The weekly steam specials from Lancaster may have finished for the season but the West Coast Main Line will still see occasional steam trains throughout the Autumn and Winter. Today's locomotive, however, was "special" for a different reason. It's a class A1 Pacific - a type that hauled crack express trains on the East Coast route between London, Kings Cross and Scotland. By the end of steam haulage on British Railways in 1968 all 49 of the class had been scrapped. Examples of all the other East Coast Main Line express locomotives had been preserved, but there was no A1. In narrowboating terms it's as if no "Joshers" or Grand Union "Large Woolwich" boats had survived. Naturally, the only thing to do was to build a new one - and this is it. 60163 "Tornado"
Here it is at Lancaster station this morning heading for Glasgow. It's due back tonight at 22.58 and I might just walk down to the end of the road to savour the unique sight of a 21st Century main line steam locomotive powering up the bank from Lancaster in the dark!