There are no standard passenger services running today - The next service will be on Saturday 15th May 2021 using the Reopening Timetable
Rail Trail
Caption: Explore the Irwell Valley
Rail Trail
Caption: Travel by steam train!

The aim of this activity is to help students to understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features. They may also collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experience of fieldwork that deepens their understanding of geographical processes.

During the visit, students will study the geographical features of the River Irwell between Rawtenstall and Irwell Vale. The two mile stretch of river illustrates perfectly the effect or erosion and deposition, including how an ox-bow lake can be formed, the effect of flooding and land use along the valley.

Practical activities can be included by arrangement.

Transport is provided by a steam-hauled train, please note that the East Lancashire Railway reserves the right to change to a diesel service on short notice.

Key Stage

This programme is suitable for upper Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.


Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from Easter to July and also in September.

Cost and booking information

  Cost per pupil Booking Information
Rail Trail £10.00 Email

Trip Timetable

A trip timetable will be made available soon.

What’s Included

  • Risk assessment and safety talk
  • Introductory presentation to the day’s activity
  • Return trip from Bury to Rawtenstall on a heritage steam train
  • Course delivered by a guide
  • Worksheets and handouts as appropriate
  • Reference material for teaching staff
  • Guided walks along the River Irwell from Rawtenstall to Irwell Vale
  • Optional visit to Bury Transport Museum
  • Optional shop visit

What to Bring

  • Walking boots or strong trainers
  • Warm clothing and waterproofs
  • Long trousers are recommended
  • Packed lunch and drink
  • Notebook and writing materials if required

Find out First

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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