The festive season normally sees an intensive programme of main line steam tours, many originating in London and bound for a variety of Christmas markets or carol services.
The Railway Touring Company usually runs several tours from King’s Cross or East Anglia to both Lincoln and York in December and 2016 was no exception, although operational problems affected the programme more than in previous years.
Motive power was originally expected to be John Cameron’s LNER A4 Pacific No. 60009 Union of South Africa but this was unavailable and the substitute engine was the rather less appropriate LMS Princess Coronation Pacific No. 46233 Duchess of Sutherland, which nonetheless has an exemplary record on ECML trains.
However, a broken buckeye coupling on a coach caused the cancellation of the King’s Cross-Lincoln tour of December 3 and the late notification that the engine has become out of gauge at many locations in East Anglia, caused trains to be diesel-hauled from Norwich on the 8th and Cambridge on the 21st with No. 46233 only working the Peterborough-York section of each train.
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