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? Electric bikes can be hired online and are available from the station or bring your own – 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!
‘The Buffer Stop Café is located at Alston station right on the platform, providing good quality homemade food. Local produce is the norm and Kelly’s 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.
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.
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. Here at the railway we are also a hire centre for electric bikes, part of the bigger North Pennines AONB Electric Bike Network.
Alston railway is manned by volunteers who are enthusiastic and characters! You can pay and ride all day, and incorperate some walking into the itinery. if you plan around the timetable, you can basically walk and ride the entire length of the railway line, i did it with a 5 year old without too much persuasion….and no carrying. On a nice day its a brilliant day out. Go when the steam train is running though – it adds a lot to the experience.
My daughter and I along with our Angel ( a rescue lurcher) travelled on the little steam train to Kirkhough. The ticket cost £4 per person and £” for Angel. We alighted at Kirkhough, the first of two stops on the line. After walking up to the Roman Fort we set off back along the parh running parallel with the railway track. It was a level walk and very pleasant in the afternoon sun. There is are picnic tables about 2 miles from Kirkhough and also at the Railway station at Alston and at Kirkhough so take a picnic. The walk is about 3 miles long.
We bought a take away cup of tea in the station when we got back. At £2 per drink in a polystyrene takeaway cup it seemed a bit pricey but it all goes to keeping the railway on the tracks so to speak. The volounteer staff are cheerful and friendly. There is a small shop selling train related items.
This is a lovely afternoon activity. Clean facilities, pleasant and informative staff and dog friendly. The scenery is beautiful and it is a really great way to see it. With hindsight it would have been good to take a picnic to enjoy at one of the two stations enroute. We did the journey there and back without alighting and it was great fun! Pulled by engine no 9 which to enthusiasts I am sure is significant but to me was a picturesque little engine! Well worth a visit.
Visited May 2015