Historic locomotive to recreate 'Farewell to Steam' journey through Solihull - The Solihull Observer

Historic locomotive to recreate 'Farewell to Steam' journey through Solihull

Solihull Editorial 14th Apr, 2024   0

AN historic record-breaking  locomotive will next month recreate a special train journey made through Solihull  60 years ago to say farewell to steam power.

Nostalgic railway enthusiasts have already snapped up nearly all the 330 tickets to travel on “The  Great Western 1Z48” from Birmingham’s Snow Hill station.

It will be hauled by Clun Castle, a giant 80-ton steam engine built at Swindon for British Railways in 1950, stopping at Widney Manor on the way to Oxford and Bristol and then to Plymouth.

The following day it will travel to London Paddington before a diesel takes over for the last leg of the journey back to Birmingham.

A spokesman for Tyseley-based Vintage Trains, who are organising the journey on May 10 and 11, said: “We will be travelling back in time to recreate one of the final steam journeys during the days of British Rail.

“Clun Castle, one of the Western Region’s crack express locos, hauled the train on that occasion in May, 1964, for part of the route from Plymouth to Bristol.

“It reached a top speed of 96mph, notching up the fastest ever non-stop run between the cities in two hours, 13 minutes and nine seconds.

“And the driver Henry Roach reckoned that if he had been allowed he could easily have topped 100mph.”

The Great Western departs from Birmingham Snow Hill and goes through Widney Manor on Friday May 10.

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