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 and catch the train back? 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.
A 3 year, £5.6 million development project which included a £4.2 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant is now almost complete and marks the start of the next chapter in the history of the South Tynedale Railway and this historic line. Major repairs and renovations to the station buildings at Alston and much more besides are now complete. With a brand new cafe, new toilets, second platform, Discovery Centre and viewing gallery in our engineering shed there is lots to see and do.
Come and join us, see how much has changed and take a leisurely ride through the glorious scenery of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty!
The shop serves both as a gift shop and the ticket office for the South Tynedale Railway and is open throughout the operating season.
There’s a wealth of offerings including books, gifts, train memorabilia and local arts and crafts. Tickets for travel are also purchased from the shop and you will find lots of information about the railway and surrounding area and be able to pick up one of our ever popular spotter sheets for children to use on their journey.
Shirley, Kim and John will be happy to help you and look out for members of our STRIVERS youth development team who often volunteer in our shop as part of their employability training.
The Crossing Café is located at Alston station right on platform 1, and provides fabulous homemade food. Local produce is the norm and Nikki’s team make freshly baked cakes and scones which are a great favourite amongst visitors and personnel alike. The menu varies throughout the season and of course food can be eaten in the café, in our picnic areas or even on the train! Breakfasts, lunches and afternoon tea are all available 7 days a week at set times between 9:30 and 4:30 and don’t forget to check our specials board which we’re sure will have something to tempt you.
Nikki and her team are developing a range of dishes which are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and people with gluten intolerance, please ask us for more details and we will be happy to help.
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 on opeationg days from 9.30 -4.30 (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 everywhere on site and will even receive a gift of a doggie treat and a poo bag for those little emergencies with their ticket to ride the train. There are beautiful dog friendly 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.
We’re very proud to support a local dog rescue centre, Morgan’s Rescue, and were delighted to hand over a cheque for £400 after our sponsored dog walk. If you would like to take part in the sponsored dog walk in 2018 please get in touch.
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 walking or 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 walk or cycle one way and enjoy a leisurely return journey behind one of our wonderful, historic locomotives? Alston Moor is part of the UK a Walkers are Welcome network and you’ll find a range of leaflets detailing walks in the local area on sale in our shop.
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