‘Pardon me boy, is this the chive and chutney choo choo?’

Actually there were no chives or chutney but I was desperate to find a railway inspired pun. I’d like to apologise but I’m afraid you’ll have to put up with it….

It was grey, chilly and overcast when we set off for Bedale, to meet up with our friends, Malcolm and his wife Margaret, a fellow blogger. We were booked on the Afternoon Tea Train, a new venture for Wensleydale Rail . The line is largely staffed and run by enthusiastic volunteers, who serve in the station shop, maintain the track and act as guards and drivers.

Imagine if you can, boarding a 1912 LNWR Railway Directors Saloon carriage, sitting down at a beautifully arranged table and being served sandwiches, cakes, scones and tea or coffee, all while the train wends it’s way through scenic Wensleydale.


Don’t imagine for one nanosecond, that this is in any way redolent of curled up BR sandwiches and tea being slopped into saucers. The service was impeccable, as was the food. Along the way, we were given background information about the line and the history of the carriage by Nigel, front of house (or possibly saloon) and owner of Institution.

Sadly the scheduled steam engine was out of service, so we were pulled along by a vintage diesel shunter. On reaching Redmire we were offered the chance to stretch our legs while the engine swapped ends, ready for the return run to Bedale.


After 45 minutes, we alighted at Bedale, thankful for this opportunity to wallow in nostalgia and sample, if only for a short time, how rail travel might have been. The afternoon was still cloudy and unseasonally cold but we were glowing with happiness…If you are in the area, this is an experience not to be missed.


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