CELEBRATE three major anniversaries by joining us on an exclusive Railway Magazine charter train from Euston to Glasgow on October 7.
This once-in-a-lifetime special is being staged to commemorate:
■ The 120th anniversary of The RM
■ The golden jubilee of the Class 50s
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■ The diamond jubilee of ‘The Caledonian’ express
Some of the rail industry’s biggest names have agreed to combine their expertise for what is almost certain to be one of the most sought-after charity railtours of 2017.
Pathfinder Tours, Riviera Trains, GB Railfreight and the Class 50 Alliance have joined forces with The Railway Magazine to re-create the glorious era of double-headed Class 50s on the West Coast Main Line.
The 13-coach train will recall the days of the late-1960s and early ’70s when Anglo-Scottish expresses were hauled by electric locos to Crewe, where ‘Hoovers’ took over for the run north to Glasgow – a situation that prevailed until the WCML was fully electrified in 1974.
Our train will be entitled the ‘Caledonian’ – to mark the 60th anniversary of the famous express of that name in 1957 – a decade before the first ‘50s’ were introduced in 1967 and seven decades after The RM was launched in 1897.
The 21st century ‘Caledonian’ will run on Saturday, October 7, departing London Euston behind a Class 86 (or 87) electric loco at around 06.00 and calling at Watford Junction, Milton Keynes Central, Rugby, Nuneaton, Stafford and Crewe, where the electric will be changed for a pair of ‘50s’.
The two English Electric thoroughbreds will then power the train up the famous Shap incline and, after calling at Carlisle, continue over Beattock bank to Glasgow Central.
It is believed that in doing so, they will become the first members of their class to reach the Scottish city this century.
Arrival will be at about 13.30, with an expected 100mph running over sections of the route.
After servicing, the Type 4s will head back to Crewe at around 16.00, making the same stops as outward for a total 480 miles of ‘Hoover’ haulage.
Arrival back in the capital is scheduled for around 23.40.
To complement the historic authenticity of the motive power, the stock for the train is expected to be predominantly British Rail blue & grey Mk2s to give it as near a late ’60s look as possible.
Every passenger will receive a souvenir programme, a charity raffle will be held during the journey, and there will be a buffet for hot drinks and snacks, plus it is hoped to have a licensed bar on board. Proceeds from the tour will be donated to a leading railway charity, to be announced next issue.
Fares for this special train are:
Standard class: £99 child £50
First class plus: £159 child £119
Premier dining: £249 child £209
Table for two seats in First Plus and Premier carry a £28 per person supplement.
Seats for the ‘50s at 50’ tour are limited and demand is expected to be extremely high.
Bookings open at 08.00 on March 1 on a first-come, first-served basis and are being handled by Pathfinder Tours on 01453 835414 or 834477.
Postal bookings should be sent to Pathfinder Tours, Stag House, Gydynap Lane, Inchbrook, Woodchester, Gloucestershire GL5 5EZ, and are subject to availability.
To book online, click here and select ‘The Caledonian’ from the drop down list of tours, and select your requirements.
- Cancellations: Should a passenger need to cancel their ticket, then a refund will be offered using the following sliding scale: less than 5 days – no refund; between 5 and 13 days = 50% refund; between 14 and 28 days = 75% refund; more than 28 days = 90% refund.
Also note that a waiting list will operate for passengers who have been unable to purchase a ticket, and spaces will be offered depending on cancellations.