Historic steam train to visit Blackpool, Preston and Ribble Valley

An historic steam locomotive will travel through the region on Saturday as part of a day tour.

Friday, 12th April 2019, 3:17 pm
Updated Friday, 12th April 2019, 4:34 pm
The steam locomotive Leander will visit Preston, Blackpool and the Ribble Valley (Photo: Shutterstock)

Taking in the beautiful views of the North West, including Blackpool Tower and the Ribble Valley, the train will circle the Forest of Bowland.

The Leander, a 1936 engine, will take day-trippers from Blackpool, to Preston, and then through the Ribble Valley, skirting the Yorkshire Dales before stopping at Carnforth.

When can I see it?

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The Leander will be connected to the rear of the coaches at Preston at around 10.50 before leaving for Blackpool, pulled by an electric locomotive.

For trainspotters, however, the train will be pulled by the Leander after leaving Blackpool at 2pm, with the best chance to see the steam engine during this period and when it arrives into Preston at 17.42.

Where is it going?

The train will be steam hauled from Blackpool to Preston, and then from Preston, through Penwortham, Lostock Hall, Bamber Bridge, Houghton, Blackburn, Blackburn, Clitheroe, Hellifield, and Carnforth.

Along the way the train will join the Hellifield line at Daisyfield Junction, tackle the steep climb up to Whilpshire Tunnel, and then take in the long descent towards the 48-arch viaduct over the river Calder at Whalley.

What is the history of the locomotive?

The Leander was operated by London Midland and Scotland railways for nearly 30 years between 1936 and 1964.

It is currently owned by the West Coast Railway Company, and for this trip is being used by The Railway Touring Company as part of their Pennine Blackpool Express tour.

A day on the train costs between £109 and £264 depending on the level of luxury required.