THE Staycation Express made a sparkling appearance on the Settle Carlisle Railway today ahead of the summer service to the Dales getting underway on ‘freedom day’ Monday, July 19.

Passengers on the first class only Rail Charter Services excursions will travel on a newly refurbished 5-coach InterCity 125, High Speed Train (HST).

From Monday, there will be daily return journeys between Skipton and Carlisle via Settle and Appleby running until September 9.

The Staycation Express will run alongside the daily service by Northern to supply extra capacity to the iconic route through the summer season.

Passengers will have ‘at seat’ dining and reclining leather seats. There is also Covid secure Perspex screens, private tables, large windows, to make the most of the spectacular views, and power points.

High speed trains (HST) were the future of British Rail in the 1970s, with passengers promised unheard of speeds and shorter journey times.

Better known as the InterCity 125, the diesel locomotive was only intended as a stopgap before electrification, but linked Britain’s cities for more than four decades.