Saturday 13 April 2019

The Pennine Blackpool Express

Jubilee Class 45690 "Leander" on the Pennine Blackpool Express at Poulton-le-Fylde

A steam special excursion train visited Blackpool on Saturday 13th April.

The "Pennine Blackpool Express" left London Euston at around 07:10, pulled by preserved Class 86 E3137 "Les Ross", heading north along the West Coast Main Line, picking up passengers at Milton Keynes, Rugby, Nuneaton, Crewe and Preston.

At Preston, Jubilee Class 45690 "Leander" was attached to the rear of the train and hauled by the Class 86 to Blackpool North, with a scheduled arrival of 11:18.

Around three hours were spent in Blackpool, allowing the passengers time to visit the town and its attractions.

At Blackpool North the Class 86 electric loco was detached so that it could re-position to Carnforth to await the return of the steam hauled special later in the day.

The steam leg of the journey was due to depart from Blackpool at 14:04, travelling via Bamber Bridge and Blackburn, joining the Hellifield line at Daisyfield Junction and tackling the steep climb up to Wilpshire Tunnel. A long descent then followed towards the 48-arch viaduct over the River Calder at Whalley. After Clitheroe the train continued to follow the Ribble Valley towards Hellifield, where there was a water stop scheduled.

The last section of the journey to Carnforth included the steep climb at 1 in 100 from Settle Junction up Giggleswick Bank, following the Bentham Line via Wennington before finally reaching Carnforth. Here the steam loco "Leander" was uncoupled from the train which then returned via the WCML to London Euston behind the Class 86 electric loco, with a scheduled arrival of 22:27.

The Pennine Blackpool Express arriving at Blackpool North behind Class 86 E3137

Jubilee Class 45690 "Leander" with the Pennine Blackpool Express at Blackpool North

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