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’.
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.
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