The original terminus of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway branch from Haltwhistle is the headquarters of the South Tynedale Railway. Visit the amenities to be found in the original Newcastle and Carlisle Railway station building or visit “The Hub” Museum which is housed in the former Newcastle and Carlisle Railway goods shed adjacent to our station building. If you have a few minutes join the South Tyne Trail as it leaves the car park behind the signal box and walk along to the carriage and engine sheds. While they are not normally open to the public you never know what might be standing in the yards.As it leaves Alston Station the line crosses the road leading to the station car park - our only barrier controlled level crossing (all other crossings are user operated farm crossings), and your driver will collect the token for the single line section to the present terminus at Kirkhaugh.
The line passes the carriage workshop (which in December is transformed into Santa’s Grotto for our ever popular Santa Specials) before running along side the sidings giving access to our loco shed and the new carriage shed.
Initially the South Tyne Valley Trail runs to the west of our line, but as the line passes the northern end of the shed complex the trail crosses it to parallel the line on to its east for the rest of the journey. Photo:- The locomotive shed at Alston, around 1990. Photographer: Dan CrowThe line runs onto the Tyne Viaduct with picturesque views of the river and rock formations below you as your journey continues north-west towards our original terminus at Gilderdale - the sharp eyed passenger may see the remains of the station to the east of the train as you pass under the overbridge at this point.
The line continues through beautiful open countryside with views of the site of the Roman fort “Whitley Castle” to the west, and the picturesque hamlet of Kirkhaugh with its church nestling close to the river below your train on the eastern side of the line.
Then, just after about 2¼ miles, and about 15 minutes after your departure from Alston you arrive at our present terminus at Kirkhaugh, complete with its family of carved deer (were you eyes keen enough to see the other carved animals to be found on the South Tyne Valley Trail?).
Your train will wait at the station for a few minutes while the locomotive runs round and both it and the crew prepare for the return journey. Take the opportunity of purchasing a drink from the buffet car, have a look at how our extension is progressing, or take one of the many waymarked walks from the station and return on a later train, but be warned, we do operate to a timetable, so if you are going to leave the platform area, please confirm the time of the departure with the guard - otherwise you may have a longer than expected wait for your return journey!
We hope that you enjoy your journey and will come back and travel with us again in the future. One of these days it will be to Slaggyford - giving you twice the scenery to enjoy!