The first series of National Railway Museum (NRM) promoted shuttle trains between the York NRM and its Shildon Locomotion northern base.
These will operate over two weekends in September. Tickets for this inaugural cross-site venture are on sale via the Railway Touring Company website.
The trains operate on September 17/18 and 24/5 and will feature three steam locomotives and one diesel. Trains DO NOT use York station, but depart from the NRM’s south yard at York and join the East Coast Main Line at Skelton Junction. The shuttles will link the two Museums and call at Northallerton and Darlington North Road adjacent to the Darlington Railway Museum.
With one exception, the shuttles will be operated by NRM owned locomotives including Royal Class 47 diesel No. 47798 Prince William at the start and end of each of the four days. In between, BR ‘Britannia’ Class No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell will be used each day along with LSWR express engine ‘King Arthur’ class No. 30777 Sir Lamiel. These will be supplemented by West Coast Railway Company owned GWR ‘Hall’ Class No. 5972 Olton Hall running in its world famous red liveried Hogwarts Castle identity.
These trains were originally to be the launch of the Iconic NRM engine, Ex LNER ‘Pacific’ No. 4472/60103 Flying Scotsman which will not now happen due to cracks being found in the locomotive’s frames after overhaul. The engine is not expected back into public main line service until 2012 now.
Helen Ashby OBE, Head of Knowledge and Collections said: “This is the first time we’ve operated a service like this and we are very proud to be able to offer such a unique experience with not just one, but two free National Railway Museums at either end. Both diesel and steam enthusiasts can take in the sights, sounds and smells at either site and join us on a relaxing ride along the East Coast Main Line”.
The NRM advises that prices, operating times and locomotives are subject to change. The National Railway Museum in York will open earlier on both weekends to ensure that visitors can board the shuttles prior to departure. Check the website or call the museum switchboard for updates and further information. Admission to the National Railway Museum in York and Locomotion in Shildon is free.
Tickets can be purchased by contacting the National Railway Museum on 01904 621261 or via their website and the NRM advises that only single tickets are now available and should be purchased in advance. Singles between York and Shildon are priced at £30 adult and £10 for children and half these amounts for journeys between Shildon and Darlington. If you are at either York or Locomotion, tickets can also be purchased at the admission desks
The Head of Steam Museum at the North Road terminus will also take part in the event, offering free admission to their site on both weekends. The trains will be operated and stock provided by The West Coast Railway Company as part of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations.
For the more steam minded, there is an extra attraction on the second weekend of operation which offers free admission at both Museums. York is hosting a two day LMS Steam Weekend with a number of visiting LMS locomotives operating steam rides in South Yard. There will also be trade stands from LMS associations and cab access to a number of engines in light steam.
Expected attendees include LMS ‘Princess Royal’ Class No.6201 Princess Elizabeth, LMS Fairburn 2-6-4T No. 42085, LMS No.45305 Black 5, LMS Royal Scot Class Scots Guardsman and LMS heavy freight engine, 8F No.48151 Gauge O Guild.
At Locomotion in Shildon, the 7th Annual Steam Gala takes place with steam rides behind Furness Railway No. 20 and 0-6-0 Saddletank Sir Berkeley on offer. There will also be trade stands and displays by heritage associations and cab access to locomotives in light steam. GWR express engine No. 3440 City of Truro will be at Shildon subject to availability. LNER ‘A4’ No. 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley has been forced to miss the event due to ongoing boiler repairs at Grosmont.