Sunday, June 28, 2015

Tornado in Wamphray

A complete rainbow over the West Coast Main Line on Friday evening was a sure sign of something special about to happen.

So with that good omen, I joined a good number of fellow 'enthusiasts' on Saturday morning, at Lockerbie Station, for a few seconds of excitement!

Here is LNER A1 Class 4-6-2 no 60163 Tornado, after its recent overhaul, pulling a steam charter. The 'Border Reivers' left from Carlisle to do a circular route northwards via the West Coast Main, through Wamphray, to Paisley, Ayr, Mauchline, Thornhill, Dumfries, and back to Carlisle.

Scotrail's new franchise holder Abellio has ventured into steam charters to showcase the country’s scenery, and is part of their marketing strategy to encourage more visitors to travel by train. Gets my vote!

At my age, I am happy when excitement comes in short bursts. But watching Tornado whoosh through Lockerbie was very much a case of 'blink and you've missed it'.

So, later in the day, to get more of a 'steam fix', I was waiting at Carlisle's Citadel Station to welcome the charter back to its starting point, right on time. It was somewhat disconcerting to see the train arrive at platform 3 from the north. Most steam arrives in Carlisle from the south.


A happy driving crew poses for photographs.

Considering it was a new build in 2008, Tornado seems to have gained a lot of affection amongst steam enthusiasts.

The locomotive ran around the SRPS rake of carriages quickly and efficiently.

Tender first, Tornado was soon on its way north again. The Border Reivers charter was a sell out, I note. I look forward to seeing more steam on Scottish lines in the future.

Photos © Skip Cottage

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