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South Tynedale Railway
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The Friendly Railway
The Friendly Railway

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Branch Line Society acclaim for their Alston visit

Bright and early on Sunday 18th May a group of Branch Line Society (BLS) members began their visit to the South Tynedale Railway (STR) by joining their special train not at Alston’s Victorian Station but at the railway’s locomotive coal dock near the station. Thus began a most unusual working for the STR’s volunteer crew, taking a passenger train to almost every accessible part of the railway. 

STR trip organiser and Commercial Manager Andy Pont said “The Branch Line Society presented us with a logistical exercise: how to get to parts of the railway passenger trains don’t go and do it all before normal business began before eleven o’clock. That we did it is down to the enthusiasm of our volunteers and great co-operation from BLS officers”.

Privately owned 0-6-0 diesel ‘Old Rusty’ provided power for most of the trip. It first took the train to the line limit to the north of Lintley Viaduct where BLS members inspected the trackbed towards Slaggyford - building work has just started that will extend the railway to the village by 2016. Southbound the train used the Lintley Halt loop rather than the main line before travelling to Kirkhaugh. There it reversed through the loop to the siding at the north end of the railway’s former terminus. At Alston the train went into the locomotive coal dock before taking in the engine shed road and the northward limit of the service lines. Unfortunately it had to miss the north loop access at Kirkhaugh which is out of gauge to passenger stock; rebuilding the track there is a job already planned for later this year.

After the event Kev Adlam, BLS General Secretary, said in a note to Andy Pont “We cannot put into words our appreciation for the sheer amount of effort and professionalism that clearly was invested in delivery of this event. Every single aspect of our interaction your team was an example of the heritage railway scene at its best. We were particularly pleased that you cleared all available lines at the railway. We understand that the particular nature of this charter, with a more comprehensive series of operations, is time consuming. On the day members were delighted as they achieved more than the specification I advertised. What was most pleasing as an organiser was the way it all just seemed to “happen”, including the ease at which the programme was delivered. This was enhanced by the excellent catering facilities for which the catering team should be congratulated. I should add that the member feedback has been very, very positive and they all commented how clean and tidy the infrastructure looked”.

About the Branch Line Society

The Society is a UK-based voluntary association for railway enthusiasts. It is a nationally spread organisation with a membership of approaching 1000 (including a few resident overseas).
It was established in 1955 and is widely recognised as Britain's leading amateur group for the study of railway infrastructure and history of networks (and not nowadays, despite its title, just minor lines).

It pursues its aims by a news service, tours and visits, and the production and distribution of publications.

Unlike many enthusiast groups, our emphasis is on the physical works and on operating arrangements, rather than power and rolling stock. Whilst seeking to record matters of history accurately for archive purposes, a prime aim is to publicise coming events and activities.
Members receive up to 24 newsletters per year (UK and International versions area available,) priority information, booking preference, lower fares, a free annual copy of Passenger Services Over Unusual Lines and valuable discounts on sales. Some fixtures are 'members only' Join the Society today!

Contact: Kev Adlam, Kevin.Adlam@merchantrentals.co.uk
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South Tynedale Railway is pleased to announce that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award.

The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide.

Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website.
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We will be running a family fun weekend here at the South Tynedale Railway from Saturday 24th May to Monday 26th May.

An assortment of our friendly locomotives will be running services on those days and other activities will be announced soon so keep your eyes on Google+, Twitter and our website at https://www.south-tynedale-railway.org.uk/

Activities confirmed so far include face painting, cake and biscuit decorating. 

Subject to crew availability drive-a-diesel will be in operation - come along and try your hand!
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We have already hosted a number of children's birthday parties and despite some inclement weather they have been well received and everyone went away with a smile on their face.

If you are interested in having a children's birthday party or other special event on board one of our trains then please get in touch through the website by going to https://www.south-tynedale-railway.org.uk/birthdays/
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The Railway Station
Alston
Cumbria
CA9 3JB
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