Bittern heads three 90mph Main Line trips
By: Robin Jones
MARKING the 75th anniversary of sister A4 streamlined Pacific No. 4468 Mallard’s world record steam run, No. 4464 Bittern has been given special dispensation by Network Rail to run three trips at 90mph over the East Coast Main Line.
The announcement of the tours on April 24 marks over a year of talks between organiser Locomotive Services Ltd, Network Rail and Pathfinder Tours.
The first trip, the ‘Capital Streak’, will run north from King’s Cross at 8.30am on Saturday, June 29, picking up at Potters Bar at 8.50am.
Beyond there, 66 miles of route have been identified as suitable for running at in excess of 75mph.
The train will arrive at York at 12.30pm, giving passengers an afternoon in the city, home of the National Railway Museum, where all six surviving A4s will line up for a fortnight from July 3, as first reported in Heritage Railway.
A Class 90 locomotive will head the return trip to King’s Cross in the evening, arriving back at 10pm.
Fares are £349 adults, £319 juniors, for first class plus, and £549/519 for premier dining.
The second trip, the ‘Tyne-Tees Streak’, will run on July 19.
A Class 67 diesel will take the 10-coach train from Bristol Temple Meads at 5.40am, picking up at Bristol Parkway, Cam & Dursley, Cheltenham Spa, Barnt Green and Tamworth High Level en route to Derby and York.
From York, Bittern will head the train to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, arriving at 1pm.
The train leaves at 5pm, with more high-speed running opportunity between Newcastle and York. From there, the trip back to Bristol will be diesel hauled.
Fares: Standard class: adults £135, juniors £85; first class plus: £199/169; premier dining £299/269 and a first class plus compartment for up to six people £1150.
The third trip, the ‘Capital Streak’, will run between King’s Cross and York on July 27.
If seats are booked for the first and third train, a discount will be given.
Passengers on all three trains will be entered into a draw to win the special commemorative whistle carried by No. 4464 Bittern for these runs.
The winning ticket will be drawn by Bittern’s owner Jeremy Hosking as it descends Stoke Bank on July 27.
Bookings are being taken by Pathfinder Tours on 01453 835414 or 01453 834477.
Current Issue: Apr 10, 2014
♦ Spring gala bumper 116 page special
♦ West Coast giants Mid-Norfolk stunner
♦ Win G/WR festival tickets
♦ Gresley returns steam to Dawlish sea wall
♦ Gloucestershire Warwickshire: back from the brink
♦ Great Central bridge deck work begins
• Next issue on sale: May 8, 2014