• Adam Whittaker

New Foodie Focus For Steam Railway

It's been nine months since the bell for boarding rang and the whistle for off blew at Froghall Station. The team of volunteers at Staffordshire's Churnet Valley Railway however, are excited to welcome back visitors for the 2021 season.


Travelling in recently refurbished carriages, the new timetable will run on throughout July – October with a planned 167 departures, before THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride commences on Friday 26th November 2021.


New for 2021 is the enhanced dining train experiences collection where all meals are prepared and cooked on board the train and served by a waiting team of volunteers.

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus have been carefully designed to encompass the railway's passion for seasonal and where possible locally sourced, quality ingredients.

  • The Moorlander Breakfast Train is back again, with a wider selection to start the day. A themed Potters Breakfast including the region's famed oatcakes, veggie option or jam on toast and a glass of fizz are all on offer.

  • The Valley Pioneer takes diners back in time to the relaxing era of period restaurant car dining. A 2-course lunch in the 1960's First Class carriage is available on selected Wednesday's between July and November. Weekend visitors can book a 3-course lunch on The Churnet Valley Limited Saturday service or tuck into a traditional Sunday lunch aboard The Moorlander Limited

  • Foodie feature evenings include the Bombay Express with five hot and steamy trips scheduled.

  • The classic Staffordshire Cream Tea, a long-time best-seller, the 20-mile trip is a perfect day for special occasions. A specialist brew from the Northern-based family-owned supplier Ringtons accompanies scones made in Longton.

Those preferring to take a scenic railway ride without the grub can do so by booking a Froghall to Ipstones return journey.


General Manager Gregory Wilson said "We're naturally pleased to be operational again from July. Our focus this year is welcoming returning and new visitors to feel safe while they journey aboard. With our 'Good To Go' status, we've focused all our effort into the customer experience".


The Churnet Valley Railway stated operating in 1996 on track from the former closed section of the British Rail line, following a successful campaign to raise £120,000 to make this happen. Today the railway runs a wide variety of steam, diesel engines and specially preserved coaches on select days and events throughout the year. The railway also has plans to extend the line to serve the town of Leek in the near future with planning permission already obtained toward this end.