Pathfinder returning English Electric classics to old haunts

FANS of English Electric traction will have the opportunity to relive past glories over the coming months with Pathfinder Tours.

March 23 sees Class 50s return to the West of England to mark 25 years since their final run under British Rail.

The ’50 Terminator-Phoenixed’ is an epic day out, starting from London Paddington at 07.00 and heading via Reading and the Berks & Hants route to Taunton, over the climbs to Whiteball, Dainton and Rattery and the Royal Albert Bridge into Cornwall for a break of around 90 minutes at the end of the line in Penzance.

Nos. 50007 and 50049 (temporarily numbered as No. 50006 Neptune and No. 50011 Centurion) pass Scout Green, on the northbound climb to Shap, with 1Z28 Birmingham to Tweedbank ‘The Waverley Reunion’ tour on January 5. On March 23, the pair are due to return to more old haunts, working from Paddington to Penzance and back to Waterloo. JOHN HALES

The return journey retraces its steps to Exeter St David’s, where the two ‘Hoovers’ will run round their train before attacking the 1-in-37 climb to Exeter Central and over ‘The Mule’ to Salisbury, before a fast run into Waterloo, recalling the final years of the class on west of England duties.

The train is expected to be the first public outing for Class 50 Alliance locos Nos. 50007 Hercules and 50049 Defiance in their new GB Railfreight livery – subject to availability. As this issue closed for press, seats were selling out quickly in all classes.

A few weeks later, Pathfinder is making another outing to former East Coast Main Line routes with a preserved Class 55.

Read more in the February 2019 issue of The RM – on sale now!


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