By Cedric Johns
Main line correspondent
Gresley A3 4-6-2 No. 60103 Flying Scotsman is set to steal the limelight when the Settle and Carlisle line is officially reopened on March 31 following Network Rail’s £23 million repair programme.
No. 60103 has been undergoing winter maintenance in the National Railway Museum’s workshops.
The locomotive will head a special £220-a-head railtour from the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway’s Oxenhope station, organised by the heritage line, and travelling via Haworth, Keighley and Skipton to Carlisle. The tour marks the full reopening of the route which has been closed for repairs since some 500,000 tons of soil and other debris blocked the line at Armathwaite north of Appleby a year ago.
The timings for this trip are to be confirmed, but the railtour is expected to depart Oxenhope at 8:30am. The return journey will include a cream tea.
In January 2016, Flying Scotsman – then still in black livery following its £4.8-million overhaul – was the last steam locomotive to travel over the line, making the reopening special even more significant.
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