All aboard Retro Railtours for first trip to Blackpool Airshow

RETRO Railtours is taking to the skies for its next excursions.

The destination on Saturday, August 10 is a first-ever trip to the Blackpool Airshow.

There will be two trains, the Retro Blackpool Belle which has pick-up points at Stockport and Reddish South, with return fares starting from £50.

The Retro Blackpool Highflyers ‘mini tour’ starts from Huddersfield and calls at Stalybridge before heading to Blackpool, with a return standard class fare £50 and discounts for children aged 6-15 years while accompanied Under-6s travel free.

James Palmer, who formed Retro Railtours with his late father John in 2008, says letting the train take the strain will make a trip to Blackpool Airshow more pleasurable.

He explained: “Travelling by train is quite a pull as driving to Blackpool when a big event is taking place is not a pleasant experience.

“Parking is also expensive and travelling by train is also more environmentally friendly.”

James expects the Blackpool Airshow train tickets to be in high demand explaining a similar trip five years ago to the Southend Airshow was popular.

It is also the chance to step back in time by travelling in coaches from the 1970s when British Rail operated inter-city services.

Retro Railtours’ excursions mirrors British Rail’s Merry Maker excursions in the 1970s and 80s when special charters took passengers to a destination where they had several hours to explore.

James, whose day job is working on the railways on the commercial retail side, said: “These trips are a trip down memory lane and a new experience for younger people who have never experienced what it is like to travel on old-fashioned trains.

“We are hoping another feature of this one is that is will attract more families and there are discounts for children.”

James explained refreshments will be available with a full buffet bar adding they use local produce whenever possible. This includes pies from Carrs, from Ridge Hill, Stalybridge, and ales including Greenfield Brewery’s Delph Donkey ale. That was named after a train that ran between Delph and Oldham until the 1950s.

James explained this trip – he usually puts on two or three each year – is much shorter than usual ones. They had a sell-out to Paignton, Devon, earlier this year and last year headed to Edinburgh as well as Bath and Salisbury.

He also pointed out this will be possibly the first train from Reddish South to Blackpool for 50 years. There is only one weekly service, return journey between Stockport and Stalybridge each Saturday, which operates from the station.

About 30 passengers have already booked for Blackpool Airshow from Reddish South and a further 70 from Stalybridge.

Bookings for Blackpool Airshow can be made online at or by telephoning 0161 330 9055.

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