By Cedric Johns
Steam Dreams has announced that its annual ‘Cathedrals Express’ nine-day tour is to be revived on the UK’s shores for the first time since 2014, when Flying Scotsman headlines its ‘Highlands & Islands Explorer’ in May next year.
After three years of running in Ireland, the last trip including the Isle of Man and this month’s (April) tour of Germany, next year’s ‘Explorer’ will be extra special with involvement of the ‘world’s most famous engine’.
Steam Dreams’ founder Marcus Robertson says he is excited at the prospect of renewing acquaintance with Highlands & Islands.
“For all of us at Steam Dreams the Highlands & Islands has always been the most wonderful tour with unbeatable scenery.
“The opportunity to take Flying Scotsman north to Inverness and to renew its 1970 double heading action, this time with David Buck’s B1 Mayflower, is a great opportunity for the Class 5 4-6-0 to show its paces on fast main lines besides digging in on the gradients of the Scottish branches.
“There is no doubt that day five (of next year’s tour) will be marquee day for steam enthusiasts. When we did this in 2014 it was probably the best day working with a West Coast combination partnered with one of Ian Riley’s ‘Black Fives’”
“It was quite a long day departing Inverness at 7am and arriving Fort William at 9pm – but only 11 of those travelling with us opted for a direct coach transfer of two hours from Inverness!”
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