Welcome to the South Tynedale Railway…
Enjoy a scenic ride through the beautiful South Tyne valley from Alston station. Travel to Kirkhaugh, Lintley Halt and back on one of our trains hauled by vintage steam or diesel locomotives through lovely Pennine scenery. Catch sight of deer, look out for soaring birds of prey, you may even glimpse a red squirrel. Your journey to Alston, which lies at the crossroads of five routes, takes you through the stunning landscape of the North Pennines Area of Natural Beauty (AONB). Once there you can sample our café menu, wander beside the river Tyne for a gentle stroll (or a rigorous hike) visit the Discovery Centre or the old Railway Shop or simply sit back in a vintage coach to be taken gently along the valley on the north of England’s highest narrow gauge railway.
Why not cycle one way to explore the South Tyne Trail. Cyclists, walkers and dogs are all welcome! There is free car and coach parking right next to the railway platform and you are also just minutes from Alston town centre.
The South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society became a registered charity in 1983, but has its roots in a group formed in 1973 with the intention of purchasing and preserving the entire standard gauge railway. When funds could not be raised in time a decision was made to build a narrow gauge line along the old track bed using redundant mining equipment, with the aim of once again linking Alston with Haltwhistle by rail.
With the announcement of a £4.25 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant as part of a 3 year, £5.6 million development project, 2014 marked the start of the next chapter in the history of the South Tynedale Railway and this historic line. This funding will allow us to complete the extension and take the railway back to Slaggyford, major repairs and renovations to the station buildings at Alston and much more besides.
Come and join us and take a leisurely ride through the glorious scenery of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty!
We resume our train services on 1st April 2017. Safe to say, there has been, and still is, much going on here at the railway. The significant developments to transform our visitor attraction are well underway. The new toilets, café, second platform and station train shed roof at Alston along with the extension of the line and facilities at Slaggyford are all due for completion in late Spring or early summer 2017.
Until the building work is complete, we will have portaloos at Alston station. The construction of new café is going well and good news is that the old café will still be in operation and Shirley’s cakes continue to provide visitors with tasty treats.
So please bear with us in the final few weeks as we complete our very exciting major capital developments.
New in 2017 and ready for visitors to enjoy in April is the viewing gallery in the Heritage Engineering Workshop . Train enthusiasts and families alike will be fascinated to see the rolling stock being worked on. Watch our engineers and see what it is like to be a volunteer here at the railway.
The Discovery Centre opened last season and has free entry for all visitors. The Discovery Centre houses engaging displays on “The trials and triumphs of a rural railway”. The history of the area; the rise, fall then rise again of the railway, along with the work of the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society is presented in very user friendly format along with an impressive range of photographs and artefacts.
The shop serves both as a gift shop and a ticket office for the South Tynedale Railway, open throughout the operating season. The shop has a wealth of offerings including; books, gifts, train memorabilia and local arts and crafts. Tickets for travel are purchased from the shop where you will also find relevant information regarding the railway.
‘The Buffer Stop Café is located at Alston station right on the platform, providing good quality homemade food. Local produce is the norm and Shirley’s freshly baked cakes are a favourite amongst visitors and personnel alike. Once she bakes one of her delicious cakes they don’t last long. The menu varies throughout the season to reflect the weather and of course can eaten in the café, in our picnic areas or on the train.
CAFE OPEN FROM 1ST APRIL ON OPERATING DAYS 9.30am to 5pm
As part of a generous HLF grant awarded to the Society in 2014, work is now complete on the redesign of our accessible Discovery Centre.
The glazed entrance leads you to the story of “The trials and triumphs of a rural railway”. The history of the area; the rise, fall then rise again of the railway, along with the work of the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society is presented in very user friendly format along with an impressive range of photographs and artefacts.
The Discovery Centre is open Tuesday to Sunday 9.30 – 5 (unless booked for a private event)
We love seeing your faithful friends around the station and welcome you to bring them along, dogs are welcome in the carriages on the train (excluding the buffet carriage). There are beautiful walks alongside the track as well as various picnic sites where you can sit and enjoy lunch whilst taking in the beautiful landscape of the surrounding North Pennines.
The South Tynedale Railway is set in the stunning landscape of the North Peninnes, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The South Tyne Trail runs alongside the track and cycling is a great way to enjoy it. With picnic sites at each station along the way it is a truly enjoyable way to see the flora and fauna that the local landscape has to offer. Bikes are accepted on the train (room permitting) so why not cycle one way and enjoy a leisurely return journey behind one of our wonderful, historic locomotives.
My how this lovely railway has come on. Used to go in the late 80s and it’s now been developed into a much longer (soon longer still) journey into the unspoiled South Tynedale valley. The station at Alston has just been redeveloped and it’s lovely. Staff very friendly and welcoming. We’ll definitely be back.6
Reviewed 30th May 2017
Our first visit to the South Tyndale Railway earlier in May was very enjoyable. The trip to the current end of the line and back takes about an hour and goes through some beautiful scenery. The staff in the shop, on the train and in the signal box were all very welcoming and very keen to explain all the developments that are currently going on. There is also a relatively new museum on site which was informative and the real train buffs can also access a viewing platform into the new train workshop! We also walked into Alston and then came back for a second trip on the train which was better than the first as the sun came out! We’ll certainly come back when the line extension and building works are finished.
Reviewed 30th May 2017