Rail enthusiasts urged not to go loco as steam train takes on regular services

PABEST

Tornado, the newest steam locomotive in Britain, crosses the Ribbleshead Viaduct in North Yorkshire, on the last day of its scheduled service running from Skipton to Appleby. PIC: PA
PABEST Tornado, the newest steam locomotive in Britain, crosses the Ribbleshead Viaduct in North Yorkshire, on the last day of its scheduled service running from Skipton to Appleby. PIC: PA
0
Have your say

A steam train has hauled passengers on a scheduled main line service for the first time in half a century.

Thousands of people turned out to watch the Peppercorn class A1 steam locomotive Tornado begin the first of three days of pulling the regular service between Appleby in Cumbria and Skipton, in North Yorkshire, along the famous Settle to Carlisle line.

The train left Appleby Station at 8.25am on Tuesday and thundered through the Yorkshire Dales, including a pass over the Ribblehead Viaduct - the mecca for all steam engine and railway photography enthusiasts.

In Skipton, there were queues for the few remaining tickets as travellers took advantage of the chance to travel on a steam-pulled service at regular prices.

The initiative, organised by Northern Rail, Network Rail and the Friends of Settle and Carlisle, runs from Tuesday until Thursday, running two return journeys each day.

Rail enthusiasts have already snapped up almost all the reserved seats, around half of the 500 seats on each journey.

British Transport Police (BTP) officers have been patrolling the route over the three days and have encouraged enthusiasts to enjoy the spectacle while remaining at a safe vantage point.

Inspector Neil Hubbs, from BTP, said: “We understand people are excited about seeing the Tornado and want them to enjoy the occasion and, of course, have a great day out.

“Our priority is the safety of the public and passengers viewing and travelling on the train.

“The railway is a hazardous environment and we urge people who are planning on attending to use safe vantage points to view and take pictures of the train, stay clear of the line and not to risk their lives and the lives of others by trespassing on the tracks, and to respect local landowners by not trespassing on any private land.”

Paul Barnfield, regional director at Northern Railway, said: “It is great to see so many people supporting this historic venture.

“We always knew that the first timetabled steam services in the UK for 50 years would be extremely popular, but the demand for tickets has been phenomenal.

“The running of Tornado on the Settle and Carlisle line - as a timetabled service - is going to be quite a spectacle and we want everyone to be able to enjoy the three-day event.

“The services, and all stations along the line, will be extremely busy and we understand that even those who are not travelling will want to be able to witness Tornado running on the historic line.

trolley-dashed: The NGT New Generation Transport scheme was scrapped last year

Aisha Iqbal: Let’s all have our say on Leeds’s ‘son of trolleybus’ plans