The Wensleydale Railway is a tourist and heritage line starting at Leeming Bar and traveling up to Redmire on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, passing through the Georgian market town of Bedale and the Dales market town of Leyburn, with constantly changing scenery, from the arable lands of the Vale of Mowbray in the east, to hills of the Yorkshire Dales in the west.
A little bit about our stations ….
Most of our journeys start at Leeming Bar station, the headquarters of the Railway and where maintenance work on the coaches and locomotives takes place. Many of the diesel locomotives in the yard are being restored by volunteers, a long and usually difficult process but well worth the effort involved.
Bedale is a station staffed entirely by volunteers, who have restored the station to its former glory. Bedale is a small Georgian market town, one of the gateways to the dales with many listed buildings and the Church of St. Gregory on the main street.
Finghall Lane, the next station, is the smallest station on the line and is a request stop. The guard will walk down the train asking passengers for Finghall to assemble in one place, as only one carriage fits on the short platform. Passengers wanting to board here must put out their hand to stop the train. The station buildings were used in the filming of “All Creatures Great and Small” The next possible stop from here is not a railway station, but a passing loop, where two trains can safely pass each other.
Leyburn is a market town, with many fine buildings and a lively market. The station has been restored by volunteers, and work is just starting on installing another passing loop and a second platform, which we will need to run a more regular service to Redmire. As we leave Leyburn, to the right is Leyburn Shawl, a steep slope with walks and spectacular views across Wensleydale along the top. It is known as The Shawl as, according to local legend, when Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner at Castle Bolton, she tried to escape and dropped her shawl on the footpath.
Redmire is the end of the line at present. From the station are short walks to Castle Bolton or Redmire Force, both well worth a visit, or a longer walk to the spectacular Aysgarth Falls. You can see the ramp where the army trains are loaded and also the last remains of the gantry used to load the limestone.
You can start your journey at any of our stations along the line and with our standard return you can hop on and off the train at intermediate stations as many times as you like. Or why not buy a single ticket and walk or cycle back? The choice is yours.
The line is a predominantly heritage diesel line, with steam services operating over selected weekends, special events and the summer months. For further information please see the timetable page for days on which the steam service runs.
Why not join us for one of our special events that we run throughout the year including the gin and prosecco trains, The WensleyAle Annual Festival or the Santa Trains! Our events calendar is updated frequently and can be found on our website.
We also offer a renowned high-class afternoon tea service. Afternoon Tea will be served in a luxurious London and North Western Railway Directors’ Saloon built in 1912 as the train winds its way along Wensleydale – the perfect way to spend a leisurely afternoon. For information on how to book please click here or call 01677 425541
Our award-winning heritage and education programme will be running during the summer months, at the beautifully-restored Victorian station at Scruton near Bedale.
Our innovative school visit programme, offers pupils the chance to experience what life was like in rural North Yorkshire during the First World War at our authentically-restored station in the village of Scruton.
The Wensleydale railway is run mainly by volunteers and every guest that joins us helps to contribute to the preservation of the railway.
Volunteering is a great way to enhance your skills, learn something new and make friends.
Areas of work include:
If you would like to become more involved with the railway and/or become a volunteer more information can be found on our website.