Home / Railway Gallery / Standard Gauge Heritage Railways / East Lancashire Railway / ELR 2020 / Non-event visits to the ELR in September 2020 38

The ELR is still on the special restricted timetable yet with just 3 services a day, but at least Sunday 6th of September at least saw a return of the Sunday 'Lancastrian Lunch' Dining Train, so that meant that there was no longer an almost 3 hour wait between arrivals, and will allow me to walk down the Irwell to a few other locations next time. The service train was hauled by Standard 4 '80097' again, and the Dining Train was hauled by L&Y 2890. The weather varied between sunshine and showers, and though not quite as busy as the Bank Holiday Weekend, loadings were still quite reasonable.

Back to the ELR again for a sunny Sunday 13th of September, and this time for a train ride to Heywood, which amazingly, apart from occasionally crossing the deserted moorland boundary on some of my lockdown walks, was my first venture out of Rossendale since mid-March. Now normally I wouldn't dream of riding on such a warm and sunny day as I'd rather be out in the fresh air walking, but I'd made my mind up so that was that, and I must admit that it was nice to see a few of the other stations for the first time in nearly 6 months. The trains were well cleaned and the staff operating a track & trace system, and keeping passengers well space out, though it was fairly quiet and I had a coach pretty much to myself on the way down so that wasn't a problem. Normally I would be constantly sticking my head out of the window taking photographs at the stations, but I decided that in the current situation I should handle the doors and windows as little as possible, and so just sat and enjoyed the view out of the window instead. At the moment there are no direct service along the full line, with just a steam service operating from Bury to Rawtenstall and back, and a DMU service running from Ramsbottom to Heywood, though these leave a reasonable gap at Bury to allow for extra cleaning of the coaches. If anyone has any worries about travelling on the railway at the moment I would like to allay them, as I felt well cared for throughout my entire trip and was well impressed with how the staff were handling things. Locos in service that day were Standard 4 '80097' on the steam diagram, the DMU (which shame on me I forgot to photograph the number) on the Rammy - Heywood route, and the L7Y '2890' on the Dining Train. Next week's plans are not yet finalised and will depend a lot on the weather, but hopefully might involved a ride down to Summerseat and a few shots from that location just for a change.


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