Private Hire

What’s better than experiencing all the fun of the East Lancashire Railway? Experiencing all the fun of the East Lancashire Railway at your very own private event. No crowds, no queues, just your own private railway experience.

The ELR is fun for everyone. But with our private hire packages, it could be especially fun for you and your special guests.

Private Dining and Catering

Whisk your guests back in time to the days when fine dining on a train was the height of sophisticated luxury. With three luxurious Pullman-style carriages available to hire, each served by professional waiters and catering staff, you can welcome up to 138 guests to your own private dinner on the rails.

Hire Your Own Private Train Carriage

Owning a private train is a luxury reserved for royalty and the highest of high society – but you can experience that luxury for yourself by hiring our Observation Saloon. Sumptuously fitted with wooden marquetry and traditional fittings, this private car is a moving venue for up to 25 people to enjoy a luxurious afternoon or evening. The Observation Saloon can be attached to nearly all of our service trains, and includes a tea and coffee service. You can also hire our standard carriages.

Private Function Room Hire

Wow your guests as you welcome them to a private venue unlike any other. Our conference room overlooks the main hall of Bury Transport Museum, giving your guests a sneak peek at our exhibits and artifacts in between discussions. We can even combine private room hire with a dining experience, a drive a train course, or a private guided tour of the museum itself.

Film & TV

The unique mix of both the urban and the rural in Lancashire provides the perfect setting for cinema and TV film makers wanting either a period or near contemporary railway backdrop for their productions. The 12-mile line offers a myriad of locations that can easily represent a bygone or the more present day. Equally, our fleet of heritage locomotives, carriages and freight vehicles are available for use and capable of being disguised to suit any nationality or period.

The railway has worked closely with the BBC, ITV and a number of other production companies in the past few years and had featured in shows such as Hollyoaks, Being Keegan, Deal or No Deal and more, as well as blockbusters such as Paddington 2!

Find out more about filming.

Testing Rail Vehicles

The East Lancashire Railway provides an ideal venue for the commissioning and testing of new and existing infrastructure maintenance on-track plant. The12 mile standard gauge route offers a wide variety of track forms and line topography that provides a challenging environment, ideal for the proving of equipment. A section of the infrastructure is also approved for 100km/h operation for the testing and proving of track machines and other rolling stock.

The line is linked to the main line network offering easy access for rail borne vehicles and the East Lancashire Railway has considerable experience in working with plant and machine owners and manufacturers. We would be happy to help toy deliver a cost effective and practical solution to your on-track equipment testing and commission needs.

Find out more about testing rail vehicles.

Driver Training

The ELR offers ample opportunity to learn and practice the skills that are required for the competent operation of locomotives, diesel units or on-track plant and machinery. The railway is sufficiently well equipped to simulate the situations and conditions that a train driver or machine operator might encounter on the national rail network. It is also possible to simulate conditions that enable drivers and operators to experience poor wheel/rail adhesion conditions under controlled conditions.

A section of the line is approved for 100kn/h operation for the purposes of driver/operator training and the railway can offer classroom facilities and vehicles from the fleet should they be required. The ELR has a proven track record in providing cost effective driver training services to the rail industry.

Plan Your Private Event

To plan and book your very own private event at the East Lancashire Railway, get in touch with our team. We’ll put together a tailored package to make sure your event is extra-special.

Just shoot us a quick email at and we’ll be happy to help.

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