Published: 03/04/2013 16:00 - Updated: 04/04/2013 16:39

All aboard for steam train experience

Written byKATHRYN CAIN

A STEAM train, famous for its appearance on BBC 2’s Top Gear programme, will be dropping into Bedford for the first time ever as it makes its journey up to the border with Scotland.

The Cathedrals Express, will arrive at Bedford Train Station on Tuesday, April 23 diesel hauled before steam joins the train in Yorkshire for the journey over the picturesque Settle and Carlisle Railway.

The steam loco in question is A1 class 60163 Tornado built by enthusiasts after British Rail steam ended and finished in 2008 at a cost of £3 million.

Tornado made international headlines when it ran in a Top Gear special race between London and Edinburgh vying with a vintage motorbike and car.

The train will leave Bedford at 7.45am and return 11pm and passengers will enjoy two hours of steam hauled adventure in each direction between Yorkshire and Carlisle with enough time in Carlisle itself to explore this historic city with the Cathedral

Passengers on The Cathedrals Express can choose four different classes ranging from £99 in Premium Standard, where staff bring complimentary tea and coffee to passengers sat at table-clothed tables for four, up to £225 in luxurious Pullman style in upgrated 1950s first class vehicles – these lucky passengers have a two course champagne brunch and five course dinner with complimentary wine.

Steam Dreams’ Chairman, Marcus Robertson, is looking forward to bringing The Cathedrals Express to Bedford - “This is one of the best known trips that we do – the Settle and Carlisle line has been featured many times on television and was, of course, only saved in the 1980s from closure by the famous landmark efforts of rail campaigners. The trip across the Pennines behind steam is absolutely breath-taking and, of course, takes in the world famous Ribblehead viaduct which was featured just recently on Michael Portillo’s journeys. It is great that passengers from Bedford can enjoy this trip from their local station.

For bookings contact The Cathedrals Express on 01483 209888 or visit the website on www.CathedralsExpress.co.uk

Picture by Tony Bartlett at Hungerford 2012

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