TIMETABLED steam-hauled passenger trains will return to the national network in
mid-February for three days only when ‘A1’ No. 60163 Tornado ‘Plandampfs’ the Settle & Carlisle (S&C) between Skipton and Appleby.
The new-build Peppercorn Pacific and a rake of Mk2 coaches will deputise for Northern’s usual DMU on the 10.45 from Skipton to Appleby on February 14, 15 and 16, returning on the 15.07 ex-Appleby, and will be supplemented by morning and evening extras, running in reverse order.
These ‘I ❤ S&C’ trains will be the UK’s first scheduled passenger trains to be worked by steam in half a century, and the first to copy the German-style ‘Plandampf’ operation, using steam to haul timetabled passenger trains.
The notion of running a British ‘Plandampf’ has been floating around for several years, but the landslip at Eden Brows last February, and the subsequent severing of the S&C, provided a window of opportunity to do something special before the line reopened and timetable capacity diminished.
The resulting trains are being operated in conjunction between Northern, Network Rail, DB Cargo, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and the Friends of the S&C, and will provide a perfect taster to a full reopening at the end of March.
“What better way to celebrate the reopening of the Settle & Carlisle Railway than with England’s first scheduled steam-hauled main line passenger trains for 50 years,” said Mark Allatt, chairman of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust. “We are delighted that Tornado will be hauling these special ‘I ❤ S&C’ trains over this iconic railway… an experience not to be missed!”
Tickets bought in advance or from National Rail ticket offices will be permissible for travel.
Read more News in February’s issue of The RM – out now!