A COUNTY Durham rail service is giving passengers the chance to travel in style later this year when it celebrates its tenth anniversary by delivering a ‘one-off’ excursion by rail, including first class and dining options.

Like other services regionally and nationally, Bishop Trains, who runs a local and independent rail travel centre, have struggled during the pandemic.

However, it’s keen to emerge from the end of Covid restrictions on the rail industry in a special way after it announced that it has launched ticket sales for a unique, vintage, chartered train from Newcastle, Chester-le-Street, Durham, Darlington, Northallerton and York to Chester on June 18, 2022.

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The special train with first class and dining options is being operated in conjunction with the North-East’s rail tour experts, Excursions By Rail, and will give passengers the chance to take in the landscapes of the North East and North Yorkshire, before making the final journey to Chester.

On the day, the onward journey will depart Bishop Auckland (via coach to Darlington) at 7.15am, Newcastle at 7.45am, before taking in Chester-le-Street (7.55am), Durham (8.05am), Darlington (8.25am), Northallerton (8.40am), York (9am) and Chester (12.30pm).

The return journey will be at 5.30pm from Chester, with stops at York (9pm), Northallerton (9.20pm), Darlington (9.35pm), Durham (9.55pm), Chester-le-Street (10.05pm), Newcastle (10.15pm) and Bishop Auckland (via coach from Darlington - 10.15pm).

Luke Allan Holmes, managing director at Excursions By Rail Limited, said: “The launch of tickets for our excursion by rail with Bishop Trains to Chester from the North-East was a key moment for the railway industry.

“With COVID having a lesser impact on our lives, it’s time we get back out there and re-discover Great Britain by rail. We’re thrilled to be joining up with Bishop Trains to provide the people in the North-East with this great day out.”

The Northern Echo: The vintage train that will be embarking on the journey to Chester. Picture: BISHOP TRAINS.The vintage train that will be embarking on the journey to Chester. Picture: BISHOP TRAINS.

As part of the preparation for the journey, tickets went on sale recently, and David Million, the CEO of Bishop Trains Limited, has urged people to take the opportunity in buying a ticket for the “incredible” journey.

He said: “Tickets are being snapped up quickly for this exciting excursion. Local people are really getting behind this new venture with Excursions By Rail. I guess it’s a sign to many that we’re getting back on track.

“There is nothing which can compare to watching the beautiful British countryside pass by your window whilst tucking into our Great British Breakfast in a first-class carriage on a beautifully restored vintage train”.

The Northern Echo: First class and dining options on the trip will be available. Picture: BISHOP TRAINS.First class and dining options on the trip will be available. Picture: BISHOP TRAINS.

Alongside the trip to Chester, Bishop Trains are also preparing for more exciting trains in the future, including Beer & Gin Trains, Afternoon Tea Trains, the annual Festive Capital Express and much more.

More information about the Chester journey can be found here, and extra information about Bishop Trains can be located on their website.

Tickets for the journey are priced £130 for adults and £90 for child in first class, while standard class is £80 for adults, £45 for children and £225 for a family ticket (two adults and two children)

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