Steam locomotive hauled trains return to the East Lancashire Railway this weekend

6990 Witherslack Hall on the East Lancashire Railway
Credit: Liam Barnes

The East Lancashire Railway has announced that steam locomotives will be once again hauling trains through the Irwell Valley from this weekend.

As you will be aware, the heatwave that the UK has been through has dried all the grass out on the line side and meant that there was a greater risk of lineside fires, so, the East Lancashire Railway has been running their trains with diesels instead.

However, overnight, there has been some much needed heavy rainfall in the area. With the addition of ashpan guards to some engines, the railway has decided that steam locomotives are once again allowed to be on the front of trains from this weekend.

However, there is some alterations to which locomotives are hauling which trains, of which we will list below:


On Saturday, the 09:30 am departure from Bury to Rawtenstall will be hauled by a Class 40 diesel locomotive. The timetable will then be picked up by 6990 Witherslack Hall from the 11:50 am departure to Rawtenstall.

Other services will be diesel hauled, this is marked by a D on the timetable, viewable here.

The Murder Mystery Night Diner train will be hauled by steam locomotive 6990 Witherslack Hall.


The 09:30 am departure to Heywood will be hauled by Class 37 diesel locomotive No. 37109.

The 09:30 am departure from Bury Bolton Street to Rawtenstall will be hauled by steam locomotive No.6990 Witherslack Hall.

The Lancastrian Lunch Diner will be hauled by steam locomotive No.813

Please note: The East Lancashire Railway are taking care and caution in the reintroduction of steam services – changes may be made without prior warning.

Photo Credit: Liam Barnes – Click here to view his Flickr page.

Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.


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