The Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway is a heritage railway in North Yorkshire, England. It operates on a 2.5-mile (4 km) section of the former Midland Railway line between the villages of Embsay and Bolton Abbey. The railway is run by volunteers and is open to the public during the summer months, offering train rides on steam and diesel engines. The railway also hosts special events throughout the year, such as Santa Specials and Thomas the Tank Engine days. The railway also features a museum and a gift shop on the Embsay station.
Location: Bolton Abbey, Skipton BD23 6AF
The Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway has a long history dating back to the 19th century. The railway line was opened in 1888 by the Midland Railway as part of a route connecting Skipton and Ilkley. The line was primarily used for transporting goods, but it also had a passenger service. In the 1930s, the line saw a decline in use and passenger service was eventually discontinued. In the 1960s, the railway line was threatened with closure and demolition, but a group of local railway enthusiasts formed the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Preservation Society and worked to save the line.
In the 1970s, the society was able to purchase a section of the railway line, and in 1979, the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway officially opened to the public as a heritage railway. Since then, the railway has been operated and maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers, and it has become a popular tourist attraction in the area. The railway has also undergone several renovations and improvements, including the restoration of several original buildings and the acquisition of new steam and diesel engines.
Annual Events at Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway
The Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway hosts several special events throughout the year. Some of the popular annual events include:
- Santa Specials: During the Christmas season, the railway offers special train rides with Santa Claus and his elves. Passengers can meet Santa, receive a gift, and enjoy festive decorations on the train.
- Thomas the Tank Engine days: The railway hosts several events throughout the year featuring Thomas the Tank Engine, a popular children’s character from the “Thomas & Friends” series. During these events, children can ride on a train pulled by a Thomas the Tank Engine replica, meet the character, and participate in other activities.
- Steam Gala: The railway holds an annual Steam Gala event, which features a variety of steam engines in operation, including a chance to ride behind a visiting engine.
- Heritage Transport Show: The railway holds a Heritage Transport Show that usually happens in September, with a variety of vintage vehicles and a different theme each year
- Other special events, such as Easter Egg hunts, 1940s weekends, and vintage vehicle days.
It’s worth to check the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway‘s website for the updated events schedule and plan your visit accordingly.