Au Revoir Guardsman

Generally regarded as the flagship of West Coast’s Carnforth motive power fleet, 4-6-0 No. 46115 Scots Guardsman has been taken out of traffic after its ticket expired earlier this month.

The 4-6-0 dropped its fire, for the last time in its current session, after working West Coast’s own ‘Dalesman’ excursion on Tuesday, August 15.

LMS Royal Scot 4-6-0 No. 46115 Scots Guardsman climbs Wilpshire bank with Statesman Rail’s ‘Fellsman’ on August 1. Brian Dobbs

The engine had been kept fairly close to home in recent weeks, regularly hauling ‘Dalesman’ trains over the Settle & Carlisle but also making appearances on Statesman Rail’s ‘Fellsman’. It also had a storming run up the branch to Blaenau Ffestiniog for the Railway Touring Company on July 25.

Depending on what a close examination throws up, it is expected that the ‘Scot’ could be off the main line scene for some time… but, as the saying, goes ‘as one door closes another opens’.

No. 46115 Scots Guardsman passes Moel Dyrnogydd near Roman Bridge on the climb to Blaenau Ffestiniog tunnel with the Railway Touring Company’s ‘Welsh Mountaineer’ on July 25. DEREK PHILLIPS

That open door of course will reveal the passenger debut of a new, even larger flagship in the form of Merchant Navy 4-6-2 No. 35018 British India Line.

That said, Carnforth is seemingly not in a hurry to get its latest rebuild into traffic.

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