Thursday, September 22, 2011

Steam journey keeps Saltburn celebrations on track.

Railway enthusiasts are being offered a unique opportunity to step back in time to the glory days of steam travel - when a long-forgotten passenger line is re-opened for one day only.

On Sunday October 2, a steam train will run from the city of York to Boulby, on the edge of the North York Moors, and make a special stop at Saltburn to mark the coastal town's 150th anniversary celebrations.

The one-off 'Saltburn 150' journey is designed to showcase some of the Redcar & Cleveland borough's most stunning scenery and give rail aficiandos the chance to travel on tracks which may never be opened to passengers again.

As a result of the 1963 Beeching review of the rail network, all passenger traffic past Saltburn was subsequently stopped, with only a service line to the steelworks at Skinningrove remaining in the area.

However, the discovery of potash - and the start of production at Boulby Mine in 1973 - led to a line servicing the facility being rebuilt.

Chairman of the Saltburn 150 group, Philip Thomson, is hoping that next month's steam journey will give passengers lucky enough to secure a seat the chance to savour the area's proud rail heritage.

The service will leave York at 10am and arrive in Boulby about 12.15pm, before heading onto Saltburn for 1.15pm.

It will be greeted by brass bands upon arrival in Saltburn, home of the Zetland building which was once one of the world's earliest purpose-built railway hotels, with first-class passengers enjoying their own private platform.

Mr Thomson said: "There have been many popular events throughout the year to commemorate this landmark anniversary of the founding of Saltburn-by-the-Sea by Henry Pease.

"But the steam train journey is one of the most eagerly-anticipated yet and offers a magnificent opportunity for both local people and railway enthusiasts from across the country to be part of an historic occasion."

Tickets cost £45 and are available in person from Saltburn Library, from the 'This is Redcar & Cleveland' tourist information office on Redcar High Street, or via telephone on 01642 471921.

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