East Lancashire Railway to reopen on 1 August

Date published: 25 July 2020

Update: Plans to reopen have been paused following the new restrictions announced for Greater Manchester on 30 July. 

The East Lancashire Railway will reopen with limited services from Saturday 1 August after months of being closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The heritage railway, which runs between Heywood and Rawtenstall, is undergoing a phased re-opening on 1, 2, 8, and 9 August following government Covid-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of visitors, volunteers and staff.

An announcement on its website says: “We wouldn’t have made it this far without the compassion and support of our community, and we couldn’t be more grateful.

“We hope to keep operating past this date and we will be reviewing our approach going forwards. In the meantime, you can purchase one of our advance tickets and join us as we get back to doing what we do best, steaming through the Irwell Valley.”

Customers are asked to wear a face covering or mask when moving around the railway and on the train (unless you are exempt by the government guidelines), wash hands often and use the hand wash or sanitiser stations provided.

Customers are also asked to avoid touching their faces, observe social distancing and arrive with ample time.

Those who are unwell, or experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, are asked not to attend the railway.

East Lancashire Railway is a long-standing favourite for children and adults alike, running a host of events all year round including a May Day 1940s weekend, murder mysteries, ale trails and the Santa Special Christmas trains - as well as playing host to the iconic locomotive The Flying Scotsman regularly. 

More information, included amended timetables and the East Lancashire Railway’s Covid-19 policy, can be found at:

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