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11 August 2009

On this day in history: Last steam-hauled mainline passenger train on British Railways, 1968

On 11th August 1968 a special train set off from Liverpool Lime Street station on a return trip to Carlisle. The train, known as the 'Fifteen Guinea Special' because of the cost of the fair, was the last steam-hauled passenger service on British Rail's standard gauge tracks. The next day saw a start of a ban instituted by British Rail management, from then on only diesel and electric locomotives were to be used.

Around 450 enthusiasts set off at 9:10 am on the 314-mile round trip, and thousands more gathered at the stations and other points along the route to wave at the train as it passed. Four locomotives were used to haul the train over various stages: on the first leg, between Liverpool and Manchester, the LMS Stanier Class 5 locomotive 45110 was used; between Manchester Victoria and Carlisle, the BR standard class 7 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' provided the power; from Carlisle back to Manchester two more Class 5s - 44781 and 44871 - were used; 45110 hauled the final leg back to Lime Street where it was greeted as it steamed in at just before 8 pm by a large crowd.

© D. Harvey, 1968


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4 comments:

Glen / Kent Today & Yesterday said...

A sad day when steam hauled rail services in the UK ended but fortunately quite a few have survived for future generations to enjoy.

Glen

http://kenttodayandyesterday.blogspot.com

Stepterix said...

Indeed, it was a sad say. Although, romanticism shouldn't stand in the way of progress. Steam trains were too labour intensive and uneconomical.

Thanks for the comment

Anonymous said...

The steam trips on the 4th to Stockport and the 11th were both specially arranged.

Before this there were some sporadic workings on mainline BR probably because the steam locos were kept fired to carry their sisters to their demise.

Apparently though the last official day of scheduled aka "diagramed" steam haulage was 2nd of august 1968: the day I was born and I loved Deltics!

Stepterix said...

Anon: Thanks for the extra information.