This year sees the 50th anniversary of the end of standard gauge steam on British Railways. It all happened in Lancashire in 1968 but with one of Carnforth’s last LMS ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0s being in Hampshire for the early part of 2018, the Mid Hants Railway had an opportunity too good to miss.
The ‘Black Five’ in question was No. 45231, recently returned to service by West Coast Railways at Carnforth, but which has now joined the Jeremy Hosking stable.
With the MHR having classmate No. 45379 in its current working fleet, the railway double-headed the two 4-6-0s, carrying the ‘1T57’ reporting number as seen on BR’s final steam train, the ‘Fifteen Guinea Special’ on August 11, 1968.
The real ‘1T57’ was worked by Nos. 44781 and 44871from Carlisle to Manchester Victoria in 1968 and although still active to the end, No. 45231 took no part in any of the many final railtour workings in July and August of that year.
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