There are no standard passenger services running today - The next service will be on Saturday 1st May 2021 using the Reopening Timetable
  • 24 December 2020


    Important Notice

    We look forward to welcoming visitors back in 2021. The first major event will be the return of Flying Scotsman on Good Friday, 2nd April, click here to find out more and book online.

    There are a number of ways in which you can support the East Lancs Railway during these challenging times, find out how here.

    May we take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support during 2020! Here's hoping we see you all again soon!

  • Important Notice

    Following guidance from Bury Council and confirmation from the government that Greater Manchester will remain under Tier Three regulations, regrettably we have been forced to cancel the remainder of the existing Santa Special and Festive Dining trains, due to run 19-24 December.

    Our contact centre is expected to receive a high volume of calls over the coming days, so we will be contacting all of those affected directly and full refunds will be offered.

    All dining passengers affected will be offered alternative dates which are available online:

    All passengers booked for the Santa Specials (19-24 December) will be offered the option to transfer to the ‘Elfmas: Letters to Santa’ event. Passengers opting to transfer to this new event can either choose to (1) take a partial refund, (2) make a donation, or (3) take a train ride on any operating day in 2020 or 2021, excluding special events. Full details will follow via e-mail correspondence – customers are advised to check their Junk/Spam folder.

    Find out more about Elfmas here.

  • Important Notice

    Following the confirmation from the government that Greater Manchester will remain under Tier Three regulations, we will issue a statement later today with regards to our Santa Special and Dining Trains.

  • Important Notice

    Following the publication of the new Tier 3 regulations by the Government, and guidance from Bury Council, regrettably there is not enough preparation time for us to adapt our service and operate Santa Specials over the next two weekends.

    As a result, Santa Specials covering the weekends 5-6 and 12-13 December will unfortunately have to be cancelled.

    Discussions continue with Bury Council to understand if the ELR can make changes to its operations, in order to run a Covid-secure service that complies with new Tier 3 regulations. Once those discussions are concluded customers who are booked onto Santa Specials for the remaining dates from 19 December onwards will be updated.

    Refunds will be available for passengers booked onto the Santa weekends 5-6 & 12-13 December. Passengers do not need to take any action as these will be processed automatically. However, passengers may wish to hold off on seeking a refund until discussions with Bury Council have been concluded, as a Santa Specials experience may still be available before Christmas and existing ticket holders will be able to transfer to this new experience if they wish to.

    Mike Kelly, ELR Chairman said: “this news will be a bitter disappointment for our staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly in recent months to prepare our Santa Specials in a way that was fully compliant with the Covid-19 restrictions. However, with the announcement of new Tier 3 regulations last week, we’ve had to pause again and reassess the plans.

    “It’s with a very heavy heart that we have to make this announcement at such a late stage, but this was simply out of our control. However we cannot operate Santa Specials without the permission of Bury Council and it has taken them time to assess the new regulations and give us a decision to run a Covid safe activity.

    “I want to sincerely thank all our customers and volunteers for their patience as we work to understand the impact of Tier 3 on further Santa Specials from 19 December.”

    Cllr Jane Black, cabinet member for the cultural economy, said: “We completely understand that the Government’s new Tier 3 rules will be a bitter blow to the East Lancs Railway, and to the many children and families who were looking forward to a festive ride on the Santa Specials.

    “However, the law specifically says that indoor attractions at heritage railways must close.

    “We all want life to get back to normal, particularly on special occasions such as Christmas. This demonstrates the importance of getting the covid infection rate down, so the Government will move us out of Tier 3 and restrictions on our daily lives are eased. The next review is due in two weeks’ time.

    “We will be having further discussions with the ELR to see if other Christmas entertainment can be provided at the stations in accordance with the law.”

Find out First

Want the latest news hot from the firebox? Sign up to receive our regular e-newsletter and keep up-to-date with news, offers and events.
Visit England - Quality Assured Visitor Attraction Greater Manchester's Transport Heritage East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society Pennine Telecom The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service  We're Good To Go - Visit England 2020 Travellers Choice - Tripadvisor
© The East Lancashire Railway 2014 - 2021. All rights reserved.
The East Lancashire Light Railway Company Limited registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Bolton Street Station, Bolton Street, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 0EY Registered number: 02023981