Northamptonshire's Covid-hit heritage railway back on track for first time in 2021
Big line-up of events for families and train buffs to ride the rails
Volunteers at a heritage railway near Northampton are on track to run their first trains of 2021 this weekend.
The popular Northampton & Lamport Railway opens on Sunday (May 23) ready to make up for lost time with plans for three big weekends before the end of June.
Bank holiday weekend's Teddy Bear Specials — where under-16s bringing a cuddly toy ride for free over all three days — is followed by 'Kids for a Quid' on June 6 and then Fathers Day Specials on June 20 when dads go free.
New additions for 2021 include a wheelchair-friendly coach and a refitted buffet open on all operating days.
An NLR spokesman said: "A special compartment has been purposefully designed to create a comfortable space for one wheelchair user and two companions/carers.
"Access to the train is provided by a new access ramp, the funds for which have been provided by a very generous grant from the Sudborough Foundation.
"The portable ramp not only gives safe and easy access to the wheelchair user’s compartment but can also assist anyone with reduced mobility or a sensory impairment to access the rest of the train.
"Unfortunately, services on the opening two weekends will be diesel-hauled, as the Railway’s steam loco is having some repairs completed."
Events pencilled in for later in the year include Sunday afternoon cream teas, a summer gala on August bank holiday weekend, grandparents day in October plus Halloween and Santa Specials.
Northampton & Lamport Railway is a big hit with families, operating on a stretch of the former Northampton-Market Harborough line which closed to passengers in 1973.
Enthusiasts got together to start running heritage services in 1995, running services from Pitsford & Brampton station, situated behind the Brampton Halt pub, along the Pitsford Road, between Chapel Brampton and Pitsford.
Plans for an half-mile extension south to Boughton Crossing were delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic last year which robbed the Railway of a significant chunk of vital income. But track has been laid and a new station platform is being built and it is hoped this will open at some point during 2021.
Northampton and Lamport Railway is an AA certified ‘Covid-19 Confident’ attraction and all necessary measures are in place to keep our visitors and staff safe.
Visit the Railway’s website at www.nlr.org.uk for full information and details of up-coming events and online tickets.
Anyone wishing to book the wheelchair compartment is recommended to book in advance, either by email at [email protected], or by telephoning the Booking Office on (01604) 820 327 (lines are only manned on operating days between 10am and 4pm).