Historic steam engine trip to Blackpool, Preston and Ribble Valley is cancelled

An historic steam locomotive tour which was due to begin at Blackpool North Station next month will no longer go ahead.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 9th August 2021, 2:37 pm
The Leander in Blackpool in 2019

The Pennine Blackpool Express tour, which was due to take place on September 18, has been cancelled as a more popular tour, the Cumbrian Coast Express, has been rescheduled to take place that day instead.

The tour was supposed to begin at London Euston at 7.10am with a high-speed journey in a modern train along the West Coast Main Line. The steam engine, allocated from the Carnforth pool of steam locomotives, would be attached to the train at Preston station, being being hauled to Blackpool North station at 11.10am to begin its scenic journey around Lancashire.

The journey, run by The Railway Touring Company, would have seen the engine travel through Bamber Bridge and the long climb of Hoghton Bank to Blackburn. It was due to join the Hellifield line at Daisyfield Junction and then tackle the steep climb up to Whilpshire Tunnel, followed by a long descent towards the viaduct over the river Calder at Whalley. From there, it was due to travel north through the Ribble Valley towards Hellifield, and then to Carnforth, where an electric train would take passengers back to Preston.

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The last time such an historic engine toured through the area was in April 2019, when the Leander, a 1936 engine, transported day-trippers from Blackpool to Preston and then through the Ribble Valley.

Trainspotters gathered en route from Blackpool to Preston to get a glimpse of the old Jubilee Engine, which until the 1950s was one of the largest engines travelling on the lines running out of St Pancras railway station.

READ: Full steam ahead for historic engine The Leander as it travels from Blackpool to PrestonThe Cumbrian Coast Express, which will now take place instead of the Blackpool tour, will travel from Carlisle to Maryport, Workington and Whitehaven, and will continue along the coast to Barrow-in-Furness before arriving at Carnforth.