Heritage railway to feature in Channel 4 programme

The Aln Valley Railway's Kevin Holden with Julie Walters during filming earlier this year.
The Aln Valley Railway's Kevin Holden with Julie Walters during filming earlier this year.

A heritage railway will star in a Channel 4 programme this weekend.

The Aln Valley Railway (AVR) will feature in the second episode of Coastal Railways with Julie Walters.

The ambitious development aims to reopen the former branchline between Alnwick and Alnmouth, and work is ongoing to lay track.

Julie and the team from Alaska TV came to Alnwick in May to film for the show.

After spending time with Stuart Manley – a founder member of the project – at Barter Books, the crew had a steam-train ride before Julie did some ballasting with railway volunteer Kevin Holden and his team.

The recent AVR newsletter states: ‘Julie is as lovely off screen as she is on and we all thoroughly enjoyed the day working with her and the production team.’

The programme will be aired on Sunday from 8pm. The four-part series, which sees Walters ride the UK’s most beautiful coastal railways from Scotland to Cornwall, began last weekend. The episodes can also be viewed on the Channel 4 website.

In 2015, the AVR featured on ITV’s More Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green. Recently, it was highly commended in the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year at the 2017 North East England Tourism Awards, having won the same category in the Northumberland Tourism Awards in the summer.