Mayflower: March target

By Cedric Johns

THOUGHTS of B1 4-6-0 No. 61306 Mayflower returning south for Steam Dreams’ duties in December were dashed following its second main line (loaded) proving run around the West Coast Railways circuit on December 6.

The 4-6-0 is still at Carnforth receiving mechanical adjustments to problems thrown up during the locomotive’s second run.

More than disappointed, owner David Buck explained that he was determined to see his locomotive fully fit for purpose before bringing it back to Southall to work ‘Cathedrals Express’ excursions.

B1 No. 61306 Mayflower is seen on the climb to Langho at Billington heading towards Blackburn while on its loaded test run round the ‘Carnforth circuit’ on December 6. BEN COLLIER

“As it is”, he said, “once the outstanding problems are resolved, the B1 will be given another proving run to ensure that everything is in place to have it in traffic for up to a 10-year period.”

Time is on his side as this year’s Steam Dreams programme does not start until Thursday, March 7 – a trip to Bath and Bristol – the train now earmarked for the return of Mayflower to the main line.

Departing London Victoria and calling at Egham, Woking, Basingstoke and Salisbury, the B1 may go alone or depending on the loading, follow the original (December 4) plan of a double-header with a ‘Black Five’.

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