Steam fans to enjoy one of the world’s greatest rail journeys from Colchester, through Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds

Galatea on the Settle to Carlisle line

Galatea on the Settle to Carlisle line - Credit: Archant

Steam fans from this region will have the chance to travel over one of the world’s greatest rail routes in September behind one of the engines built to tackle the line.

The Cathedrals’ Express from Colchester through Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, will be steam-hauled from Yorkshire over the world famous Settle to Carlisle line and back again.

It will probably be pulled “Jubilee” class locomotive Galatea or Leander.

The Jubilees were designed for Midland route from London to Glasgow which included the Settle to Carlisle line. Galatea and Leander are now part of the West Coast Railways pool of locomotives which operate over the line.

The trip, on September 8, is being operated by Steam Dreams – and details of their tickets which cost between £115 and £249 can be obtained from their website at

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Steam Dreams chairman Marcus Robertson said: “The journey along the Settle and Carlisle Railway is among the most spectacular in the world, taking in the challenging Pennine Hills and many tunnels and viaducts – the highlight, of course being the 24 arches that make up the breath-taking Ribblehead Viaduct.

“With Galatea hauling us in both directions along this fabulous railway, it promises to be a very memorable day for those on board.”

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Carlisle itself is a border city with an impressive castle and a cathedral which bears the scars of its being partially demolished by Oliver Cromwell.

Travellers will have two hours to explore the city before the steam train departs for its return trip on the same route – arriving back in East Anglia late in the evening.

The train will be diesel hauled from Colchester to Hellifield, near Skipton, where it will be replaced by the steam locomotive and where the diesel will take over for the trip back home in the evening.

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