For three days in February the clock is being turned back, sort of, to the end of steam on the S&C, back in the 60s. Northern Rail, the A1 Locomotive Trust, and the Settle Carlisle Railway have joined forces so that we will be able to enjoy the delights of No.60163 Tornado on regular service trains for 3 days in February. Operating between Skipton and Appleby, the first train leaves Appleby at 08:30 returning from Skipton at 10:45. The afternoon service departs Appleby at 15:07 and returns from Skipton at 17:10.
I don’t recall it myself but, I ‘m sure A1s, like their stable mates the A3s, did see the occasional turn hauling the Waverley over the Leeds – Carlisle leg, in the dog days of steam on the service. Quite what the ‘Midland’ men who had worked the service for decades with Scots and Jubilees thought of working on the A3s, or A1s, for that matter, is anyone’s guess.
One can only hope that all goes well with this three day Plandampf and that all concerned benefit from the experience – who knows it might encourage other operators, with scenic routes, to do something similar. On the other hand it might be a cunning, Baldrick style, plan to reintroduce steam by stealth as the nation’s motive power of choice. Restarting the coal mining industry, to supply them, might be a little trickier.
If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it: