Watch Out for the Cotton Mill Express
Friday, 2 November 2007
THE age of steam and cotton is returning to Hebden Bridge once again with a 400-passenger train hauled out of Manchester Victoria by two steam locomotives for a 100-mile trip around the region.
The train, which could become a permanent attraction, has been named the Cotton Mill Express, highlighting the area's textile industry heritage.
It features period carriages from the 1950s and 60s and will leave Victoria at 9.45 tomorrow morning for a six-hour circular tour, visiting Stalybridge, Huddersfield, Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge, Burnley, Darwen and Bolton.
If it is a success, the firm plans to introduce a monthly service from early next year, increasing to once a fortnight if there is enough demand.
Director Andy Staite said: "Many parts of the country now have regular summer steam trains - London, Birmingham and York, for example - but our area has nothing and sees steam trains only spasmodically.
"Manchester is surrounded on three sides by dramatic scenery as good as anything else in England, and the city has a great deal to offer visitors these days. We think the Cotton Mill Express will not just be part of the tourism market, but will help promote it, luring visitors and local people with the power of steam.
"Lancashire was steam's last retreat in the 1960s when British Rail and Beeching embarked on modernising the railway.
Previously, on the Hebweb
Hebweb news June 2007: Steam train comes to Hebden Bridge