In terms of steam operations, West Coast Railways is unique in as much that it can usually rustle up a diesel locomotive at short notice to assist a stranded steam-hauled charter train when things go wrong on, or in front of, the footplate.
This ability was demonstrated on Tuesday, June 11 when Jubilee 4-6-0 No. 45690 Leander, working a ‘Fellsman’ trip, was hit by an injector problem prior to tackling the water-consuming gradients on the Settle and Carlisle line on the return journey.
In the event, West Coast produced a Class 47 diesel, which towed the train and the 4-6-0 over Ribblehead to Hellifield, where on arrival, the Jubilee was uncoupled and made its own way back to Carnforth. The ‘Fellsman’s’ journey was completed by the 47.
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June marked West Coast’s 20th year as a Train Operating Company, but without any form of drum beating or flag flying.
Read more News and Features in Issue 243 of HR – on sale now!
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