Spot the difference - it’s the Lanky ‘A’-3’ class!
A humble Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway freight locomotive cheekily attempted to steal the national limelight from Flying Scotsman in October, as the celebrity Gresley ‘Pacific’ made its return visit to ‘Red Rose’ country. Having made its debut on ELR metals in January at the end of its £4.5 million rebuild (in temporary LNER black), the Gresley ‘A3’ returned for a further four days’ duty on October 13-16. It was also steamed on October 12 for an episode of Noel Edmunds’ Deal or No Deal, on Channel 4 later in the year. It pulled in a further 10,000 visitors for the ELR - but some were confused as to which locomotive they had come to see, after L&Y ‘A’ 0-6-0 No. 12322 was adorned with a ‘Flying Scotsman’ headboard. Although the small black Aspinall ‘3F’ is about as far removed from a beefy record-breaking ‘Pacific’ as one can imagine, the railway said it was “inundated with confused visitors”. The crew of No. 12322 were consequently asked to remove the offending item but promptly replaced it with a ‘Royal Scot’ headboard, which had a similar effect. The ELR reported that around 8,700 passengers occupied 96% of the seats on the non-stop Bury-Rawtenstall trains hauled by No. 60103, while those travelling on the other services - covered by No. 12322, ‘West Country’ No. 34092 City of Wells and ‘4MT’ 2-6-4T No. 80080 - took the total figure over 10,000. Although the total will still be lower than the 20,000 during the January visit, those trains were available at normal fares, while the latest series cost £25 per seat. No instances of trespass were reported, and the only glitch came with a SPAD (Signal Passed at Danger) incident on the Saturday, at Townsend Fold - involving a DMU shuttle. Having not scheduled an enthusiast gala this autumn to make way for ‘Scotsman’s’ visit, the ELR is planning a major event for March 11-13 next year, for which it “has feelers out for a number of big visiting engines.”
Flying Scotsman departs from Bury on October 13, passing L&Y ‘A’ 0‑6‑0 No. 12322 carrying the ‘Flying Scotsman’ headboard.