Steam Train Trips See a Rebirth in 2011 with Increased Passenger Numbers

Industry: Lifestyle, Railways

The age of steam has not been forgotten with more and more people taking steam train trips in their leisure time.

Kent, UK (PRUnderground) June 13th, 2011

Heritage railways and steam train trips have always been a popular pastime in the UK, but recent figures show that visitor numbers at steam railways are increasing year on year.

This observation is backed up with a general flux of passengers turning to rail travel as an alternative form of transport. A survey conducted for the Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) showed a sixth of rail users had left the car at home and switched to train trips for at least one journey during February and March this year.

The new found popularity in train travel seems to have rubbed off on the heritage steam railways too. During the first quarter of 2011, East Lancashire Steam Railway experienced a record-breaking attendance over the May Bank Holiday weekend with over 8500 people visiting the station and taking steam train excursions on the historic line.

In Leicestershire, the Great Central Railway is the UK’s only double track, main line heritage railway and their weekend train trips have been so successful this Spring that they are adding more theme days to the calendar, including a diesel gala day and the inaugural Fireman Sam day.

Enthusiasm for steam train trips and excursions has never been higher and several new steam train projects are in progress throughout the country. After 75 years of inactivity, steam train trips on the West Highland service in Snowdonia are set to recommence.

More than 1000 volunteers worked over 14 years to lay the 25 miles of track that winds up the Snowdonia National Park. The railway, which will be run by the same people as the renowned Ffestiniog Railway, will be the longest heritage track offering steam train trips in the UK when it opens this summer.

In Derbyshire the Peak Rail extension between Rowsley Station and Matlock is nearing completion. Once opened, the heritage railway will link direct to the mainline station, meaning the dream of running steam train excursions from all over the UK to the Peak District will become a reality.

Indeed, the first scheduled steam train trip is the Peak Forester service from London King’s Cross to Matlock, then all the way through to Rowsley South Station. The event will see the first steam train trip arriving into Matlock Station for 50 years and the new line is expected to be extremely popular.

With the price of petrol continuing to increase, train trips are set to continue their revival, whether it’s on the mainline network on a modern electric-powered train, or on a nostalgic steam train trip.

For more information contact Caroline Face at caroline@intotheblue.co.uk

Into the Blue offers steam train trips with luncheon or dinner included from £79 for two, as well as a murder mystery tour on the Orient Express alongside more interactive experiences such as the chance to drive a steam train, ride on the footplate or go on a behind the scenes day at heritage steam railway.

About Into the Blue:

Into the Blue is a specialist experience activity gift voucher company that started life in 1996 as an off-shoot of Air Displays International Ltd (operator of the world-renowned Biggin Hill Air Fair), offering flying activities and lessons.

Since then, the company has added a whole range of different activities to the portfolio of activity gift voucher experiences, which now totals in excess of 800. All experiences are available to buy directly from intotheblue.co.uk or by calling 01959 578100.

The company continues to evolve the range and believes that there is a perfect experience suitable for every individual and for every occasion.

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Caroline Face
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