Michael Williams

Chuffed as steam returns to scheduled services after half a century


February 14, 2017 Blog, Uncategorized

WONDERFUL to see steam on  timetabled services on the Settle and Carlisle line this week. For the first time in half a century it’s been possible to buy a ticket on National Rail and travel behind a steam locomotive on a normal scheduled train service. Of course, the S&C line – England’s most scenic – is no ordinary railway any more than Tornado, which hauled the trains is your bog-standard steam locomotive. And the services only last for three days.

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But  it’s an enterprising new departure pioneered by Northern Rail, the idea borrowed from the Germans who for years have turned over timetabled services to steam on a regular basis on what is known as a Plandampf. Travelling by steam train these days is usually an expensive treat reserved for special, one-off journeys costing up to £250 for a day excursion. But tickets on the scheduled Appleby to Skipton service cost the same as they would if operated by modern diesel engines: £17 for the whole 70-mile journey, less with a railcard. Normally tickets to ride behind the Tornado, Britain’s newest main line steam engine – on a special chartered service cost between £50 and £100. Though many of the 2,000 passengers lucky enough to get a seat were railway enthusiasts, many had no idea they’d be travelling by steam rather than the usual diesel railcar


February 14, 2017 Blog, Uncategorized

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