If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

The Great Britain XVI - 13/04/24 to 21/04/24

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by Paul42, Jul 26, 2023.

  1. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    5,961
    Likes Received:
    4,068
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    East Grinstead
    See https://www.railwaytouring.net/the-great-britain-xvi---april-2024
     
    JBTEvans and Waterbuck like this.
  2. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    5,961
    Likes Received:
    4,068
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    East Grinstead
    Discover all that British culture and countryside can offer on this spectacular nine-day tour of Great Britain. As you journey steam-hauled across the country, enjoy delicious food as you watch the scenery go by from the comfort of your Premier or First-Class coach. With overnight stays in quality hotels to enjoy, steep gradients to negotiate, coastal views and inland panoramas to discover, this tour is sure to appeal to seasoned travellers and steam newcomers alike.


    • From London Victoria you travel cross-country to Worcester via Kent, with an overnight stay in the Lake District before continuing North along the western coast to Carlisle, crossing the border at Gretna en route to Glasgow.
    • In Scotland your steam locomotive tackles famous inclines at Druimuachdar and Slochd on the way to a two day stay at Inverness, with an optional trip steam-hauled from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, over the Caledonian Canal.
    • Leaving Scotland, you head south to Liverpool via Berwick-on-Tweed and the Tyne Bridge at Newcastle to the West Coast Main Line. Past Penrith you climb to Shap Summit, then head into scenic Wales on the Central Wales railway, a true cross-country line en route to Swansea.
    • The final leg of your grand tour takes you to Cardiff, then across the border and along the Severn Estuary, and over the Golden Valley line to Swindon. The long climb to Sapperton Tunnel is a last highlight to savour before a main-line workout through Maidenhead and Slough back to London.
    Saturday 13th April
    London Victoria to Worcester via Kent and Oxford

    Your grand Great Britain tour begins early today at London Victoria station. Steam-hauled through the South London suburbs towards Dartford and Gravesend, you cross the river Medway and pass the imposing castle and cathedral at Rochester. After Chatham, famous for its historic Dockyards, you head for Faversham, the oldest market town in Kent. Along the north Kent coast you pass Whitstable, famous for its oysters, and the popular seaside resorts of Herne Bay, Margate and Ramsgate. Cutting across the Isle of Thanet you head south along the coast through Sandwich and Deal towards Dover, famous for its lofty castle overlooking the English Channel. From Dover, you follow the chalk cliffs route through to Folkestone and Ashford, meeting up with the busy Channel Tunnel Eurostar lines. Your train turns back towards the London area via Maidstone East and Swanley before passing through Clapham Junction to reach Kensington Olympia. You now follow the Great Western Railway’s main line through Reading and Oxford before joining the attractive rural Chilterns line through Charlbury and Moreton-in-Marsh. On arrival at Worcester, you book into your hotel for the evening.


    Sunday 14th April

    Steam hauled to Lancaster via Crewe

    This morning, you leave Worcester and travel northwards towards Bromsgrove to face the formidable 1-in-37 gradient of the Lickey Incline. The substantial power of a steam locomotive will be demonstrated as it tackles the steepest main-line railway incline in Britain. In steam days a banking locomotive would be attached to the rear to help get the load up the gradient. Skirting the industrial and residential Birmingham suburbs, you travel through the West Midlands northwards towards Stafford to follow the West Coast Main Line through to Crewe. There will be some fast running as you fit in with other expresses along the route. A well-earned water stop is taken at Crewe before you continue to Preston and Lancaster, touching the edge of Morecambe bay near Carnforth. Here, you alight for the evening.


    Monday 15th April
    Lancaster to Glasgow via the Cumbrian Coast
    After a comfortable evening, you continue on the Great Britain steam-hauled around the scenic Cumbria Coast Line to Carlisle. There will be coastal running for miles as you follow the estuaries inland and along sea walls, crossing lengthy viaducts in the process. Morecambe Bay leads to the Irish Sea, where on a clear day you can see across to the Isle of Man. Once a busy industrial line serving mines and steelworks, it’s a more relaxed route these days, although you do pass the massive Sellafield Nuclear Fuels plant. You pass the pretty seaside village of St Bees on the way to Carlisle, and a scheduled stop to service the locomotive. This border city has several attractions to visit, including its busy market place, cathedral, and castle, along with many shops and pubs. From Carlisle, you cross the border at Gretna and take the former Glasgow & South Western Line along the north banks of the Solway Firth through to Dumfries. Your journey northwards passes through a wild and remote landscape of trees and agricultural lands heading for Kilmarnock. You continue towards Glasgow to spend the night in this vibrant city on the river Clyde.

    Tuesday 16th April
    Glasgow to Inverness over the Druimuachdar and Slochd summits
    Leaving Glasgow, you head eastwards through the suburbs towards Larbert to follow the line to Stirling. On the outskirts its castle sits high on the hillside and is overlooked by the Wallace Monument. You next pass through the golfing town of Gleneagles and head for the Fair City of Perth on the river Tay. After Perth the line winds towards the Highlands travelling through Kingswood Tunnel, Inver Tunnel, Piltlochry and Killiecrankie Tunnel before reaching Blair Atholl, home of the famous castle. After Blair Atholl, you climb to Druimuachdar summit at 1484 feet above sea level, the highest main line summit in Britain. The climb from Pitlochry to the summit provides a formidable challenge to your locomotive and its crew, with the majestic power of steam fully utilised. The next section of your journey takes you through Newtonmore, Kingussie and Kincraig, before arriving in Aviemore, home to the Strathspey Railway.
    From Aviemore you continue through the Highlands over Slochd Summit, 1315 feet above sea level, to your destination for the day, Inverness. You’ll spend two nights in Inverness and can either enjoy the next day at leisure or take the optional excursion by steam train to Kyle of Lochalsh.

    Wednesday 17th April (Optional day)
    Inverness stay with optional return trip to Kyle of Lochalsh
    Your optional excursion today is a return trip steam-hauled from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, with superb scenery all the way. Your first point of interest out of Inverness is the crossing of the Caledonian Canal, which has a swing bridge carrying the railway across the canal. There will be extensive views across Beauly Firth towards the Black Isle as you head westwards to Dingwall, the junction station for the Kyle of Lochalsh and Far North lines. From Dingwall, there’s a very steep climb of five miles through to Ravens Rock as you head for Garve, with Loch Garve as a backdrop. Another steep climb follows to Corriemuillie Summit before the descent to the head of Loch Luichart.
    Barren moorlands frequented only by sheep follow through to Achnasheen, where you’ll pause for water.
    A steady climb to Luib Summit is followed by more dense forestry as you descend to Achnasellach and Strathcarron. There are views of Loch Carron all the way to Stromeferry before the line cuts inland and arrives at Kyle of Lochalsh. Once an important ferry crossing point to the Isle of Skye, today the new road bridge takes all the traffic. You will have free time to explore Kyle while your steam locomotive is serviced for the journey back to Inverness, where you’ll stay overnight in your comfortable, centrally located hotel.

    Thursday 18th April
    Inverness to Edinburgh. Free time in Aberdeen, the ‘Granite City’
    After a night in the Capital of the Highlands, you head eastwards from Inverness and follow the coastal route overlooking the Moray Firth through Nairn and Forres. With the North Sea not very far away, the attractive town of Elgin is reached before you head inland towards Keith. Keith is the junction station for the Dufftown branch that is now a preservation line, known as the Whisky Line, due to the presence of the Dufftown Distillery. The line continues to wind across country through Insch to Inverurie, formerly the site of the Great North of Scotland Railway’s locomotive works. After Dyce, near to the airport, you reach the Granite City of Aberdeen. There will be time to pay a visit to this fascinating town, famed for its oil industry and busy shipping port. Your route to Edinburgh now follows the North Sea coastline through to the natural harbour at Montrose. After Arbroath, famed for its culinary ‘smokies’, you head for Dundee, where the Tay Bridge crosses the Tay. Following the north bank of the Tay towards Perth, you pass through the fruit-growing Carse of Gowrie before crossing the Tay at Perth. Your route back to Edinburgh is via Stirling and Linlithgow, arriving in Edinburgh Waverley late evening. Here you retire to your centrally located hotel for the evening.

    Friday 19th April 2024
    Edinburgh to Liverpool via the Upperby Curve and Shap Summit
    Today you leave Edinburgh and continue your steam-hauled journey along the east coast of Scotland, south towards the border near Berwick-on-Tweed. With views of Lindisfarne and Bamburgh castles, you pass through Morpeth and cross the Tyne at Newcastle, overseeing its iconic road bridge from the lofty railway version. Your route now diverges westwards and follows the Tyne Valley line to Carlisle. This railway closely follows the sweep of Hadrian’s Wall, which the railway crosses several times. You bypass Carlisle by way of the Upperby Curve and gain access to the West Coast Main Line. Heading south you pass through Penrith and begin the southbound climb to Shap Summit, 916 feet above sea level. You’ll descend the dramatic Shap Fells and run through the scenic Lune Gorge, with the Howgill Hills as a spectacular back drop. You’ll pass above Kendal and through Oxenholme on the edge of the Lakes to make your way to Lancaster and Preston. From Preston you head for Wigan to leave the West Coast Main Line and take the Liverpool line via St Helens. On arrival in Liverpool you transfer to your hotel to spend the evening on Merseyside.

    Saturday 20th April 2024
    Liverpool through Central Wales to Swansea
    Leaving Liverpool Lime Street station, you’ll be steam-hauled away through the famous Edge Hill cutting before heading towards Runcorn and over the river Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal on Runcorn Bridge. Running along the West Coast Main Line to Crewe, you’ll stop to take on water. Next, you follow the Great Western Railway line to Shrewsbury to encounter the river Severn, which passes beneath the station here. Heading southwards, you climb up to Church Stretton and pass the Long Mynd, before descending to Craven Arms, the junction station for the Central Wales line. This mostly single-track Central Wales line is a true cross-country route serving remote towns and villages and passing through some very scenic landscapes. You cross the border between England and Wales at Knighton, with a pause for water supplies. The castellated Knucklas Viaduct is crossed on the steep climb to Llangunllo tunnel as you make your way to Llandrindod Wells. This sizeable town in Central Wales has its 19th century mineral-rich spa wells still functioning. More small rural stations follow as you make our way to the summit at the Sugar Loaf tunnel south of Llanwrtyd. It is now downhill all the way through Llandovery and Llandeilo on the way to Swansea and your final overnight stay.

    Sunday 21st April 2024
    Vale of Glamorgan Line via Barry to Cardiff; Severn Estuary via Swindon to London Paddington
    Leaving Swansea, you follow the Great Western Main Line past the extensive Port Talbot steel works and head for Bridgend. Here you divert from the main line and follow the Vale of Glamorgan line via Barry to Cardiff. There will be spectacular views across the Bristol Channel towards Somerset to enjoy. After Cardiff you head for Newport and Chepstow, crossing the border from Wales to England at the river Wye. The run along the Severn Estuary through Lydney to Gloucester is very scenic, with a splendid view of its 14th century cathedral as we approach the city. Your train pauses to water the steam locomotive here before you leave, steam-hauled, over the Golden Valley line to Swindon. A highlight of this run will be the long climb up through the valley to Sapperton Tunnel, with your locomotive in full steam against the steep gradient. Passing through Swindon, a railway town created by the presence of the Great Western Railway’s Swindon Works, you follow the GWR main line through the Vale of White Horse to Didcot, and then the Thames Valley to Reading. The final leg of your marathon steam-hauled Great Britain tour is a main-line workout through Maidenhead and Slough to London Paddington.

    Tour Summary
    Premier Class £3895
    Kyle of Lochalsh option £299

    Single supplement £495


    First Class £3295
    Kyle of Lochalsh option £199

    Single supplement £475

    Book Now
    All prices shown are per person based on two persons sharing. Tables for two can be guaranteed in Premier Class and First Class for a supplement of £185 per person (subject to availability).


    Please note: The Kyle of Lochalsh excursion tour is optional and priced per person. All routes and locomotive selections are subject to change, changes will be advised in advance.


    Meals included each day are shown as:
    B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner

    Premier Price includes
    Eight nights accommodation and breakfast (when not served on the train) in 3 and 4-
    6 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners silver served at your seat
    At seat drinks service
    Allocated seat in a British Railway MK 1 first class open carriage
    Coach transfers, where necessary, to hotels
    Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
    Escorted throughout
    First Price includes
    Eight nights accommodation and breakfast in 3-star hotels
    Morning and afternoon tea service
    At seat drinks service
    Allocated seat in a British Railway MK1 first class open carriage
    Coach transfers, where necessary, to hotels
    Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
    Escorted throughout.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2023
    YorkyLad, JBTEvans, Waterbuck and 2 others like this.
  3. John Petley

    John Petley Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,857
    Likes Received:
    2,381
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Researcher/writer and composer of classical music
    Location:
    Between LBSCR 221 and LBSCR 227
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Good to see the South East featured in a GBxxx tour for a change. Given RTC's usual policy of trying to make these "flagship" tours 100% steam (even if it doesn't always succeed in so doing), if the tour sticks to the advertised route it will be interesting to find out which loco (or more likely, locos) will tackle the sharply curved 1 in 56 (I think) between the North Kent line and the LCD main line at Strood.
     
  4. malc

    malc Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,426
    Likes Received:
    292
    Strange how the misspelling of "Worcester" on Sunday 14th April looks far worse just a single letter added.
     
  5. Mick45305

    Mick45305 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    569
    Location:
    Huddersfield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    All booked. Great to see the Central Wales line included, when was the last time steam visited Swansea? Presumably a reversal at Llanelli will be required after travelling southbound from Llandrindod. A lot of new routes for the GB crammed in to each day. :)
     
  6. Waterbuck

    Waterbuck Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Messages:
    857
    Likes Received:
    579
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Fourth one and new places to see by rail yet again. After the excitement, now comes the big wait.
     
    Oswald T Wistle and Mick45305 like this.
  7. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,446
    Likes Received:
    729
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Casnewydd, De Cymru
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Great to see a bit more Welshness in this trip! Would be great if a Jubilee does the leg to Swansea, regulars over that route and I don't think one has visited in preservation.
     
    3ABescot, acorb, Mick45305 and 2 others like this.
  8. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,446
    Likes Received:
    729
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Casnewydd, De Cymru
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    6201 in June 2010 I am pretty sure. Can't think of anything since. Since GWR have vacated Landore depot, I am surprised nobody has used it as a starting/destination point, plenty of room there to service stock, depot is still in use with Chrysalis.
     
    Mick45305 likes this.
  9. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    8,296
    Likes Received:
    5,349
    Does nobody at RTC ever proof read these things? I note "the attractive rural Chilterns line through Charlbury and Moreton-in-Marsh".
     
  10. NathanP

    NathanP Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2017
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    861
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcester
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Nice to see my home city of Worcester being the Day 1 destination. Talk about starting the tour off in style! I won't be on it unfortunately, as it would blow my entire 2024 railtour budget in one go, but I look forward to see it arrive on the Saturday and leave on the Sunday. I wonder which hotel they'll book for you? The White House Hotel directly opposite Foregate St station is probably the nicest hotel in the city, as it has amenities such as a spa and swimming pool, as well as being centrally-located.
     
    3ABescot, JBTEvans and Mick45305 like this.
  11. garth manor

    garth manor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,739
    Likes Received:
    472
    Why a reversal, there is double track straight through.
     
  12. alastair

    alastair Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    764
    There really isn't (unless my Atlas is wrong!). Only alternative to reversal at Llanelli would presumably to go east on Swansea District line and reverse at Briton Ferry?
     
    Mick45305 and Paul42 like this.
  13. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    5,961
    Likes Received:
    4,068
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    East Grinstead
    I have just checked Traksy which also confirms a reversal is required see https://traksy.uk/live/M+34+LLNSMLT+-22
     
    35B, Mick45305 and alastair like this.
  14. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    5,720
    Likes Received:
    3,619
    Does that very attractive itinerary imply that they have succeeded in booking two class fives? Obviously 44932 would be one, but what would be the other one?
     
  15. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    21,431
    Likes Received:
    21,350
    Location:
    1016
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The absence of an locomotives suggests to me that at this stage this is just the route that West Coast can cover with crews and the locos will come later. I'd be amazed if the 10A fleet doesn't feature prominently.
     
  16. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    5,720
    Likes Received:
    3,619
    Indeed. I'm thinking that Jubilees probably won't gauge for Kyle or Central Wales, and possibly not Inverness to Aberdeen.
     
  17. Mick45305

    Mick45305 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    569
    Location:
    Huddersfield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    If two Fives were to feature, I’d guess the second one could be drawn out of Ian Riley’s stud. The third Five doesn’t normally go to Fort Bill until the afternoon set heads there which is around late April/early May.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2023
  18. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    8,296
    Likes Received:
    5,349
    Why not? Are the cylinders not slightly higher up than a Black 5 and slightly smaller?
     
  19. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    5,720
    Likes Received:
    3,619
    All I know is that on the Cumbrian Coast the Scot and the Black fives will gauge but the Jubilees will not. So the envelope must be just that bit different.
     
  20. jonathonag

    jonathonag Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,606
    Likes Received:
    3,093
    Occupation:
    Railway Engineer
    Location:
    Cowdenbeath
    If the K1 is ready for Jacobite 2024 season, theoretically two Riley operated 5's could be available for the Great Britain until a second goes to the Fort at end of April.
     
    Mick45305, Waterbuck and Paul42 like this.

Share This Page