Photo: Andy Stephenson

The South Tynedale Railway is a charming narrow gauge railway running from Alston towards Northumberland. Constructed by volunteers on the foundation of a former standard gauge branch between Newcastle and Carlisle, the line is full of historic significance.

It is thus maintained and kept running by the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society. Services for the railway start at Easter and run every weekend up until the end of October. Adults and children alike will delight at the traditional steam locomotives as they chug away across some of the most breath-taking countryside of northern England.

The origin of the railway begin 200 years ago, when Alston was a major commercial centre for the lead mining industry, producing about 10,000 tonnes of lead per year. A branch line was built in 1846 allowing the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway Company to build a line leading to the mines at Nenthead.

The branch line served the communities in the South Tyne Valley area, until it closed completely in 1976. Rescued a year later by the preservation society, the line now runs from Gilderdale onto the Tyne viaduct through the beautiful countryside.

South Tynedale Railway is s thoroughly enjoyable day out and a tribute that lies close to the local community’s heart.


The Railway Station, Alston, Cumbria, CA9 3JB
Tel: 01434 381696
Times: Easter – October, see attraction for specific details.