Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Stately Trains

The railway is very fortunate to have a number of vintage carriages based on the line from Stephen Middleton's Stately Trains fleet.

On Sundays in August, the Stately Trains services operate in additions to the normal services and usually comprise the three 6-wheeled saloons from the 19th century including one that is reputed to have been the carriage of a Princess. See the timetable for details of when the Stately Trains carriages are in service.

"Treat Yourself"

The Stately Trains 6-wheelers. (C) Tim Warner.

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The Stately Trains 6-wheelers during the 2005 Harvest of Steam. (c) Daniel Fergusson

As well as the 6-wheelers running as a second service on the selected dates, a Directors' Saloon (either that belonging to the LNWR or the L&Y) are attached to most services throughout the year, allowing First Class travel in the style your grandparents would have loved.

The coaches and the operation of Stately Trains have won awards and national recognition - some of the photos included here clearly show why.

The carriages in use:

  • L & Y No.1
    The interior of the L&Y Director's Saloon No. 1. (c) Tim Warner This carriage was built in 1906 for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway's Directors, to allow them to travel parts of the system in very comfortable surroundings to allow them to inspect the route. It was rebuilt by both the LMS and BR, but has been restored by Stephen Middleton to its original condition. Some splendid views can be had though the large windows of the line's scenery and of the locomotive pulling the train.

    For 2014, this carriage will be attached to most normal service trains on operating days, allowing passengers to experience the luxuary and views it affords. It has also visited the NRM at York where it has been a popular exhibit, and also featured in the Stage Production of 'The Railway Children' as the Old Gentleman's Coach.

    The L&Y Director's Saloon No. 1. (c) Andrew Wilson Stately Trains 2002 - L&Y No.1 at the rear near Stoneacre. (c) Tim Warner.

  • L.&N.W.R. No.5318
    This carriage was built in 1913 for the Directors of the London and North Western Railway, for the same purpose as the Saloon above. It has 6-wheeled bogies, rather than the more common 4-wheeled variety that the rest of the bogie coaches at the Railway have. This does give for a smoother ride. This carriage has been completely restored from derelict, and is currently visiting the National Railway Museum in York. The coach also has some Royal pedigree, having seen service as an extra vehice on the LNWR Royal Train.

  • GNoSR No.34
    The exterior of GNoSR No.34. (c) Tim Warner. Now part of Stephen Middleton's Stately Trains fleet, Great North of Scotland Railway No. 34 was built in 1896 for use in Scotland. Although it underwent several major rebuilds during its life, it has been restored to being a 1st / 3rd 6-wheeled carriage, and impressive it most certainly is! It is also thought to be the only Scottish coach operating in England, so it's well worth a ride in.

    The seating was completed in time for the 2002 season when it first entered traffic after many years derelict, and the carriage is now regarded very highly - it is the favourite of the majority of passengers who have sampled what it has to offer. The views below are of its interior, showing clearly the difference between the 1st and 3rd class seating, although it is all very luxurious.

    The interior of GNoSR No.34. (c) Bob Bonsall. The interior of GNoSR No.34. (c) Bob Bonsall.

  • GER No.14
    GER No.14 and GER No.37 at Embsay. (c) Stephen Walker. This carriage was built by the Great Eastern Railway in 1889, and hauled VIPs over the GER. It survived as a passenger coach, and also ran on Sir William McAlpine's private railway, before being fully restored as part of the Stately Trains fleet. Since its restoration, it has been used on the official opening (to haul the VIPs once more) and has also visited the North Norfolk Railway.

    In the picture (right) it is the rear carriage, having a guard's compartment and associated projecting window. The other pictures (below) show the three 6-wheeled carriages running together. It is currently in a GER brown livery.

    GER No.14, GNoSR No.34 and GER No.37 at Embsay. (c) Andrew Wilson GER No.14, GNoSR No.34 and GER No.37 at Stoneacre. (c) Simon Gott

  • GER No.37
    (c) Stephen Walker. No.37 was also built as a saloon by the GER, and it is reputed to have been the private saloon of Princess Alice, as it has several interior features (discovered during restoration) that a third class saloon would not feature. This is the condition to which it has been restored, and has proved popular, as can be seen from the photos - Victorian costume is not an essential part of the criteria to travel!

    As well as operating as Stately Trains on selected Sundays (see the Timetable for dates) these carriages also run Strawberry Specials as part of our Evening Eats programme, and can also be hired out for various purposes. Since restoration, the two GER carriages have been involved with a number of filming assignments in various locations. They are certainly worth a ride in! It is currently in GER brown livery,

    (c) Simon Gott. (c) M.G.Riley.

For details of the Strawberry Specials, please see our page detailing the Evening Eats.


(C) YDRMT collection. Annie has been the usual haulage for the vintage train, and despite being an industrial steam locomotive for all of its working career, it looks very appropriate with the vintage carriages. Seen here at Bow Bridge Loop running round a Winter service train a few years ago.
(c) YDRMT collection.
(c) M.G.Riley. GER number 14 is seen entering Embsay station behind 140, in the blue livery of its other guise as Thomas. Even running one carriage proved popular, and the other carriages now available have proved even more popular.
(c) M.G.Riley.
(C) Stephen Walker. With people in Victorian costume, the interior of one of the carriages is pictured here. The interiors are very impressive and the marketing of them as Stately Trains is justified by this as well as their history.
(c) Stephen Walker.
(C) Tim Warner. The location is Bolton Abbey station this time as the train departs for Embsay one Summer Sunday in 2000. This time the motive power is a visiting locomotive. The vintage train is in operation on most Summer Sundays this year, and is well worth a ride on. See the Timetable for details for specific dates.
(c) Tim Warner.
(C) Tim Warner. Annie and the vintage train approach Stoneacre Loop from Bolton Abbey with a train for Embsay during Summer 2000. You get everything - the carriages, the steam haulage and the beautiful scenary, to say nothing of the friendly volunteers!
(c) Tim Warner.
(C) Tim Warner. This photograph was taken at Holywell Halt as part of a special being run with the visiting 'Pug' and the externally completed L & Y Director's Saloon No. 1, owned by Stephen Middleton.
(c) Tim Warner.
The interior of GNoSR No.34. (c) Bob Bonsall. The interior of GNoSR No.34. (c) Bob Bonsall. Two more views of the interior of the 1st Class section of GNoSR No.34.
(c) Bob Bonsall.
The interior of GNoSR No.34. (c) Bob Bonsall. The interior of GNoSR No.34. (c) Bob Bonsall. Two more views of the interior of the 3rd Class compartment section of GNoSR No.34.
(c) Bob Bonsall.
(c) M.G.Riley. 68005 dwarfs the GER 6-wheelers as the train waits to leave Embsay station, viewed from platform 2. The carriage at the rear is No.14, which is also the vrake vehicle for the Stately Train.
(c) M.G.Riley.
(C) Simon Gott. The Stately Train also runs for the Harvest of Steam weekend, and on this occasion the visiting loco was the ex-L & Y Pug, seen here with the three 6-wheelers entering Stoneacre Loop from Bolton Abbey.
(c) Simon Gott.
(C) Matthew Bell. The first Strwaberry Special of 2002 was hauled by 68005, and is seen at Bolton Abbey ready for the return to Embsay. The Gresley leads, with GNoSR No.34 and L&Y No.1 behind.
(c) Matthew Bell.
(C) Tim Warner. Up to 2002 saw the Stately Trains operation hauled by Annie, but subsequently other locomotives have been used.
(c) Tim Warner.


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