East Lancashire Railway Whether you are a die hard train enthusiast or you just fancy a day out somewhere different, why not head up to Bury’s historic East Lancashire Railway. The modern day ELR is a heritage railway operating over 2 sections of line – both built in the 19th century to serve 2 routes that passed through the mill town of Bury. The station now runs both diesel and steam locomotives throughout the year, holding numerous special events as well as standard services to some of the prettiest villages and towns in the north west including Heywood with its traditional indoor market, Irwell Vale which lies in a designated conservation area and Ramsbottom, home to the famous Peel Monument. If you’re a little thirsty, then the Real Ale Trail may be for you – this trip allows you to take in not only the stunning countryside but also the many outstanding pubs that the region has to offer – all joined together by the railway. You can enjoy sampling the various ales and ciders at every stop. If you are looking for something that’s more child friendly, then the Teddy Bear’s Party on 26 August is ideal. The kids can bring along their teddy bears for a day of fun right along the railway line and at the nearby Bury Transport Museum – including a funfair and craft workshop.
Towards the end of October the station will also be running Halloween Ghost Trains – this is sure to be a scary ride as ghosts and goblins join you for a spooky journey through dark and eerie tunnels and past long abandoned stations! If you are looking for a more sophisticated experience, then the ELR can provide this too – midweek luncheons are available at £23.50 per person for 2 courses and allow you to take in an informal meal in the beautiful surroundings of the dining carriages. The steam train travels from Bury to Rawtenstall which takes around 40 minutes, then back again – during which time you are served lunch in the old Pullman Type dining carriages. The menu varies depending on when you travel, but includes classic dishes such as sausage and mash followed by bakewell tart! There is also a bar on board so you can purchase a tipple to accompany your meal if you wish. The midweek luncheon coincides with market day at Bury, so you can combine your trip with some shopping too – perfect!