Browse through our blog posts to find out what life is like at Hoe Grange Holidays along with some great ideas for days out in the Peak District.
What is it about the sights and sound of a steam train? It is such a romantic image, viewed through rose tinted spectacles, which takes you back in time to a bygone era!
I think it's the fact that it's a multi sensory experience; your senses are brought alive as you watch the smoke swirling skywards, hear the sharp hissing of steam escaping and breathe in the unique evocative smells of a real steam engine.
You can experience all this at Peak Rail, watching the engine get up steam, before climbing on board and settling back in the beautifully restored carriages to enjoy a unique view of the Derwent Valley.
The Peak Rail line has been re-instated mostly by volunteers and was originally part of the old Midland Railway line between Manchester Central and London St Pancras which was closed in 1968. It currently operates both steam and diesel trains over a distance of 4 miles between Rowsley South Station and Matlock Platform 2.
Whilst the line is relatively short it is still an interesting experience. Peak Rail's long term aim is to reopen the line between Buxton and Matlock, and extend the heritage train services.
Rowley South Station has an impressive 60 ft working turntable and a steam engine/restoration shed (not open to the public) and is the main base of all Peak Rail’s operating activities. There are many events throughout the summer including the popular 1940's weekend on 4th & 5th August 2018.
Good news for many of our holiday guests is that Peak Rail have thought about accessibility and have space for up to 3 wheelchairs in one of their carriages. Just ask the staff for help and to use the mobile ramp to board the train. Rowsley South Station has the easiest access up a wide ramp to the platform and the best disabled facilities.
There is also a station buffet serving mouth watering bacon rolls, home-made meals and cakes, whilst the shop stocks a range of railway goodies for both visitors and railway enthusiasts alike.
To add to the authentic experience you can you can also enjoy the luxury of Pullman Style dining as the train leisurely travels along the line.
Make Sunday extra special with a delicious roast dinner, (£25 per head) or treat yourself to a sumptuous cream tea with a sparkling glass of Prosecco (from £15.50). Peak Rail believes in the old fashioned values of quality and customer service, so you are guaranteed a good time.
The Midland Railway route linking Derby and Manchester carved through Derbyshire’s great limestone hills, and has been described as the most scenic railway lines in Britain. The hilly terrain meant that numerous tunnels and other impressive civil engineering features had to be constructed, including the magnificent viaducts at Millers Dale and Monsal Dale. You can still take in these breath taking views today as The Monsal Trail is now a traffic free walking, cycle and horse riding route.
The railway was not just a passenger line, but freight traffic was also of great importance throughout its history.
Following the demise of the Lancashire coalfields during the inter-war years, much of the coal to power the industry of the north-west had to be transferred across the Peak District from the East Midlands.
Imagine yourself on the footplate, taking hold of the regulator, the heat of the roaring fire and steady beat of the loco under your control! You can gain an understanding of what it was like to be an engine driver by booking a Steam Experience Course (from £115).
My grandfather was a fireman on the Great Western Railway, which judging from the dirty face of today's stoker must have been a very hot, grimy and tough job!
During the summer months trains run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
Adult - 8.00
Senior Citizens - £6.50
Children under 3 years (maximum of two per paying adult) - Free
Children 3 - 5 years - £2.30
Children 6 - 15 years - £4.30
Family Ticket (2 Adults and up to 3 Children) - £24.00
Fares allow unlimited travel on date of purchase.
(Fares may change on some special events)
David and I had a fun day out and I hope our blog will inspire you to take a trip on a steam train at Peak Rail during your stay with us at Hoe Grange Holidays!
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