Published: 6th May 2014
Ever visited a heritage railway and ended up disappointed because the heavens opened and rain prevented seeing everything? Silly question, of course you have - this is Britain!
The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway in Derbyshire has the answer with its newly introduced ‘Rainy Day Guarantee’ to keep the skies clear! The unique offer is simple. During the months of May, June, July and August, if you visit the railway and it rains continuously for three hours or more, ticket holders will qualify for a free ticket to return when the weather has improved.
“The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway is Derbyshire’s longest heritage line and the beautiful views of this unspoiled valley are best experienced by train during sunny weather,” commented EVR commercial director, Tom Tait.
“We want our visitors to enjoy the wonderful vistas during their visit to the railway. Not only do we offer the best of Derbyshire scenery but we are so lucky to have an abundance of wildlife which can normally be seen from our trains, but unfortunately are more difficult to spot when it's raining. If the weather prevents passengers from delighting in the Ecclesbourne Valley at its best, we will be offering our visitors free return tickets.”
What could be fairer than that!
Travel to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway is straightforward with East Midlands Trains serving Duffield station, the terminus of the heritage line.
Many preserved railways suffer when the weather turns out to be hot and sunny. Especially if they are within 30 miles of the coast. Unless of course, they can offer something special such as Peppa Pig who is celebrating her 10th anniversary this year.
The Mid Hants Railway, which runs for 10 miles between Alresford and Alton in Hampshire is hosting a Peppa Pig event between May 26 and June 1st. Although the rainy day guarantee does not apply at the Hampshire railway, it will be a good family show to visit and has proved more popular than Thomas The Tank Engine recently at preserved railways. Peppa will be at Alresford station for the event and not travelling on the railway to its other stations.
The MHR has a visitor centre at Alresford and huge engineering workshops at Ropley where visitors can see locomotive restoration underway. Medstead and Four Marks station is the highest in the south of England at over 600 feet altitude.
Entry to the Peppa event is by holding a travel ticket only and once tickets have been purchased, they cannot be changed or cancelled for any reason.
The MHR is accessed at a cross-platform interchange at Alton station served by a frequent Southwest Trains service from Waterloo, Woking and Aldershot.
The Mid Hants says that visitors should park at either Alton station, where there is an additional large new car park at the station behind the Waitrose store, or at Alresford station where there is overflow parking at Perins School; levels 2 and 3 are open on school holidays and weekends, just two minutes walk from the station.