Clan line ticks the nos­tal­gia boxes

Steam Railway (UK) - - DOWNMAIN -

Clan Line’s 2019 pro­gramme may not yet be com­pletely ‘sorted’, but spokesman for the en­gine Paul Blow­field says a re­peat of its Novem­ber 24 gam­bol through Home Coun­ties hills is likely.

A dif­fer­ent take on a ‘cir­cu­lar’, el­e­ments of the UK Rail­tours ‘Chiltern and Downs’ evoked mem­o­ries of No. 35028’s time on the Maryle­bone to Strat­ford-upon-Avon trips of the 1980s. This one, how­ever, started just down the road from the Great Cen­tral ter­mi­nus, at Padding­ton, be­fore head­ing over the di­rect line to Birm­ing­ham as far as Bices­ter. A left turn for Ox­ford was fol­lowed by a run back to Lon­don via Read­ing and South­ern me­tals into Vic­to­ria.

A fur­ther as­pi­ra­tion for the forth­com­ing sea­son is a tour to the East Som­er­set Rail­way – maybe also tak­ing in Sal­is­bury – that idea be­ing among half a dozen or so trains to be dis­cussed be­tween the Mer­chant Navy Lo­co­mo­tive Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety and UKRT. Mean­while, the long-term ‘bread and but­ter’ work of the ‘British Pull­man’ is ex­pected to ac­count for 13 or 14 trips.

De­cem­ber, by the way, marks a round an­niver­sary for the Eastleigh ‘Pa­cific’, which was de­liv­ered in the last month of 1948 and started life at Bournemouth shed. There’s a dif­fer­ent date to keep in mind dur­ing 2019 too – the Bulleid en­gine was re­built in Oc­to­ber 1959.

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