Steam trains fascinate me.
They've always had.
The only time i've ever been on a steam train was on one of UK's many heritage lines; preserved and maintained voluntarily by avid lovers of these old relics.
The only problem i've ever had with these lines (and it's only one problem) is that it's just too short.
I mean, when you read the old Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot novels (or watch the films on TV), you see the bygone age of steam with passengers travelling many miles between two major cities or more. You can't get that experience on a heritage line.
This leads me on to the reason for this blog post. I spoke briefly last time about a steam train that travelled on britain's mainline (in the modern era --- i.e, last year) from Paddington to Plymouth and back!
Until last year, despite my interest in these steam trains, I never knew you could get a steam train from a busy London terminal to another major city in the UK.
But, you can! In fact, anyone can.... just book one of the many chartered special trains that operate throughout the year.
See my previous post on the subject for booking information.
Tornado on tour in South-East London
Unfortunately, I don't own a camcorder at present, and so I couldn't share with you film clips of these old trains. And so, I did a little digging and came across the following film from YouTube of a modern chartered steam train service flying through South-East London from Victoria bound for Kent.
After doing some research on the actual steam engine used on this train, I came up with an amazing fact!
The actual steam engine wasn't refurbished ------ it was a modern build! (when this film was taken, it couldn't have been that much over a year old!)
Who says mainline steam travel was dead!?
According to Wikipedia:
60163 Tornado is a main-line steam locomotive built in Darlington, England. Completed in 2008, Tornado was the first such locomotive built in the United Kingdom since Evening Star, the last steam locomotive built by British Railways, in 1960. Designed to meet modern safety and certification standards, Tornado runs on the UK rail network and on mainline-connected heritage railways. The locomotive is named after the Panavia Tornado military jet.
Learn more about the 60163 Tornado via the Wikipedia article.
Until next time.....