Not perhaps one of the best known heritage railways, but still worthy of a visit is Kirkby Stephen’s Stainmore Railway. I paid a visit on one of the handful of weekends when they operate steam trains on the short section of track.

Kirkby Stephen

Inside the train shed at preserved Kirkby Stephen East station.

Not to be confused with the ‘out of town’ Kirkby Stephen station on the nearby famous Settle to Carlisle line, Kirkby Stephen East is on the once busy cross country Stainmore line that ran from Tebay on the west coast mainline to Barnard Castle closed to passengers in 1962 and the final section to Kirkby Stephen to freight in 1974.

My first photo (left) shows a very early 1870s LNER loco on loan from the National Railway Museum, making a fine atmospheric site at the surviving platform.

Classic railways signage

The platform name-board.

Ready for passengers on the platform.

One of the Stainmore Railway’s 0-4-0  Pecket locos













Colourful Pecket 0-4-0ST No.2111 sits in a siding after a brake problem.

Well polished makers plate.

As you can probably tell, I like to photograph signs and plaques! This probably comes from my former press photographer days, when such shots made useful illustrative material in features, which didn’t really need captions. Nowadays and in this context, I like the historical story they tell as well as admiring the elbow grease and fine paintwork going into to make them look their best!

Stainmore Railway.

Inside one of the restored carriages.

There was absolutely nothing third class about the plush interior of the beautifully restored LNER carriage I was in. Lovely varnished wood and comfy upholstery made it a very comfortable journey.

The track only runs for a few hundred yards along the original route northbound from the station, but I hope one day it can be further developed.

LNER mirror.

Polished brass in the cab.

Reflections of much work to do on a carriage awaiting restoration.

Ready to depart platform one at Kirkby Stephen

















Former colliery engine, Hunslett 0-6-0 (left) was named after a retired fireman FC Tingey, who helped restore her to steam. The engine now takes pride of place at Kirkby Stephen East

Traditional railway signage at the platform end.











This railway sign looks rather too good to be original but nonetheless looks the part.

Kirkby Stephen East station is open most weekends from Easter to December, with interesting static displays, a shop and  trains running on most summer Sundays and some other days. It’s well worth a visit. For more information click here .

More Photographer’s Ramblings coming soon!…