Special ‘A4’ charter as UK Railtours outlines 2019 plans

WHAT could be the final chance to enjoy ‘A4’ No. 60009 Union of South Africa over the Settle to Carlisle Line heads a varied programme of days out being organised by UK Railtours for the first half of 2019.

On March 9, the popular ‘Streak’ will take over the as-yet untitled train in York and head via Leeds and Skipton to the ‘Long Drag’. After a break for a locomotive change in Carlisle, the return route to London is via Newcastle and the East Coast Main Line, completing an enticing day through varied scenery. Fares start at £119 in Standard Class.

A week later the ‘Somerset Strimmer’ (RM Oct) will head from London Victoria to the East Somerset Railway at Cranmore, with a DB Cargo Class 59/2 at the helm.

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To commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, UK Railtours ran the now-annual Class 395 remembrance tour on November 10. The ‘Victory Javelin’ from St Pancras International ran on various lines in Kent to Portsmouth Harbour via Bognor Regis, and saw the 140mph Hitachi EMUs make their debut at Southampton Central. Sweeping through an ‘S’ bend north of Arundel on the Mid-Sussex line, Nos. 395017 Passchendaele and 395018 The Victory look purposeful as they descend from the South Downs, making for the seaside terminus at Bognor Regis. JOHN VAUGHAN

A rather different enthusiast tour is planned for March 30, taking in many rare lines and freight branches in and around London. ‘Ye Olde Blackfriar’ will pair two GB Railfreight Class 73s (‘73/1s’ have been requested) and London Transport Museum’s red ‘4-TC’ set for an intensive exploration of London’s railways.

Starting at Blackfriars, the tour will visit Cannon Street, London Bridge, Lewisham, Hayes, Ladywell Spur, London Bridge, Grove Park, Bromley North, Lee Spur, Crayford Spur, Charlton, Angerstein Wharf, Charlton, Dartford, Strood, the Medway Valley line, Paddock Wood, Tonbridge, Redhill, Purley, Tattenham Corner, Purley, Tulse Hill, Tooting, Wimbledon, Weybridge Flat Crossing, Virginia Water, Hounslow, Kew, Willesden SW Sidings, Kensington Olympia, Pouparts Junction, Canterbury Road Junction and Elephant & Castle before returning to Blackfriars.

Read more in the December issue of The RM – on sale now!

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