A FIRST-class opportunity to buy a piece of railway history has arisen at England's highest mainline station.

Dent's lovingly renovated station house - complete with Midland Railway maroon-and-cream woodwork, coal-fired Rayburn and modern underfloor heating - is on the market for offers over £425,000.

The Grade II-listed property owned by Robin Hughes is being offered for sale for only the third time since being built in 1877.

Located at Cowgill, on the Settle to Carlisle line, and eight miles north of the 24-arched Ribblehead Viaduct, the classic Victorian station was restored after its purchase in 2006.

With three bedrooms, it is run as a holiday home, and is on the market with agents Thomson Hayton Winkley and J R Hopper & Co, either as a private house or as a self-catering let.

Dent station sits 1,150ft above sea level and includes around one-third of an acre of land.

Chartered surveyor Mr Hughes says he has always loved the railway. Steam excursions run on the line at weekends, with visits from the Flying Scotsman and Tornado.

"It is tremendous to hear the distant whistle of an approaching steam train; it’s a sound that transports you back to a bygone era," said Mr Hughes.

"Imagine stepping outside onto the platform with a mug of tea to enjoy the pleasures of Dentdale: views, fresh air, wonderful wildlife and a real-life train set on your doorstep."

Mr Hughes' painstaking renovation included turning the former booking hall into a lounge, and creating a kitchen diner in the original ladies' waiting room.

He said he was "very reluctantly" moving on to "concentrate on other business interests".

For more, see www.thwestateagents.co.uk and www.jrhopper.com