East Lancashire Railway
Heywood in Rochdale is a terminus for a 12-mile heritage railway extending north to Rawtenstall in Lancashire.
The East Lancashire Railway was established in 1846 and was eventually absorbed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway in 1859. This was closed to passenger services in 1972 and restoration has been ongoing since 1986. As of 2019, there were seven stops on the line, with a new halt opened at Burrs Country Park.
It’s as if the South Pennine landscape, littered with Victorian townscapes and cotton mills, was made to be traversed by steam locomotive.
For the younger generation, the line is a way to sample the sights, smells and sounds of a forgotten era.
The timetable is busiest between April and September when there are services from Wednesday to Sunday.
The line has a calendar of special events, like an Ale Trail, 1940s Weekend, Ghost Trains at Halloween and a regular “Wizard Academy” with a nod to Harry Potter.