NETWORK Rail’s steam ban was still in force for a trio of special trains marking the 50th anniversary of the end of BR steam on August 11 – despite the arrival of cooler weather and rain in early-August.
As a result, the three trains were headed by steam, but with diesel locomotives coupled inside doing much of the hard work over the steeply graded Settle-Carlisle and West Coast Main Lines.
Although none of the original stars of August 11, 1968 were available – No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell’s main line ticket having expired earlier this year – two Stanier 4-6-0s, in the shape of ‘Jubilees’ 45690 Leander and 45699 Galatea from the West Coast Railway Co steam pool, provided capable substitutes for ‘Black Fives’.
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Also acting as a stand-in was ‘A4’ No. 60009 Union of South Africa, which replaced the
out-of-action No. 60163 Tornado on Pathfinder’s ‘Settle & Carlisle ‘Golden Express I’.
The train originated at Bristol, with the ‘A4’ being attached at Preston to work a circular route via Shap, Appleby and Settle to Crewe. DB Cargo diesel No. 66172 Paul Melleney was the machine allocated to assist.
Read more and view more images in the September issue of The RM – on sale now!