Start of Steam for Locomotive Services TOC

Locomotive Services TOC are delighted to confirm the successful operation of our first steam hauled trains on the national mainline rail network. This moment is the culmination of many years hard work and brings us another step closer to operating our first public passenger services in just over a months time.

Starting on Tuesday 6th March, Royal Scot was involved in two return journeys from Crewe to Chester each day. Departing our site at Crewe Diesel Depot she ran as a solo engine, plus support coach, for the short run to Chester before turning and completing a return run.

After turning again at Crewe the locomotive stopped for a short while each day in Crewe platform to take on water, before repeating the journey to Chester.

This was an opportunity for us to test our operating procedures and to demonstrate our ability to safely and efficiently operate steam locomotives on the main line network. It was also the first opportunity for our steam drivers and firemen, all of whom have extensive previous experience on the footplate, to experience operations with LSL TOC.

Moreover this was a fantastic chance for the teams from across our group companies to work together for the first time. A team from LNWR Heritage were onboard for each test run, helping to ensure all was well with the locomotive and assist in the smooth operation of the day, while operations at Crewe Diesel Depot were handled by staff from Locomotive Storage Limited.

Most pleasingly, each of the six trains ran to time and their successful operation paves the way for additional runs in the coming weeks. These will be prior to the first Saphos Trains experience, due to run from Crewe to Llandudno Jn. and Bangor on April 14th.

Article by Alexander Penfold. Photos and video © Alexander Penfold - Locomotive Services Ltd.