Enjoy the stunning Dales scenery on the Harry Potter train

A heritage steam train will call at Clitheroe on 13 Tuesdays over the summer to take passengers on a return journey over the spectacular Settle-Carlisle line, once voted the second greatest railway route in the world.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 7:00 am

Several of the carefully-restored 1950s crimson carriages on The Pendle Dalesman featured in the Harry Potter movies as part of the Hogwarts Express that took the boy magician to school.

They will be hauled to Carlisle and back by a vintage steam locomotive, which once pulled crack British Rail express trains over the route through the Yorkshire Dales before diesel engines took over during the 1960s.

Passengers in Premier First Class can sip champagne while tucking into a full English breakfast on the outward journey followed by a four-course dinner served with wine on the way home in the evening.

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Locomotive Scots Guardsman prepares to pull the Dalesman train over the Settle-Carlisle line. Picture by Malcolm Tattersall

The train is a sister service to West Coast Railway’s Dalesman and Scarborough Spa Express trains, which operate over part of the same route every summer. But the Pendle Dalesman will be the first one to pick up passengers at Clitheroe.

A spokesman said: “The 72-mile Settle-Carlisle line has been voted the second greatest railway journey in the world and it’s not hard to see why. This was a triumph of Victorian engineering when it opened in the 19th century, cutting through the northern Pennines and Yorkshire Dales with 22 spectacular viaducts and 14 tunnels. In previous years we have run our popular Dalesman trip over a similar route, picking up passengers at Preston and Skipton.

“But from May 18th, we will be complementing that with the Pendle Dalesman, which will run via Blackburn, Clitheroe and Long Preston.”

Although exact timings have not yet been worked out, the train will stop long enough in Carlisle for passengers to visit the Norman castle or the 12th century Gothic cathedral.

The 1930s-style Northern Belle Pullman train – described by actor Bill Nighy on Channel 5 last month as “the Grand Duchess of luxury trains” – will also operate over the Settle-Carlisle line this summer, hauled by the crimson-painted Princess Elizabeth steam locomotive.

Fares start at £90 return in Standard Class on the Pendle Dalesman train. For more details and to book see www.westcoastrailways.co.uk. Details of the Northern Belle can be found at www.northernbelle.co.uk.