1968 – A famous year for UK railways but will it be celebrated on the line where steam last ran for real?

A cold day at Maghull Station, where once Liverpool Exchange to Glasgow steam hauled trains would thunder through.

I’ve recently been reading a book by Michael S Welch called ‘Lancashire Steam Finale’ published in 2004 and which has some stunning photos of the very last days of steam power on British railways within it.

And then it dawned on me 2018 is 50 years since steam engines last ran on BR before being replaced by diesel and electric trains altogether. What’s more the line from Liverpool Exchange through Aintree, Maghull, Ormskirk, Preston and on to Carlisle was the very last line to run a regular steam hauled service.

‘The very last ordinary steam passenger train in Great Britain was the 9.25pm from Preston to Liverpool on 3rd August’ to quote from Michael’s book.

Are any celebrations of the anniversary being planned? With the demise of Liverpool Exchange Station (being replaced by Moorfields underground station) and the severing of the through line at Ormskirk, how possible would it be to run say a commemorating steam hauled train? South of Ormskirk it would clearly be difficult but north from Ormskirk looks to me to be very much a serious prospect.

Here’s hoping………

One thought on “1968 – A famous year for UK railways but will it be celebrated on the line where steam last ran for real?

  1. Phil Prosser says:

    It could be done especially if Merseyrail were prepared to allow 1 train to be cancelled! After 19.00 on weekdays, and all day Sunday the Liverpool – Ormskirk service is half hourly. Why not steam hauled Lime Street – Southport via Bootle Branch, (light engine follows tender first). Southport – Sandhills, (light engine follows tender first). Sandhills – Ormskirk, (light….), then at 21.45 Ormskirk – Sandhills (that’s the time 45318 passed Ormskirk on 3.8.68). Then T&T Sandhills – Bootle Junction, Bootle Junction – Liverpool Lime Street. Or substitute one steam loco for a class 40/47 or preferably a class 50 as they dominated Glasgow services for the last 2 years until May 1970.

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