This special Fellsman was promoted to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Fifteen Guinea Special, British Railways' last steam hauled train. We were promised a double header of LMS 4-6-0s, hopefully Scots Guardsman and Galatea in BR Brunswick Green. Although Galatea appeared earlier this year, it was in a strange red livery and has since developed middle cylinder problems, whilst Scots Guardsman was busy this week on the bucket and spade run to Scarborough.
We still got the Stanier double header though, in the shape of two immaculate Black Fives, not belonging to Riley and with late BR logo, Nos 44932 and 45231. Appropriate traction also for the re-run of the northern part of 1T57's itinerary. Handsome they were, and handsome they did right from the off, storming up the bank out of Lancaster and reaching 57 at the University, then onwards and upwards all the way to the outskirts of Preston, covering the first 19 miles from a standing start in just 21 minutes.
On the climb from Daisyfield Junction in Blackburn, we accelerated to 37 and dropped only to 32 at the summit at Wilpshire. We ambled on through the beautiful Lancashire coutryside to a long water stop at Hellifield, then the fireworks started again. From a standing start at Long Preston we reached 53 by Settle Junction and were hardly restrained by the start of the 1 in 100, still doing 51 through Settle station. By Helwith Bridge we were down to 42 but accelerated to 47 along the level stretch and stayed in the mid-40s all the way up until having to slow for Ribblehead - an excellent climb. Along the tops through Garsdale we touched 60 again and went over Ais Gill at 53. We rollicked down to Appleby, staying four minutes ahead of schedule until a slow approach for the water stop. Most of our run on to Carlisle was also at around line speed and we were 6 minutes early at Petteril Bridge Junction before the usual stop outside Carlisle station.
This was an excellent morning's run on a glorious summer's day with competent engines and spirited crew. I had to butt out of the return run as I had acquired some painful smuts from a short spell of window hanging during the morning. So I watched the train depart then jumped on a Pendolino, straight back home and to A&E! I am assured the eye will mend in a few days - meantime I have many happy memories!
© Peter Hewitt's Transport Pictures