chin, before being transported back to Jurassic times on a steam train ride through the Irwell Valley. As they journey through both the Lancashire countryside and back in time, children and parents will be joined by colorful characters.
Pirate Adventure Days
Another mid-February attraction is Pirate Adventure Day on Friday, February 18, as well as April 8 and 15. The world’s first pirate steam train will welcome adventurers aboard where they can gain their sea legs by learning the basics of map reading and singing sea shanties. There may even be a hidden treasure!
Winter Diesel Gala
For diesel locomotive enthusiasts, ELR’s beautiful diesel locomotives will be in action at the Winter Diesel Gala on Saturday February 12 where they will run on an intensive schedule. Customers with a day rover can travel as often as they wish.
Classic diesels set to make an appearance include the Class 24 D5054; Class 25 25279, which was recently overtaken in BR Blue, Class 33 33109 Captain Bill Smith RNR; Class 45 45108; and Class 47 D1501 and 47765.
Spring Steam Gala
The first big Steam event of the year is the Spring Steam Gala from Friday February 25th to Sunday February 27th. Tickets are available for one, two or three days.
Not to be missed will be 46100 royal scottish makes his first visit to the ELR. Built in 1927, the Royal Scot was the flagship locomotive of the London Midland and Scottish Railway, providing the fastest west coast services from London to Manchester and Glasgow. After a five-year overhaul, she returned to mainline steam in 2016.
A romantic meal for two behind an iconic steam train awaits lovers at Valentine’s Day dinner on Saturday, February 12. Couples and friends can enjoy a delicious four-course dinner complemented by a bubbly voucher while cruising through the beautiful Irwell Valley. The Valentine’s Day special is always sold out and rated five stars on Tripadvisor, so tickets should roll out of the station fast!
To buy tickets or more information about any of the events visit www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk or contact East Lancashire Railway on 0333 320 2830.