Leighton Buzzard Railway
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Extension Update

27 June 2018

Extension

Leighton Buzzard Railway Father’s Day Whisky Festival – last orders for pre-sales

7 May 2018

The Leighton Buzzard Railway celebrating another first with the hosting of a whisky and spirits festival on Father’s Day, Sunday 17 June between 1100 and 1600. Entry is free with a train ticket, and hourly trains will leave Page’s Park to the festival from 1030 to 1430, returning from 1225 to 1625.

Around 50 whiskies and 20 mixed spirits from around the world will be available, including rare releases such as legendary single-cask releases from historic bottler Berry Bros. & Rudd, holder of two royal warrants, and rare spirits from the 1980s. Organic soft drinks from Karma Cola, pre-bottled cocktails and a hot-food stand will also be present on the day.

The festival will be run by an experienced team of knowledgeable and enthusiastic industry staff, who will be on hand to help answer questions. In addition, hourly masterclasses will be hosted in our museum. All prices include tasting at least three whiskies and a festival tumbler to keep. Tickets for the tastings with glasses will only be available until 20 May and you can also add a gift box for an extra £3. The masterclasses are:

• Breakfast (lighter and sweeter) whiskies, 11.15-11.45, £12
• 1970s and 1980s Scotch, 12.15-12.45, £25
• Long-lost whiskies of the world, 13.15-13.45, £15
• One distillery (Glen Moray), three styles, 14.15-14.45, £12
• Peated whiskies, 15.15-15.45, £12

In addition, pre-orders for festival tumblers will be available online until 20 May priced at only £7.50 unboxed or £10.50 with a gift box. On the day, a limited number of unboxed tumblers will be available for £10, with no gift box option.

The Leighton Buzzard Railway is always keen to support the local community, and the team from Stanbridge-produced Willow Tree Gin will be on hand to sample their gin. When asked to take part, owner Mary Vincent said: ‘It sounds like a great day out. We would love to be involved.’

For those visiting Page’s Park, footplate rides will be available subject to availability on Chaloner, a fortnight before the 1877-built steam loco celebrates the 50th anniversary of hauling passenger trains at the railway.

Festival organiser Rocky Lancer said: ‘We’re always looking for new and exciting events to offer to our customers, and working in the spirits industry, a whisky festival was a natural choice for Father’s Day. Following the discovery of a local gin producer, we added spirits and soft drinks to the line-up to appeal to the whole family – there are lots of mothers who like whisky, too, and plenty of father’s who don’t.’

Click here for further details, including online booking.

Whisky Festival

A bumper Christmas at the Leighton Buzzard Railway

29 December 2017

Volunteers are celebrating a bumper Christmas at the Leighton Buzzard Railway.

Over five thousand passengers enjoyed the Santa Specials, the highest number since 2006.

As well as being able to offer a new station for visitors to enjoy, the numbers were boosted by the new "Santa After Dark" services offering Santa and entertainment on the train which were fully sold out with over 400 passengers. 

Traffic Manager Nick Burton commented ‘We are delighted. On 23 December we carried 845 passengers over the 12 trains, including four ‘Santa After Dark’ services, a record number of passengers in one day. The total has also been achieved in spite of losing a day's services on 10 December due to the snow. The Santa After Dark’ service proved to be a real hit. The new service, which operated on just a few days to test public interest, has proved exceptionally popular and we will need to provide more trains in 2018’.

Passengers have also praised the all-volunteer service. One review on Trip Advisor commented:
"Great value for money, children and adults enjoyed the train ride. All staff/volunteers were so helpful and friendly. Gifts the children were given exceeded expectation and I loved the personal touch of the printed carrier bags and Christmas card. Would definitely recommend."

And the organiser of a birthday party for 22 on a very crowded ‘Santa After Dark’ train summed it up:
"Thank you so much, the Santa train was so much fun and we all had a brilliant time. Now my younger one wants a train birthday party (in September!)! We really appreciate you putting on the extra 1900 train and the birthday girl was so thrilled, what a great birthday surprise! Merry Christmas!"

Sponsor Aldi supplied the Railway with mince pies and were rewarded with a ‘Mince Pie’ special.

Summarising the Santa result, Chairman Terry Bendall expressed his thanks to everyone who came along to enjoy the fun, passengers and volunteers alike. ‘We still have much to do. There is always room for improvement but the numbers suggest we are heading in the right direction. At the end of the day what we can do depends on how many volunteers we have and we would be delighted to see some new faces. Our Volunteering Day on Sunday March 18th with special discount fares of £4 for adults and £2 for children is a great way to find out how you can help – hope to see you there!’

Sunday 10 December: Service Update

10 December 2017

Trains have now been CANCELLED due to the snow – the first time the weather has stopped our trains in 50 years!
Please note all our communication channels are very busy today, but we will be contacting all pre-booked customers during the coming few days to advise of rebooking options, so please bear with us.

If you are out and about today, please travel safely.
Regards
Leighton Buzzard Railway

2018 Special Events timetable released

12 November 2017

The events calendar for 2018 has now been released. We'll have some exciting new events including a whisky festival, alongside our annual staples such as the Ale Trail, Sand & Motorcycles and Vintage Vehicles Rally.

Our timetable for the first half of 2018 is now also published. Tickets for 2018 will be on sale from January.

Leighton Buzzard Railway joins easyfundraising.org.uk

28 October 2017

easyfundraising

If you shop online regularly, you can now donate money to us at the same time – at no extra cost to you! Simply head via the easyfundraising website, sign up and select Leighton Buzzard Railway as your chosen cause, click on the link to one of more than 3,000 retailers and shop as normal. The affiliate commission earned by the site is then sent to us as a donation. Why not join today and help the railway for free? If you're eligible for Gift Aid, we'll get an extra 25%, too!

Christmas Santa Specials – tickets on sale now!

10 September 2017

Tickets for our Santa Specials are now on sale. New for this year is our Santa After Dark experience.

Leighton Buzzard receives Transport Trust ‘Red Wheel’ Award

28 August 2017

The Leighton Buzzard Railway received yet another award on Thursday 24th August when President of the Transport Trust (and Railway President) Sir William McAlpine unveiled a ‘Red Wheel’ plaque at the Railway’s Stonehenge Works site. The Trust is Britain’s only charity dedicated to the preservation of all modes of transport and its infrastructure.

The Trust presents the ‘Red Wheel’ plaques to draw attention to sites of significant transport heritage interest. In the case of the Leighton Buzzard Railway, built in 1919 using ex-WW1 materials to carry sand, the award highlights the line as ‘a rare survivor from the era of railways used as internal transport within British industry’. The plaque is mounted on the former stables block at Stonehenge Works, which is now used as a workshop.

Red Wheel Award

Transport Trust officers and members joined Society Vice-Presidents, officers and members on the 12.20 hrs service train to Stonehenge Works, complete with ‘Red Wheel Rambler’ headboard, where the award was unveiled. The train was appropriately hauled by locomotive ‘P.C.Allen’ named after the late industrialist and noted railway author Sir Peter Allen who was the first President of the Transport Trust. The locomotive had been given to Sir Peter on his retirement by the Solvay works in Spain where it had spent its working life. Sir Peter later presented it to the Railway for restoration, after residing in his garden for many years!

The award follows receipt by the Railway of the recent ‘Queens Award for Voluntary Service’ and the Heritage Railway Association’s premier accolade, the Peter Manisty award earlier this year.

We need your help!

21 June 2017

In our 50th year, we've launched an appeal to extend our line back to its original terminus, and need to raise £40,000 by the end of September to secure track components and to start preparatory works. Please see our special page for full details.

Third year in a row

20 June 2017

We're delighted to announce we've been award TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence for a third year in a row. We coudn't have done this without your support (and your reviews), so thank you very much. Want to leave us a review? Find out how on our customer reviews page.

We have an app!

10 June 2017

The railway is now part of the Heritage Railway Association's Heritage Railway Trails app. Find out all about it, including download instructions on the our app page.

Leighton Buzzard Railway wins Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

2 June 2017

Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Volunteers at the Leighton Buzzard Railway are celebrating the award of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The award is the equivalent to the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement, Queen’s Award for Technology or, for an individual, the MBE.

The award, following a nomination by past Mayor of Leighton Buzzard Councillor Amanda Dodwell, comes as the Society prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary later this year and follows hard on the heels of the Railway receiving the Heritage Railway Association’s Premier Award in February.

The award citation was made for ‘Fifty years of conserving England’s industrial railway heritage, in Bedfordshire’.

The Leighton Buzzard Railway is run, managed and operated entirely by volunteers drawn from all walks of life and from across the community. ‘We are thrilled, honoured but above all humbled to have received this award’ said Chairman Terry Bendall. ‘Our team today still includes a number of members who helped to get us off the ground back in 1967, truly they have given a lifetime of commitment. And we are proud to have an active number of junior volunteers, eager to learn from them, thereby ensuring the survival of the traditional skills and trades upon which our future as a heritage railway depends’.

The award was notified to the Railway following a visit to the Railway by a Committee of Deputies to the Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, late last year. The awards are announced on the 2nd June each year, the anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the throne.

The Lord Lieutenant will formally present the award to the Railway on Friday 28th July.

Road numbering changes

4 May 2017

The Dunstable northern bypass has now opened. The road from the new junction 11A of the M1 to the roundabout of the A5 and A505 has been designated as the A5. As a result, the former A5 from this point to Dunstable is now the A505, and from Dunstable to junction 9 of the M1 has been de-trunked to the A5183. In addition the A4146 between Leighton Buzzard and Hemel Hempstead has been reclassified as the B440. Our find us page has been changed to reflect the new road numbers, and will show both old and new numbers to allow time for road signs and satnav systems to be updated.

Function Room for hire

8 April 2017

The railway now has a room for hire. Please click here for details.

Busy start to new season!

19 March 2017

Despite a strong, chilly wind, the first day of the 2017 season got off to a spectacular start on 19 March. Originally planned as a one-train day, online bookings kept on coming in, and a second train was quickly crewed up.

This was also failing to meet demand, so the final throw of the dice - an extra coach and locomotive on the second set - just about allowed us to provide the train ride our customers were expecting, with a minimum of waiting. Almost every seat on every train was sold, underlining the importance of booking online in advance.

The attraction was, of course, the big fare price cuts for one day only, designed to give people a taster of what we do, and to attract those interested in membership of our Society, and volunteering to help keep the line alive.

That too was successful.

Top Award For 'Outstanding Contribution To Railway Preservation'

19 February 2017

Page's Park new station

Volunteers at the Leighton Buzzard Railway are delighted by the news that their hard work has been recognised by the Heritage Railway Association's highest national award, named after the late Peter Manisty, one of railway preservation's pioneers.

The award plaque was presented formally at the HRA's Annual General Meeting dinner, by Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail (above right). It was received on behalf of the Society by the Chairman, Terry Bendall.

The award recognises the LBR's "Outstanding Contribution to Railway Preservation" during 2016. Previous holders include the National Railway Museum for its "Mallard 75" event in 2014, and London Transport Museum's 2013 event celebrating the 150th anniversary of the opening of the world's first underground railway.

The judges were particularly impressed by the Society's determination to press on and build a new station at Page's Park, despite being disappointed by the outcome of grant applications. Apart from a Section 106 payment from neighbouring housing developments, most of the funding in fact came from the Society's membership, a remarkable achievement.

Link road construction progress

12 February 2017

If you come to Leighton Buzzard from Junction 12 of the M1, you will have seen work in progress on the course of the extension to the A505, from the new Junction 11A of the M1, north of Dunstable. 

When finished in June, it will give our visitors direct access from the M1 to the A505/A4146 Leighton Buzzard southern bypass. This will reduce travel times, particularly for those coming from the London area. We look forward to its completion.

TripAdvisor certificate awarded--again!

15 January 2017

In 2016, for the second year running, the Leighton Buzzard Railway was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the TripAdvisor tourism planning website, for the high standard of the reviews it has received.

More than three-quarters of the reviewers have rated us 'Excellent' or 'Very Good', and we have used both positive and negative feedback as a prompt to take action on any aspects of our customer experience over which we have any influence.

New postcode for Page's Park

1 January 2017

The postcode for Page's Park - our main station and registered office - has recently been changed to LU7 4TG. This will come as a great relief to satnav users, who have been known to get lost in a nearby industrial estate!

Phone (UK): 01525 373888
Phone (International): +44 1525 373 888
Email: station@lbngrs.org.uk
Web: www.buzzrail.co.uk

Registered Office:
Page's Park Station, Billington Road, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire LU7 4TG. United Kingdom
Company No. 2319743.   Place of Registration: Country of Origin: United Kingdom

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