This special publication not only covers in detail the final few months of British Rail steam on the main line in 1968, leading up to the ‘last’ train of all, the ‘Fifteen Guinea special’ of August 11, 1968, but much, much more.
For British Rail steam did not end there: steam cranes were used on the national network for many years afterwards, and British Rail kept one last line in steam until it sold it off in 1986 – the Vale of Rheidol Railway. A chapter also looks at the occasions on which the post-August 1968 steam ban was broken!
The publication covers the last steam in British industry too – a sector in which the last steam locomotive retired as recently as 1992, and the story of Britannia Pacific Oliver Cromwell, which returned to the main line 40 years later. The last steam engines built in Britain for ‘real’ as opposed to tourist or enthusiast purposes are detailed, along with the story of how steam returned to the national network in 1971.