THREE tours commemorated the legendary 1T57 ‘Fifteen Guinea Special’ – the last BR steam-hauled trip – with trips on the anniversary day operating over part of the route taken on August 11, 1968.
However, in recalling the end of steam, all three trips on Saturday, August 11, may be viewed to some extent as symbolic, as the steam locomotives on each were diesel assisted, to comply with lineside fire-risk mitigation, following the summer heatwave.
The originally booked A1 Peppercorn Pacific No. 60163 Tornado was unavailable for Pathfinder Tours’ ‘The Settle & Carlisle Golden Express I’, and was replaced by A4 Pacific No. 60009 Union of South Africa.
Operated by DB Cargo, the trip was diesel-hauled from Bristol Temple Meads to Preston, where No. 60009 took over. It then ran through Lancaster, Oxenholme and Tebay before arriving into Appleby. The return journey from there took it over the Settle and Carlisle line, Clitheroe and Blackburn en route to Crewe, where a diesel took over for the return to Bristol.
The other two trips were operated by West Coast Railways for the Railway Touring Company.
None of the original 1T57 locomotive types featured on any of the anniversary trips, but ‘The Waverley’ from York to Carlisle via the Settle and Carlisle line and back via Appleby, Leeds, Keighley and Ribblehead saw a black 4-6-0 – in the form of LMS Jubilee No. 45690 Leander – carry the original routing number from 50 years ago on its smokebox. As reported in Headline News, the routing number is owned by West Coast commercial manager James Shuttleworth.
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