After a busy summer an Alnwick attraction will host an end of season gala this weekend.
And while Alnwick’s Aln Valley Railway will be putting down the barriers after the weekend’s festivities, it will be opening up again for one-off events at Hallowe’en and Christmas.
The Lionheart station site has seen a huge number of visitors this summer, and this weekend it is inviting people to come and enjoy the ride for one last time before it gets put to bed for the winter months.
The Everything Goes Gala will take place on Saturday and Sunday and will see a host of activities.
There will be former National Coal Board steam engine Number 60 hauling passenger trains on its own, steam engine Richboro also hauling passenger trains, and double-headed passenger trains with the two steam locomotives at the front of the train; the two locos being used as ‘train engine plus banker’ on passenger trains (i.e. one at each end of the train).
Diesel loco Drax is being used for driver experience for members of the public and there is the possibility of the small Wickham trolleys giving rides in the yard during the lunch interval on the main line.
Stock shunting with diesel loco 615 is at the start and end of each day, and there is also the possibility of a demonstration goods train running at the end of each day, with Drax and the hopper wagons, flat wagons plus brake van.
These activities should provide lots of interest and a variety of opportunities for photographers.
The AVR café, museum, model railway room, the railway’s shop and bring-and-buy stall will be open on both the Saturday and Sunday.
In addition, if the weather is fine, the children’s playground will be open for younger visitors.
Ticket prices for train rides will be the same as on normal operating days when steam trains are running.
Admission to the station and car parking will be free.
Passenger trains will run between approximately 11am and 4pm.
The station will then close until Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28, when there will be Hallowe’en specials at the site, with ghostly goings on, Hallowe’en craft activities, face-painting and Hallowe’en themed food in the cafe.
The final events of the year will see the Santa Special train rides for youngsters taking place, allowing them to take a trip along the line to visit Santa in his grotto.
Santa Speicals must be booked in advance. They are scheduled to take place on December 8, 9, 12, 15 and 16.
Tickets cost £15 per child, £3.50 for adults, which includes a gift and goody bag for youngsters.
Tickets will be available to book from mid-October.
Visit www.alnvalleyrailway.co.uk to keep up to date.