Vintage Trains, the Tyseley based Railtour operator, are gearing up to operate what may be a contender for the unusual steam charter train of the year.
Vintage Trains will operate two former Great Western Railway Pannier Tanks around the East Midlands.
The charter, aptly named “Double Headed Panniers” will run from Tyseley, where the locomotives are based, around the East Midlands, encompassing the Coalville line between Leicester and Burton, and the freight only line bypassing Derby.
The two locomotives operating the train include the spectacular looking “L94”, from the 57xx fleet. This locomotive represents Tyseley at various railways. It was built in 1930 for use in the South Wales area, and was transferred to London Transport in 1959, where it operated the last steam hauled train on the Metropolitan line in 1971.
The other locomotive is another 57xx Pannier, numbered 9600. Built in 1945, 9600 was based in Swindon and Bristol until 1962, where it went to South Wales. It moved to private coal duties in 1965, and was fully withdrawn in 1973.
The pair will work together in “double headed” formation for the entire trip, and will arguably produce and exceptional spectacle, particularly considering the charter is almost entirely operating in die-hard LMS territory!
Seating is only available now in Premier Dining class, with seats expected to sell out very rapidly.
The given photos show a similar looking locomotives on Steam on The Met event a decade ago.