Nostalgic pictures from a Northumbrian Rail Rover

Alnmouth forms the backdrop as 55022 Royal Scots Grey approaches the station with IS87, the 10.35am Kings Cross to Edinburgh relief service in May 1981. Picture by Antony Guppy
Alnmouth forms the backdrop as 55022 Royal Scots Grey approaches the station with IS87, the 10.35am Kings Cross to Edinburgh relief service in May 1981. Picture by Antony Guppy

A new book takes a nostalgic look back at the days of the Northumbrian Ranger train ticket in the 1970s and 80s.

Rail Rover: The Northumbrian Ranger in the ’70s and ’80s, by Colin Alexander, is a 96-page paperback featuring 180 illustrations, has been released by Amberley Publishing (£14.99 RRP).

In common with many teenage railway enthusiasts on Tyneside in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Colin clocked up hundreds of miles per day travelling on a variety of classic diesel trains, especially their beloved Deltics.

October half-term week 1979, for example, saw him cover just under 3,000 miles. How did they afford this? The answer is that good old British Rail always had bargains on offer, with the Northumbrian Ranger ticket being the ultimate example.

At that time, the princely sum of £2.60 bought seven days of unlimited travel anywhere on the East Coast Main Line between Berwick and York, as well as the Tyne Valley line to Carlisle with its electric exotica and sundry branches to stations such as Whitby.

Rail Rover is out now and it is available for a special price of £13.49 from www.amberley-books.com