There are trains running today using the Santa Specials Timetable 2017

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Our visitors say…

  • This was an absolutely wonderful day and one that you'll remember for the rest of your life. The staff were brilliant, explained everything fully and made you feel very welcome. The food and refreshments were very good and plentiful. The pure experience of driving a steam engine was immense and one I will never forget. This experience is well worth a try

  • First class service, first class food. Comfortable seating, plenty of room for 4. All food served hot and from fresh ingredients. You need to choose from a choice of set menus which day suits your taste best but plenty of choice to suit most tastes. Good drinks list and helpful discrete service. We will definitely travel again.

  • Great value for a great day out. Try and plan with the timetable to stop off at as many stations as you can to enjoy all that they can offer. The staff/volunteers are amazingly knowledgeable and VERY friendly... say hello!

  • Had a great day using East Lancashire Railway. Had a ticket that allowed us to hop on and off throughout the day. The trains were a joy. All the operatives staff etc were thoroughly enthusiastic and shared the feeling. Thoroughly enjoyable. Highly recommended.

  • We visited here with our grandchildren for a day out. The train was fabulous and we especially enjoyed going through the tunnels. The engines were beautifully kept.

  • We thoroughly enjoyed this railway and will visit again. The gift shop had a brilliant range of products and a nice member of staff.

  • As a Campaigner for better access and understanding in provision for disabled persons, I was impressed by this museum and Heritage line, as although there were issues created by the design and age of the structure many of these had been alleviated by careful design of access, with trained and interested staff who were willing to provide assistance where needed’ Would recommend this place for all, as this was an enjoyable and educational day out.

  • Just been on a Red Rose dining experience. The food was excellent served by courteous and efficient staff, on a train pulled by a 90 year old steam locomotive. Whilst not " Orient Express", the wonderful East Lancashire scenery more than made up for it. Thoroughly recommended.

  • Wonderful step back in time journey with the East Lancashire railway. Steam-hauled train reminded me of the good old days of steam travel. Would recommend this.

  • What a fantastic trip back in time, great to see the old engines working puffing out steam, great photo opportunities. Been down many times to see the different trains.

  • Right on my door step and convenient for me to pop in the local towns on the route. Beautiful country side all down its routes. It is great for walkers who can hop off at any stations between Bury and Rawtenstall and then walk the Irwell Scupture trail picking the train up again at the next station. It holds various events during the year such as the 1940's weekend which are well worth a visit. I take my grandkids on the train to visit Thomas the Tank engine and Peppa Pig and they are well looked after and entertained. This railway has something for everyone and is reasonably priced.

  • My days there with my camera have sent me home with images of famous locomotives and period rolling stock and carriages, the unforgettable smell and sense of power of steam engines .They have a super stretch of railway that really brings back to life the glory days of steam! You might see iconic diesels there too, the body shaking rumble of Deltic never fails to impress. All in all a fantastic day out, living history with added enthusiasm!

  • A well organised, well maintained attraction that will interest all the family that is very visitor friendly.

  • What a fine place to go back in time and travel in the Steam era. Check out your timings on the web so you get a steam ride and take an extra half hour to go and look over the Bury Transport Museum, just down the road and free to enter. All the staff want you to have a fabulous day out so you are well looked after.

  • A marvellous experience with lots of opportunities to travel on a variety of trains. Well run by volunteers and very friendly staff.

  • Excellent day was had by all. Good value for money- the kids received a present and activity bag, and the adults enjoyed a succulent mince pie and lovely, warming alcoholic beverage! Perfect for warming the cockles! The train carriage was warm and there was entertainment provided throughout the journey! Fab!

  • The trains are clean and comfortable, the staff were friendly, funny and very good with the children. There were plenty of places on the stations for picnics, and the descriptions of what was available at each stop were comprehensive.

  • The stations have been restored to a 1930s look and staff wear appropriate uniforms. All this adds to the feel of the railway.

  • A day out with Thomas at the East Lancashire Railway was a fantastic day for young children especially if they are fans of Thomas. Just going on the steam trains was a good experience.

    My mum who came with us also enjoyed the day as it brought back memories of her childhood holidays travelling on the train. Well worth a visit. Its a hidden gem in Bury, I'd have never thought of going if not for the Thomas day but we will definitely be returning for another visit. Staff also great, very friendly and made the day for the kids.

  • For small boys and big boys this is a fantastic day out. The smell of steam is superb. Even the meals in the trackside pub are great.

  • Great place to take the family and the themed days we found were extra special. These guys put so much effort in and as well as the trains there are some great views along the railway route, all stops take on some real nostalgia. We loved it.

  • Having tried most Santa trains over the years in the area I’ve concluded that these guys do it the best. With a small army of helpers who genuinely seem to be enjoying themselves, the whole experience is excellently executed and very slick.

  • Myself and 9 colleagues had a fabulous night last night on the festive diner. We met up in the Trackside Pub on the Bury platform an hour before departure and sampled some of the many real ales. Boarded the train at 7.30pm which was spotlessly clean and in all its original splendour with added festive decor. The food was piping hot and delicious and even the chef did a walk through after the meal to see all the passengers. Everyone agreed it was the best and most novel Xmas do we had ever been on. Highly recommend.

  • Running from Heywood to the south to the main hub at Bury Bolton Street the line then continues to Rawtenstall via the pretty and trendy town of Ramsbottom where there are many fine restaurants , pubs (and even breweries) many of which feature on the Rail Ale Trail.

  • What a lovely experience , the weather was lovely and the service once boarded the train was fantastic, we had a great meal and great company! Would definitely recommend and would certainly do this again!

  • Absolutely fabulous time! I bought a murder mystery night for my best friends birthday, the food was spot on! The experience was spot on couldn't ask for a better service! We would defiantly recommend and would do this again! All the staff on the train were fantastic and the actors and actresses were fabulous! If you are looking for a murder mystery night, book with the East Lancashire Railway!

  • What a fantastic evening! 3 course meal in style, sumptuous seating and a table for two. This is a must for couples or friends who want a special evening, food was excellent and the service was fantastic, the train journey added that touch of glamour as it rambled along the tracks. This is probably the best restaurant around and we will be booking again real soon!

  • A fantastic night out, in wonderful company for a friend's special birthday. The staff are friendly and professional the food is excellent and my friend even got to drive the engine, think will book for wedding anniversary in October. Stunning ride through our wonderful countryside on summers evening, perfect.

  • Use the excuse that the grand children will love it. They will but so will you.

  • A fabulous way to watch the world go by. Rarely do you come across a place, where ALL the staff (and volunteers!) were an absolute pleasure. Nothing was too much trouble and the service was efficient, as we booked a gluten free option in advance. The children were given much attention and the cream tea was a delight too.

  • It's worth a visit & you will not be disappointed.Travel through local countryside .& visit Ramsbottom lovely café & shops .well worth a day out .

  • Beautiful stations along the way and great to take the family. It's just something different for everyone. Reasonably priced and all volunteers which makes it all the more special.

  • The most wonderful evening ever. The setting, food and service was exceptional, I cannot imagine how they achieved such a beautiful meal on a moving train. The waitress/waiters were remarkable as was the bar staff. The food was delicious and served on hot plates. If you want a special evening out with beautiful food and lovely people who only want you to have an evening to remember, book now!

  • I can highly recommend this experience from arriving in the morning we were looked after by friendly and professional staff and volunteers. We found the walking tour very interesting and were encouraged to ask about questions. The highlight of the day was driving the train which cannot be beaten. I would recommend this to everyone who is interested in trains or engineering. Well done East Lancashire railway a 5 star experience.

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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