The South Tynedale Railway heads northwards for 3½ miles from Alston in Cumbria, past the original terminus at Gilderdale, on through Kirkhaugh to it's current end destination of Lintley. The next major goal of the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society is to further extend the track to the old station at Slaggyford.
Opened for the 2012 season the new station at Lintley will eventually be relegated to the status of a halt once the line to Slaggyford is completed.
Your train will wait at the station for a few minutes while the locomotive runs round and both it and the crew prepare for the return journey.
Whilst waiting, please take the opportunity of purchasing a drink from the buffet car, have a look at how our extension is progressing, or view the remains of the weighbridge and loading facilities which remain from when this was the site of a mineral siding for a small mine.
About 15 minutes after your departure from Alston, having completed a distance of 2¼ miles, you arrive at Kirkhaugh complete with its family of carved deer. If your eyes were keen enough you may have seen some of the other carved animals to be found on the South Tyne Valley Trail.
Kirkhaugh was the terminus of the railway for a number of years following the extension from Gilderdale and prior to the extension to Lintley being opened.
There is no road access to Kirkhaugh, but it is well worth breaking your journey here and taking one of the way marked paths through beautiful countryside before returning to join a later train.
As splendid views of the South Tyne Valley open up the railway crosses tumbling Gilderdale Burn on a high viaduct. Where a northbound train descends towards this river crossing there is little evidence of the location of Gilderdale station, the railway's second temporary terminus, now long closed.
This was the second station called Gilderdale, the first lay beside Milepost 1 and was short-lived as the railway's volunteers laid more track the terminus moved another half mile or so to the north.
To build the line onwards towards Kirkhaugh the rails had to be skewed away from the platform and, as a result, the station was abandoned.
Alston was the original terminus of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway branch from Haltwhistle and is the headquarters of the South Tynedale Railway with the amenities to be found in the original Newcastle and Carlisle Railway station building.
As it leaves Alston Station the line passes through our only barrier controlled level crossing and then runs alongside the sidings which give access to the locomotive and carriage sheds.
Initially the South Tyne Trail runs to the west of our line, but as it passes the shed complex the trail crosses the line on to its east side for the rest of the journey.