Health concerns lead to secrecy arrangements for Birmingham excursion.
Britain’s poshest historic train will get back on track after the Covid lockdown with a blooming lovely day out from Birmingham … in secret.
Northern Belle bosses will only reveal the times it sets off and arrives back from the Harrogate Spring Flower Show on Saturday, April 24th.
They are keeping the timings on the route secret because of fears about social distancing if too many trainspotters and railway enthusiasts gather to watch it.
A spokesman explained: “We’re looking forward to getting back on track in April after being shunted into the sidings by Covid-19.
“And normally we would be delighted to see crowds of excited people on station platforms as the train goes past. Our passengers love it too, because they feel like the queen as they wave back out the windows. But, sadly, in view of Covid we think it would be irresponsible to encourage that at the moment.”
Social distancing rules also mean that the Northern Belle’s 1930s-style Pullman carriages will only carry about two-thirds of its usual 300 passengers.
The spokesman added: “Their safety, along with that of our staff and local residents, is paramount. So we have reduced seating capacity and introduced many other measures make everybody feel secure.”
Passengers will be served a glass of champagne after boarding the train at Birmingham International before being served a three-course brunch followed by morning coffee on the outward journey.
Then after arriving in Harrogate they will be transferred by coach to the first big gardening show of the season.
There will be a champagne reception when they reboard the train followed by a five-course gourmet dinner with wine on the journey home.
The Northern Belle, once part of the iconic Orient Express group, will return to Birmingham on May 20 for a trip to the Chelsea Flower Show and then in June to take punters to Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot. Fares start at £370. For further details see northernbelle.co.uk or phone 01270 899681.