The years leading up to the end of steam on BR in 1968 were a time for many railway enthusiasts to pull out all the stops in a last-ditch attempt to record on camera the ever dwindling stock of steam locos still working on our railways. I was amongst those, lucky in that the north west of England was their final stronghold. My home in Bolton was close to the busy Manchester to Preston line, the route of what became the last ‘named train’ to be steam hauled, ‘The Belfast Boat Express’ to Heysham Harbour. From Preston, travelling the West Coast Main Line between Wigan North Western and Lancaster Castle stations became a regular week-end activity, venturing over Shap to Carlisle when opportunity arose. Most of these journeys were steam hauled, usually by a ‘Black 5’ or one of the last ‘Pacifics’, the Britannias, while shutters were kept clicking as grimy 8Fs and 9Fs hauled their freight through smoke filled stations.
🌟 The Railway By Andrew Dow
🌟 Train Doctor By Roger Senior