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You can eat a luxury Christmas dinner while riding a steam train through Greater Manchester

East Lancashire Railway's festive 'Dining with Distinction' experiences are back by popular demand.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 31st October 2023

Greater Manchester’s iconic heritage railway is hosting one of the most festive fine-dining experiences in the region this Christmas.

It’s no secret that East Lancashire Railway (ELR) is known and loved for its immersive events that give rail enthusiasts and curious Mancs the chance to step back in time by hopping on one of the historic Pullman-style carriages and riding a steam train through the picturesque Greater Manchester countryside.

Every time the festive season rolls around, it always tends to be ELR’s beloved Santa steam trains that grab headlines more, as the event has gone on to become an absolute Christmas classic for families in the North West over the years.

But especially for the grown-ups, how does getting the chance to tuck into a luxury Christmas dinner onboard the retro locomotive sound instead?

ELR’s unique ‘Dining with Distinction’ package is known to be a fan-favourite all year round, but this December, the railway’s festive edition of the experience is back once again by popular demand for another year – and, apparently, “yule be sorry to miss it”.


Throughout December, passengers can enjoy their Christmas dinner whilst travelling through and taking in the seasonal sights of the stunning Irwell Valley.

You’ll be onboard one of ELR’s restored Pullman-style steam train carriages, which boasts the most luxurious furnishing and polished panels to provide the perfect atmosphere for a sumptuous festive feasting dining experience.


Upon boarding, you’ll be presented with sparkling welcome drink to kick-off the festivities, all before you’re served up four courses of festive delicacies.

East Lancashire Railway’s festive ‘Dining with Distinction’ experiences are back this Christmas / Credit: ELR

Traditional roasted turkey served with kilted chipolata and stuffing, a festive wellington, balsamic and cranberry glazed rib of beef, a homemade Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, and an apple and cinnamon crumble with nutmeg custard are just some of the dishes being served by personal dedicated waters on selected dates throughout the month.

And of course, no dining experience is complete without coffee and after-dinner chocolates. 


A wide range of dietary requirements can be catered for, including vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, halal, and diabetic.

“This Christmas dinner experience is one you won’t forget,” teased Mike Kelly, who is East Lancashire Railway’s Chairman.

“It’s perfect for friends, couples, or families looking to do something different to celebrate the festive season together this year [and] we can’t wait to end the year in style with an evening of fantastic food, stunning surroundings, and cracking company.”

It means you can eat a luxury Christmas dinner while riding a steam train through Greater Manchester / Credit: ELR

The Christmas Dinner services are running on selected dates from Friday 1 – Saturday 23 December, with tickets now on sale and setting you back £77.50 per person.

Boarding will start at 7:15pm for a 7:30pm departure, and the journey lasts just under three hours, with guests returning to the station at 10:15pm. 


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You can book your tickets here.

Featured Image – ELR