A new winter Sunday train service is set to be launched between Preston and Hellifield in North Yorkshire.
Northern Rail, in partnership with Community Rail Lancashire, has organised the ‘Ribble Valley Rambler’, which will operate from Sunday, September 15 through to Sunday, May 11 next year.
The service operates two return trips between Blackpool North and Preston and Hellifield via Clitheroe and connects into services on the Settle to Carlisle line at Hellifield.
It will offer passengers the opportunity to enjoy the scenery of the Ribble Valley and Yorkshire Dales from autumn through to spring.
The Ribble Valley Rambler has been designed to provide a short day out and allow enough time to enjoy a walk or to explore towns such as Blackburn, Clitheroe, Settle or Appleby.
Richard Watts, partnership secretary, said: “This is an exciting new service offering the opportunity to see the beautiful Ribble Valley and Settle Carlisle line during the picturesque seasons.
“A supporting programme of events has been developed including tours around Whalley Abbey and Ribblehead Viaduct, guided walks, food markets, storytelling and Christmas lights. Look out for details and we look forward to welcoming you on a train very soon.”
Northern Rail is the biggest train operator in Britain, providing 2,500 local and regional train services every day across the north of England, serving a population of nearly 15m.
Craig Harrop, client and stakeholder manager at Northern Rail, said: “We are really pleased to build on the success of our summer DalesRail service. We have worked closely with our colleagues at Community Rail Lancashire in developing this seasonal alternative, which will give the people of Lancashire a wonderful opportunity to explore the Ribble Valley and the Dales throughout the winter months.”
Community Rail Lancashire and Northern Rail thanked Ribble Valley Rail, Lancashire Rail Ramblers, Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line and Friends of DalesRail for their help in preparing for the launch of the service.
Full details of the service including the timetable, special fares and a full events programme can be found by visiting the website at http://ribblevalleyrambler.wordpress.com
Events on the opening Sunday include Whalley Village Food Market, from 10am to 4pm, Settle Heritage Open Day, which sees The Folly & Museum of North Craven Life open from 12.30pm to 4.30pm and Giggleswick School Chapel open from 1pm to 4.30pm, and a Whalley Abbey Walk at 5pm.