Posted: Sun 16th Apr 2023

Jubilee Class Loco ‘Bahamas’ scheduled to steam through Flintshire on Sunday

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Apr 16th, 2023

Local train enthusiasts will have the chance to see a steam locomotive pass through Flintshire today, Sunday, April 17.

Jubilee Class steam train 45596 ‘Bahamas’ will be steaming along the North Wales Coast Line on Sunday afternoon as part of a nine-day luxury train journey across Great Britain, costing passengers up to £3,575.

The Great Britain XV tour stops at Bristol, north Wales, Edinburgh, Blackpool, Scarborough, Spalding, King’s Lynn, Felixstowe, and London.

The lavish excursion includes a number of highlights such as passing through Shotton and along the north Wales coast, crossing the Wharncliffe Viaduct, as well as steaming through picturesque landscapes like the Vale of Pewsey and Snowdonia, and visiting historic cities such as Plymouth and Aberdeen.

The tour ends next Sunday with a rare opportunity to travel over the Felixstowe branch by a steam-hauled charter train before returning to London.

Today, Sunday 16 April, is day two of the luxury tour, which began in Bristol at 8.30 am. The locomotive climbed up to Filton station before joining the South Wales main line towards Newport.

The train then continued northwards through Abergavenny, reaching Llanvihangel Summit and crossing frequently between Wales and England.

Passengers on the train will enjoy stunning views of the Shropshire hills before reaching Shrewsbury, a major junction for several routes.

From there, the train ascended the steep incline of Coton Hill Bank and passed through Gobowen and Chirk before arriving at Chester Station at around *2.12 pm.

After a reversal at Chester, the train heads westwards along the North Wales Coast line, passing through Shotton (3.47 pm), Flint (3.51 pm), and Rhyl before arriving at Llandudno Junction.

Passengers will get the opportunity to admire the Conwy Estuary from Stephenson’s tubular bridge, with Conwy Castle in the background.

The train will then continue along the coast, offering stunning views of Puffin Island and the Isle of Anglesey, before crossing the Menai Straits on the Britannia Bridge, with scenic views of Telford’s historic suspension bridge.

The journey continued across the centre of Anglesey, passing through the Valley region before arriving at Holyhead, marking the end of the steam haulage for the day.

Passengers then returned to Llandudno Junction diesel-hauled and transferred to their nearby hotel for two nights.

The tour, organised by The Railway Touring Company includes eight nights of hotel accommodation, six breakfasts, four lunches and four dinners all silver served at passengers’ seats.

LMS Jubilee Class 5596 Bahamas

Built in 1934 by the North British Locomotive Company, the locomotive was initially used by the LMS railway company.

It received the name Bahamas in 1936 after the islands in the Atlantic Ocean that were part of the British Empire.

In 1961, under the ownership of British Railways, the locomotive underwent experimental modifications aimed at improving performance and extending the service life of steam locomotives.

These changes included installing a double blastpipe and exhaust system, which increased the boiler’s steaming capacity and allowed the use of poorer-quality coal.

Despite its successful trial run, Bahamas was withdrawn from traffic in 1966, prompting a preservation society to acquire it from British Rail to prevent it from being scrapped.

After extensive repairs by the Hunslet Engine Company, the locomotive was transported to Dinting Railway Museum near Glossop, Derbyshire.

Following British Rail’s lifting of the ban on steam locomotives, Bahamas was permitted to run on the national rail network. It made its first excursion in October 1972, proving there was public demand for steam trains.

However, it was removed from service a year later when its boiler certificate expired.

The locomotive was overhauled and returned to service in 1988 but was again withdrawn when its ticket expired.

It alternated between public displays and storage between 1997 and 2013 before another overhaul began in 2013, and it finally returned to mainline operations in early 2019.

The preservation of Bahamas is a testament to the enduring fascination of steam locomotives and is a valuable piece of British cultural heritage.

*Note that the times mentioned are subject to change.

It is recommended to check the Real Time Trains website for accurate timings.

Click here:

[Main photo: George Jones]


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