Visited the south Tyneside railway for the first time.From the moment we stepped on the platform at Alston station we were made most welcome. The knowledgeable staff told us about the railway,and in particular the engine driver took time to describe the controls.Before setting off we endulged in a lovely cup of tea and an excellent bacon roll from platform cafe. A lovely journey through the valley with an opportunity to walk the 5 miles and catch the train back there were intermediate stations if you didn’t want to walk all the way to slaggford. At slaggford there was a lovely buffet carriage with friendly staff and a nice cup of tea and some pineapple and ginger cake(lovely and moist).Then it’s back to Alston station for an excellent lunch.Can recommend the steak and wine pie and also the chicken skewers with homemade mint dip.The cafe staff were friendly and happy with there singing. It may have been the odor from the gin and tonic cake.A great day made even better by great staff. Excellent toilet facilities at both ends of the journey.