Published: 24th February 2014
or ride The Steam Spaghetti Western from Birmingham or travel by Luxury Pullman from Edinburgh and Glasgow to the Ryder Cup in September.
Perhaps the most famous train in the World is ‘The Hogwarts Express’ and very, very few people get the chance to ride on it. In fact, the last time it ran with passengers on board was in July 2009 between Paddington and Oxford.
The train is owned by West Coast Railways and is really a former Great Western Railway 4-6-0 ‘Hall’ Class steam locomotive No. 5972 Olton Hall”. This engine and a set of maroon carriages formed the Hogwarts Express train in the Harry Potter series of films and the engine renamed Hogwarts Castle.
The special train will run on June 7 using Hogwarts Castle between Carnforth and York in each direction. If you can’t get to Carnforth, then the train starts at Manchester Victoria and calls at Bolton, Wigan North Western, Preston and Lancaster on the way to Carnforth when the famous red engine is attached to the train. Thus making the “Wizards Express” complete!
On departure from Carnforth, the train takes the scenic route via Hellifield to Skipton before passing through Leeds and on to York where passengers will have about four hours to relax or go sightseeing before the return trip commences.
The evening of Friday April 4 promises to be interesting as Vintage Trains is offering Italian Cuisine on a steam hauled Pullman train from their Birmingham base at Tyseley using their Great Western Railway steam locomotive, ‘Castle Class’ No. 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe.
The train has imaginatively called ‘The Great Spaghetti Western and in actuality is a test run for the engine following a few months under routine winter maintenance.
The engine and its water carrier, a converted parcels van, will be used in several long distance express trains later in 2014 and both need to be tested before these operations. One of these will commemorate the final express train run 50 years ago by British Rail arranged to mark the end of this class of steam engine on express trains to and from Paddington which runs on Saturday May 10.
The Italian Pullman departs from the Vintage Trains Tyseley Warwick Road platform which is about a ten minute walk from Tyseley main line station just after 5pm and calls at Coleshill Parkway before heading off into through Warwickshire and into the Leicestershire countryside as far as Leicester for a brief stop for a leg stretch and to check the engine. The train then heads north through Loughborough and then turns off towards Castle Donington, Burton-on-Trent and Tamworth before reaching Coleshill Parkway and Tyseley at around 9:30pm.
There is a range of seating available on the train ranging from a Four Course Classic Italian meal prepared by Vintage Trains’ Chef. On the menu is Antipasto followed by Primo then Secondo Piatto. Desert followed by tea or coffee with Biscotti will complete the meal.
Fares range from a Premier Dining place at ₤79.00 including the 4-course meal to just £39 for a standard class seat which excludes refreshments which will be offered on the train to non-dining passengers.
This year The Ryder Cup returns to the UK and is being played in Scotland at Gleneagles near Perth in late September. A promotional steam train was run on September 23 from Edinburgh to Gleneagles and Perth with Ryder Cup Captains Paul McGinley and Tom Watson on board along with the Ryder Cup trophy and Scotland’s First Minister.
Golfing fans will be able to travel in similar luxury to the VIPs in privately owned Pullman Carriages recently restored to a very high quality. Trains will operate from Glasgow and Edinburgh between Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th September inclusive offering a very limited number of seats on the diesel hauled trains.
European Captain Paul McGinley said; “The Ryder Cup is an iconic event in the worlds sporting calendar and what better way to arrive at Gleneagles than on an iconic steam train The Scots Guardsman, built 1927, the year of the first Ryder Cup”.
So this is a real chance for golf fans to take their seat in history and travel to the Ryder Cup in the very same carriages as used by the team Captains and they can choose to sample the luxury experience of Premier Dining or First Class service, both offered in the Pullman carriages.
A crowd of over 50,000 spectators are expected to visit Gleneagles for the match so travel by train is best and by