British India back south

By Brian Sharpe

SOUTHERN steam enthusiasts are in for a treat next summer, when West Coast Railways’ Carnforth-based Merchant Navy Pacific No. 35018 British India Line visits the Southern Region for the first time since its return to action.

The Railway Touring Company is promoting two trips with the locomotive. The first is the‘Bournemouth Belle’ on Saturday,July 6 commemorating the last steam-hauled run of the famous train 52 years earlier. The train will run on its original route from Waterloo to Bournemouth and return.

Merchant Navy Pacific No. 35018 British India Line was a familiar locomotive over the past summer on ‘The Scarborough Spa Express’. The 4-6-2 is seen passing Howsham, near York on August 16. ROBERT H FALCONER

On Tuesday, July 9, No. 35018 will head the ‘End of Southern Steam’ tour, commemorating the last day of steam on the Southern Region in 1967. This train will be steam-hauled from Waterloo to Yeovil Junction, where passengers can visit the Yeovil Steam Centre. The train returns steam-hauled from Weymouth to Waterloo in the evening.

British India Line will be covering unfamiliar territory for the class on it way south, heading the RTC’s ‘Scarborough Flyer from Scarborough to Ealing Broadway on June 15.

This train is routed via York, Doncaster and the Great Northern / Great Eastern joint line through Gainsborough and Lincoln, before rejoining the East Coast Main Line at Werrington Junction.

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