Hosking announces bargain steam tours programme

By Cedric Johns

ThE UK’s country’s newest Train Operating Company, Locomotive Services (TOC) Limited, part of Jeremy Hosking’s growing influence in the world of charter train operations, has announced details of its main line tour programme for 2018.

Operating under the name of Saphos Trains – a division of Locomotive Services – 12 steam hauled railtours have been named for the coming year.

Locomotives designated for the trains are 4-6-0 No. 46100 Royal Scot, West Country 4-6-2 No. 34046 Braunton and BR 7P 4-6-2 No. 70000 Britannia.

Trains will be formed of highly refurbished Mk. 1 and Mk. 2 coaches finished in carmine and cream, original British Railways-style livery.

This year’s tour programme begins on April 14 when the inaugural ‘North Wales Coast Express’ departs Crewe heading along the north Wales coast to Holyhead calling at Chester en route.

This trip is repeated on June 2 and is then followed by two trains running as the ‘Welsh Border Explorer’. These are dated to leave Crewe on April 29 and June 10, running via Chester, Wrexham and Shrewsbury.

In a change of direction the ‘Welsh Marches Express’ starts from Crewe on May 12 heading for Cardiff routed by way of Shrewsbury and Hereford. The itinerary is repeated on June 16

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