Giant steam locomotive Scarborough Spa Express back on the track - here's when you can climb aboard

A giant steam locomotive that hauled the very first Bournemouth Belle train and used to pull the legendary Atlantic Coast Express from London to Exeter will be operating into Scarborough this summer.

Monday, 6th July 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 2:59 pm
The steam locomotive starts running at the end of July

British India Line is one of three historic stream engines lined up for West Coast Railways’ Scarborough Spa excursion trains when it gets back on track later this month following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The other two are Scots Guardsman, which featured in the iconic 1936 black and white documentary Night Mail film over the soundtrack of W H Auden’s classic poem, and Jubilee Class Alberta.

The Scarborough Spa Express will be diesel-hauled from Carnforth to York before a steam locomotive takes over.

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Special safety measures are being introduced on the train following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Social distancing will reduce the number of seats in the vintage former British Railways carriages.

All passengers will have to wear face masks while on board.

A West Coast Railways spokesman said: “Obviously safety of our passengers, staff and the local communities are paramount.

“So we have reduced the number of seats and only members of the same family or ‘social pods’ will be allowed to sit together.

“But we are confident that that none of these measures will detract from a great day out on our trains.”

The Scarborough Spa Express has its origins in the Scarborough Flier, which began running from London to the resort and on to Whitby in 1927.

The Dalesman steam train will also start operating this month from York, travelling over the picturesque Settle-Carlisle line.

The Scarborough Spa Express makes its first trip on July 30 and will then run weekly until September 24.

The trains will start at Carnforth, but the first week travels via Lancaster, Preston, Blackburn, Hebden Bridge, Brighouse and Wakefield to York. The second week it will go via Hellifield, Skipton, Keighley, Shipley and Woodlesford (Leeds) to York.

Then it alternates each week until September 24.

The trains should have started running in June, but obviously couldn’t because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

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