February 9th and February 16th were landmark days for the Bahamas Locomotive Society with 45596 Bahamas returning to the mainline following a 25 year gap since the loco last ran on the mainline in the days of British Railways.
The two sell-out runs starting at Oxenhope on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway branch ran along the iconic Settle and Carlisle Railway. the locomotive performed well on both trips and delighted both passengers and the huge crowds who had turned out to see the loco pass.
Keith Whitmore, Chairman of Bahamas Locomotive Society said “We were delighted to see Bahamas performing well back on the mainline wowing the crowds and passengers telling us how much they enjoyed the day and how well turned out our loco was. It was so appropriate that our first run in over 25 years was in partnership with our friends on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway where we are now based.”
“Bahamas was one of the pioneering preserved locos to return to the mainline in 1972 following the lifting of the ban on steam after the final 1968 days of the end of BR steam. Our then members who are no longer with us from our days at the Dinting Railway Centre near Glossop who saved Bahamas from the scrap merchants would have been proud of what we have again achieved.
“I am especially grateful to the National Lottery Heritage fund for their sterling support without which we would not have been able to overhaul Bahamas and to Tyesley Locomotive Works in Birmingham for their stewardship of the overhaul. We now look forward to again working with the KWVR to see Bahamas take part in what will be a very exiting March 8th to 10th gala on the railway. Operating on the Friday and the Sunday and to be in light steam in Ingrow yard on the Saturday 9th March so visitors can get really close to the loco.”