Wensleydale or Embsay Steam railway

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mikeg

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I work at a leisure attraction in North Yorkshire. One of the bonuses of working there is the 'ticket swap' facility whereby I can obtain tickets to other leisure attractions in the UK, free of charge (in return their employees get to come to where I work). There are some heritage railways included: The Kirklees Light Railway, Embsay and Bolton Abbey steam railway and the Wensleydale railway.

I'm relatively new to the world of heritage railways, though did enjoy doing the Ffestiniog round robin in 2010. I have a preference for diesel over steam, but this is only a small preference and I notice both railways run diesel services.

Kirklees Light Railway, by looking at the website is probably of less interest to me than the other two. The tickets available are for either two adults for the Wensleydale railway or a family ticket to the Embsay railway (which if it includes children in the validity I will be unable to use the full validity of the ticket). I have read the websites for both attractions.

My questions are:
Which one would you recommend the most, both for rolling stock and scenery?
What to expect of each?

I assume there will be someone on this forum who has been to both, but those who have been to one feel perfectly free to comment.

Wensleydale Railway is by far the most local, especially given the patterns of public transport.
 
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12CSVT

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Wensleydale is the place to go if you like DMUs. There are two DMU sets which see regular service, hybrid 3 car class 101/117 set 51210+59509+51400 (in BR blue) and 2 car class 110 51813+51842 (in green).
Locos at Wensleydale are 03144 (servicable), D9516 (servicable), 20121 (was in use until a few weeks ago but now stored, possibly for spares or scrap due to poor condition of bodywork and bogies), 20166 (servicable), 25313 (under restoration), 37250 (servicable but undergoing restoration to bodywork), 47540 (stored), 47703 (stored), 47715 (servicable).
Steam loco 69023 is present for the summer.
 

John Webb

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The Embsay line is shorter that the Wensleydale. Scenery is good, but perhaps not quite as much 'in the dales' as the Wensleydale. Embsay is predominately small steam locos, mostly ex-industrial, usually pulling four Mk 1 coaches. They also have 3 Class 31s, a 37 and a 47. They may also have a DMU, I recall reading that they had, but I am uncertain of the operating status of this and the other diesel locos.
If you are after railway books then the bookshop at Embsay has an amazing range!
 

mikeg

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Thanks for the input. I have chosen Wensleydale as my first preference and Embsay second, as a second preference is required.
 

WestRiding

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The Embsay steam railway is such a missed oppertunity with Skipton so close. Why oh why oh why is it not conected to Network Rails Grassington branch, allowing trains to run to Skipton Rail Station. Oh yes, it would cost millions of pounds. I hate having to go for a day out in the car, and dont like using busses to go places, so unfortunatley wont go there as access is so poor, and i do like to sample the local pubs.
 

WestRiding

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nope, no connection exists, i can remember as a child it did, but when all the track on the rylestone branch was replaced with long wealded rail, the points were taken out.
 

LE Greys

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nope, no connection exists, i can remember as a child it did, but when all the track on the rylestone branch was replaced with long wealded rail, the points were taken out.

There have been plenty of articles about them going back in. I think it's another preservation 'long-term ambition', like the WSR reaching Taunton.
 

60163tornado

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If you look on youtube there is footage of 47703 on test a couple of weeks back, they are trying to bring it back into service i think.
 

fgwrich

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If you look on youtube there is footage of 47703 on test a couple of weeks back, they are trying to bring it back into service i think.

It's being brought back into service - under permission from loco owner mr H Needle - for the Mid Norfolk Railways Class 47 event in September. At the moment, the loco is running on 5 out of 6 traction motors due to a fault, however this is due to be rectified after the event when 703 heads back to Mr Needles workshops.
 

mikeg

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Thanks for the input, in the end I have received a complimentary family ticket for the Embsay and Bolton Abbey steam railway. I'M sure I will have a good day, and shall likely go on a Saturday to enjoy the range of bottle conditioned beers in the buffet car as mentioned in the brochure. . I will likely do the Wensleydale railway in the future too.

Sent from my PlayBook.
 
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