The much-loved East Lancashire Railway (ELR) is reopening this February, with a calendar packed full of events and there’s something for everyone. 

Families looking for something exciting to keep the children entertained at half-term can now book on one of the railway’s children’s adventure days, including pirate, dinosaur and wizard – themed days. While train enthusiasts can kick off their return to the railway with a bang with a chance to see Royal Scot at the Spring Steam Gala, and lovers can enjoy a Valentine’s dinner aboard one of the iconic Pullman-style carriages.

Wizards’ Academy 

Aspiring witches and wizards can gather at the ELR, for a day of sharing spells and magic themed fun. Visitors, young and old, will enjoy an array of performances from magical creatures before boarding the Wizard Express, for a two-hour round trip journey through the Irwell Valley of wonders. To help work on their magic, visitors will also receive books teaching them skills needed to defeat the evil wand-bearers.

Wizards’ Adventure Day for February half-term will take place on Wednesday 16th February, and then the magical event returns for a selection of dates later on in the year: 6th April, 13th April and 1st June.

Dinky Dinosaur Adventure 

Dinosaur lovers will be able to have a close encounter with prehistoric creatures and maybe even give a T-Rex a tickle under the chin, before being transported back to the Jurrassic period on a steam train ride through the Irwell Valley. Children and parents alike will join colourful characters on their journey through the Lancashire countryside and through time.

Dinky Dinosaur Adventure Day for February half-term will take place on Thursday 17th February, and then the event will return for a selection of dates later on in the year: 7th April, 14th April and 2nd June.

Pirates’ Adventure Days 

Adventure-seekers are invited aboard the world’s first Pirate Steam Train, where they can earn their sea-legs learning the basics of map reading and singing sea shanties. There may even be a hidden treasure!

Pirate Adventure Day for February half-term will take place on Friday 18th February, and then the event will return for a selection of dates later on in the year: 8th April and 15th April.

Winter Diesel Gala

This is your first chance in 2022 to see a fantastic display of ELR’s magnificent diesel locomotives as they hurtle up and down the railway, hauling passengers with an intensive timetable.

Classic diesels set to make an appearance include Class 24 D5054; Class 25 25279, which has been recently outshopped in BR Blue Class 33 33109 ‘Captain Bill Smith RNR’; Class 45 45108; Class 47’s D1501 and 47765.

Guests can ride as often as they like with a day rover.

The Winter Diesel Gala is taking place on Saturday 12th February.

Spring Steam Gala

Join ELR’s team of dedicated volunteers for the first big steam event of the year, celebrating a number of magnificent steam locomotives.

One of the ‘Icons of Steam’, 46100 Royal Scot is making its first visit to the ELR over the first gala of the year.

Built in 1927, Royal Scot was the flagship locomotive of the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company, operating the fastest services on the West Coast from London to Manchester and Glasgow. After a five-year overhaul she returned to steam on the mainline in 2016.

Train enthusiasts won’t want to miss this fantastic opportunity to ride behind a locomotive that usually operates primarily on the mainline.

The Spring Steam gala runs on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th February, with both single, two and three-day tickets available.

Valentine’s Dinner

What could be more romantic than an elegant meal for two on board an iconic steam train. Couples and friends are invited to enjoy an indulgent four-course dinner complemented by some fine fizz, while cruising through the beautiful Irwell Valley.

Always a sell-out and rated 5 stars on Tripadvisor, tickets are expected to steam out the station quickly!

The special Valentine’s Diner at ELR is held on Saturday 12th February.

To buy tickets or for more information on any of the events, please click here or contact East Lancashire Railway at 0333 320 2830.


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