IN THE LAST 25 YEARS YOU’VE SEEN…

(In no par­tic­u­lar or­der, and far from com­pre­hen­sive)

Steam Railway (UK) - - Down Main -

Bit­tern’s 90mph trips (2013); the demise of BR (In­ter­City’s last steam runs - 1994); ‘Bris­to­lian’ non-stops (2010); the ‘Shap Tri­als’ with Duke of Glouces­ter, Duchess of Hamil­ton and Sir Nigel Gres­ley (1995); Tor­nado’s com­ple­tion (2008/2009) - and 100mph run (2017); Cana­dian Pa­cific blow­ing a tube at Pad­dock Wood (2002); West Coast tak­ing on the ‘Ja­co­bite’ (1995) and its phe­nom­e­nal sub­se­quent growth; the start of the multi-day ‘Great Bri­tain’ tours (2007); Clan Line pi­o­neer­ing the ‘retro-fit­ting’ of air brakes and haul­ing the ‘Bri­tish Pull­mans’ (1994); ‘8F’ No. 48151 on an ‘S&C’ freight (2000); Blue Peter’s high-speed slip at Durham (1994); Pan­nier tank No. 9600 mov­ing empty stock (2000); Duchess of Hamil­ton’s re­tire­ment from the main line (1996) and Duchess of Sutherland’s re­turn (2001); Tang­mere’s SPAD at Woot­ton Bas­sett Junc­tion (2015); Oliver Cromwell re­turn­ing to the main line for the 40th an­niver­sary of ‘1T57’ (2008); the speed limit for many en­gines be­ing in­creased from 60mph to 75mph (1994); a Set­tle-Carlisle ‘Plan­dampf’ (2017); steam back at King’s Cross - ini­tially with the SR ‘El­iz­a­bethan’ (1994); Did­cot’s ‘Steam Rail­mo­tor’ on Corn­wall’s Looe branch (2012); and DM’s first writer David Wil­cock dan­gling from the Forth Bridge (2004). In that time pro­mot­ers and train op­er­a­tors have come and gone, as has the Strate­gic Rail Author­ity - and Rail­track. To para­phrase David Wil­cock, who wrote this col­umn from 1992 to 2008: “Wel­come to Down Main, Septem­ber 2017… you’re now 25 years older!”

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