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Scattering of ashes

Firstly, on behalf of the East Lancashire Railway Company and the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society Ltd may we offer you our sincere condolences on your loss.

We will do all we can to meet your wishes either by assisting you to scatter the ashes of your loved one, or undertaking the role on your behalf if you are unable to travel to the Railway.

Before we can commence the process, we are required to confirm that you are or have the next of kin’s permission for the scattering of ashes and that this accords with the wishes of the deceased. Once ashes are scattered, they are not able to be re-collected. The East Lancashire Railway Company and the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society Ltd assume that the person issuing instructions has the appropriate authority and permissions.

The service we offer is called Scattering of Ashes but it actually involves the following: -

• Placing the ashes in the firebox of a steam locomotive whilst stationary at Irwell Vale allowing them to be scattered on the Railway and the surrounding countryside via the chimney when the locomotive is in motion.

The Railway operates at weekends throughout the year, with certain mid-week running between April and September. We will not be able to accommodate any scattering during certain event dates or throughout December. We will agree a suitable date with you should you wish to proceed.

You should also be aware that our steam locomotives are over 60 years old and can fail to run due to mechanical failure. Whilst we will do everything possible to operate a steam service on the day, we cannot accept any liability if the scattering is postponed. As part of the service we will contact you in advance of the day to confirm that the arranged scattering can proceed.

It will be necessary to reserve seats on the service train used to scatter the ashes, full details of the available seating options can be discussed with our representative as part of the booking process.


If required, a member of the clergy can be requested although they may request a fee.

Click here to download an application form

For more details please contact:-

Don Vause - 0161 766 1909

Gerald Atherton - 07836 294254 -

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