Published: 29th May 2016
Flying Scotsman continues its series of main line excursions in June starting off as it finished in May, working for Steam Dreams and then moving on to work for the Railway Touring Company.
The final Steam Dreams’ trains are on 1 June when there are two ‘Surrey Hills’ excursions, one late morning and one evening departure from London Victoria. These typically run via Redhill and Guildford and take about four hours on the circular route which is scenic and hilly, as the train’s title suggests!
Steam Dreams’ final date with the engine is on 5 June on the final leg of a three-day’ Cambrian Coast Express’ themed holiday to North Wales. Flying Scotsman will pull the train from Crewe to Paddington to conclude the mini-holiday and to sum this up, here is the Steam Dreams roster:
June 1. 60103. ‘Surrey Hills Lunchtime Tour’. Victoria-Surrey Hills-Victoria.
June 1. 60103. ‘Surrey Hills Evening Tour’. Victoria-Surrey Hills-Victoria.
June 5. TBA and 60103. ‘Cambrian Coast Express’. Paddington-Llandudno. Chester-Paddington. Diesel hauled Shrewsbury and Pwlhelli. 60103 Crewe-London section.
The Railway Touring Company is promoting a series of trains using Flying Scotsman starting on 4 June with a London Victoria to York trip which is diesel hauled on the return leg. Network Rail does not want Flying Scotsman to operate out of Kings Cross because of trespass fears so the train starts at Victoria departing at around 0630hrs. It then takes a circuitous route via Acton and Dudding Hill and on to the Midland Main Line taking 90 minutes to reach St. Albans and also calling at Luton, Bedford, Kettering and Melton Mowbray at about 1045hrs before going on to York arriving at 1400hrs.
On 11 June, Flying Scotsman visits Lincolnshire departing Cleethorpes at about 0730hrs and calling at Grimsby, Barnetby, Scunthorpe at around 0820hrs and then goes on to York arriving at about 1000hrs. The train, called ‘The Tynesider’ goes on to Newcastle arriving at about 1230hrs and does a loop via Morpeth and the Blythe and Tyne freight route and back to York and from there, diesel hauled to Cleethorpes.
A week later on 18 June, the famous locomotive takes a train from Newark to York departing at around 1000hrs. This train was due to be pulled by Flying Scotsman from Kings Cross but the actions of trespassers have prevented this as they cannot be trusted to behave properly. But at least now the Transport Police has said that they will now prosecute these people which reverses their original policy. The train starts at Kings Cross at 0700hrs diesel hauled and also calls at Welwyn Garden City, Huntingdon and Peterborough.
The engine takes another train from London Victoria to York via St Albans and the Midland Main Line on 25 June with similar times as 4 June and also returns to London diesel hauled. The full roster is:
June 4. 60103. ‘The Yorkshireman’. Victoria- St. Albans-Luton-Bedford-Kettering-Melton Mowbray-York. Diesel hauled return journey.
June 11. 60103. ‘The Tynsider’. Cleethorpes-Grimsby-Barnetby-Scunthorpe-York-Newcastle-Morpeth and return.
June 18. Kings Cross-Welwyn Garden City-Huntingdon-Peterborough-Newark by diesel. 60103 Newark to York via Lincoln and Gainsborough.
June 25. 60103. ‘The Yorkshireman’. Victoria- St. Albans-Luton-Bedford-Kettering-Melton Mowbray-York. Diesel hauled return journey.
Flying Scotsman will probably attract huge crowds at Harringworth where the line crosses a wide valley on the UK’s longest masonry viaduct at about 1000hrs.
Top tip : Watch the train from the north-east side as the sun will be behind you and the engine will be working hard once leaving the viaduct climbing the gradient.
The engine will be stopping at Morpeth for water on 11 June affording a longer view of proceedings. As the train crosses the Tyne in Newcastle, there should be a spectacular view from the river banks far below. The 18 June excursion takes a scenic route from Newark to York, routed via Lincoln and Gainsborough with a water stop at Finningley.
Normally train times for steam services are posted three or four days beforehand but because of trespass, they are now uploaded on the same day. They can be found at : http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/
Click on ‘go to search page’ on the right hand side and select the detailed search option.
This will bring up the following page: http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced
Then type in the starting location of the train and look for the train which will have an identification headcode starting with 1Z operated by West Coast Railway Company.
The Railway Touring Company can be contacted on 01553 661 500 but do not call for train times, they will be busy organising the services.