A new train service taking passengers from Greater Manchester to the Yorkshire Dales is set to launch this weekend

Known as the Yorkshire Dales Explorer, the return service will run from Rochdale to Ribblehead twice a day on Saturdays, with the first departing on June 8.

It will call at stations including Manchester Victoria, Salford Crescent, Bolton, Blackburn, Clitheroe, Hellifield and Settle.

Northern is offering adult return tickets from Manchester Victoria to Ribblehead for £25, so ramblers and nature lovers can enjoy an affordable day out in the Dales.

They will be able to make the journey between those two stations in around two hours, travelling along a route which features some impressive scenery.

Craig Harrop, regional director for Northern, said: “We’re excited to introduce this brand-new service that will allow customers to travel into the heart of the Dales at a reasonable price this summer.

“They can get off the train at Hellifield, Settle, Horton-in-Ribblesdale or Ribblehead if they want to get out and explore the spectacular national park.”

Trains will depart from Rochdale at 7.52am and 2.52pm on Saturdays, calling at 18 stops before they reach Ribblehead. The return trains will depart from Ribblehead at 11.08am and 6.05pm.

Customers alighting at Ribblehead can take a short walk to see the famous Ribblehead Viaduct or catch another train to continue north on the Settle-Carlisle line and visit other destinations in the Dales, such as Garsdale and Dent.

Lizzie Bushby, member champion for recreation management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “We’re really pleased that Northern is running this service. It will provide opportunities for visitors from the North West to visit the National Park this summer.

“The journey itself will be a great experience with amazing views of the National Park, and there will be lots to do when people arrive.”

Richard Watts, chair of Community Rail Lancashire, said: “This is an exciting development which Community Rail Lancashire will enthusiastically support.

“We are developing, with our partners the Lancashire Rail Ramblers and the Friends of the Settle Carlisle, a comprehensive guided walk programme helping people to enjoy the lovely Dales countryside with an experienced leader.

“The walks will also include history trails highlighting the fascinating stories in the communities along the line.”


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