British Line Society secures Thunderer for railtour return after 28-year gap

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THE Branch Line Society has scored a major coup by securing Garcia Hanson’s No. 50008 Thunderer for a railtour on July 27. 

The ‘50’ has been active on the main line for several years, but to date has only hauled passenger trains on heritage railways. 

Its last railtour outing is thought to have been in October 1991, shortly before the ‘Laira blue’ locomotive was withdrawn from departmental duties in June 1992. 

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No. 50008 Thunderer will haul a main line passenger train for the first time since October 1991, when it works a Branch Line Society trip from Derby to Carlisle via the Tyne Valley and Settle to Carlisle lines on July 27. The Hanson & Hall Rail Services-owned machine stands at UK Rail Leasing’s Leicester depot on February 12 awaiting its next duty. BEN JONES

The July 27 tour will start from Derby (07.30), picking up at Sheffield and Leeds before heading north on the East Coast Main Line to Low Fell, where it will take the Tyne Valley line to Carlisle. 

After a break of around three hours (13.30-16.30), the return leg runs via the Settle to Carlisle Line, including a photo stop at Garsdale, to set down at Leeds (19.15) and then back to Derby (21.20) via Hambleton South Junction, Doncaster and Sheffield (20.30). 

Read more in the March 2019 issue of The RM – on sale now!

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Nigel Devereux

Let off some steam...