Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
1:00 AM 24th February 2024

East Lancashire Railway's 'Legends Of Steam' Is Back

East Lancashire Railway’s steam gala will be extra special next month (March) - thanks to legendary locomotives with royal connections.

The ‘Legends of Steam’ event will welcome two locomotive icons, BR Standard, Class 7, 70000 ‘Britannia’ and LNER, A4, 60007 ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ to the tracks.

These special locomotives have helped transport the Queen and the then Prince Charles and will be the stars of the show at the event on March 15-17.

The Britannia - completed in 1951 - was the first UK standard locomotive to be built and spent 15 years serving the national network. This Locomotive is owned by Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust and regularly operates charter trains on the national network run by Locomotive Services Limited based in Crewe.

In 2011 she returned to the mainline after a 14-year absence and hauled the Royal Train with the then Prince Charles onboard from Preston to Wakefield in 2012.

ELR will also host LNER, A4, 60007 ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’, which was built in 1937 and worked for 29 years before being purchased by the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust Ltd to rescue the locomotive from the cutter's torch. The Locomotive recently returned to service in 2022 following an extensive overhaul. This locomotive also operates regular mainline charter trains operated by Locomotive Services.

In 1956 she had the honour of hauling the Royal Train from King’s Cross to York while the Queen was onboard.

Sir Nigel Gresley is the only A4 class locomotive to be owned by a charitable trust, and it can be seen regularly running on mainline and heritage railways up and down the UK.

These two iconic locomotives will also be supported by LMS Jubilee Locomotive 45690 ‘Leander’ for the three days of this event.

Mark Hill, Commercial Manager of the East Lancashire Railway, said:
“Over the years we have welcomed a great many iconic locomotives to the ELR and we are very proud and excited to make these locomotives available to the many thousands of enthusiasts to see, hear and ride behind them.

“These exciting additions to the ELR’s ‘Legends of Steam’ event promises to make the celebration even more special.

“I’d like to thank the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust Ltd, Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust, Locomotive Services and the Jubilee Locomotive Co for allowing these icons to operate on our railway.”

It will take place from March 15-17 with day ticket and dining options available, with more information available on the East Lancashire Railway website.

Day Rover and weekend tickets are available to buy here.