The railway has a rich history that dates back to 1846 when it was first opened to link Manchester with Bury and Rawtenstall during the industrious 19th century. The railway played an imporatant role by transporting goods, raw materials and workers throughout the country, however as transport links improved both people and industry were no longer reliant on the railway and sadly the line closed in the 1960s. The battle to preserve the line began.
Today the railway, a registered charity run predominantly by over 700 volunteers, is one of the North West’s premier tourist attractions with trains running every weekend and Wednesday to Friday from April to September carrying over 160,000 passengers each year.
The East Lancashire Railway’s dining trains launched in the mid-1990s and over the past 20 years have gone from strength-to-strength. Dining with Distinction now provides over ten different dining experiences and takes over 12,000 visitors on a luxury dining journey each year.