WATCH: Streamlined steam locomotive’s final run on the East Coast Mainline?


Saturday 15th February saw Storm Dennis batter the UK with high-speed wind and rain.

This, however, did not stop 60009 Union of South Africa speed along the East Coast Mainline for what ‘could be’ the final time before withdrawal for potential retirement on her journey from York to Ealing Broadway on the return leg of The Valentines White Rose. 

The Valentines White Rose is a railtour ran by The Railway Touring Company from London to York & back along the ECML.

The tour usually runs yearly, however, this is believed to be the first Valentines White Rose since 2016 when it was hauled by 34067 Tangmere. 

This years tour would see 6233 Duchess of Sutherland haul it on the outward leg from Ealing Broadway to York and 60009 Union of South Africa haul the return leg from York to Ealing Broadway. 

6233 Duchess of Sutherland does appear in this video in the 2nd clip but due to not being satisfied with the footage of her, she was sadly cut from the video.

The return leg of The Valentines White Rose would see 60009 head through places such as Doncaster, Retford, Newark Northgate, Grantham, Peterborough, Huntingdon, St Neots, Hitchin, Stevenage, Potters Bar, Alexandra Palace & Finsbury Park. 

In this video, RailView would capture the A4 at places such as, 

  • National Railway Museum, York moving out of the yard light engine.
  • York, Arriving in on a LE move at 15:17 19 minutes early.
  • Colton Junction, passing through at 16:48 4 minutes late. 
  • Doncaster, passing through at 17:13 4 minutes late.
  • Retford, passing through at 17:50 2 minutes late.
  • Grantham, passing through at 18:52 8 minutes late.
  • St Neots, passing through at 20:56 30 minutes late. 

Info about 60009 Union of South Africa: 

  • Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley
  • Built by The LNER in 1937 at Doncaster Works
  • She was withdrawn from BR in 1966
  • Her original name was Osprey
  • Her second/current name is Union of South Africa
  • She was purchased by John Cameron in 1966 who is her current owner

Here’s a photo of 60009 Union of South Africa blasting her chime at speed through Doncaster

60009 Union of South Africa through Doncaster
Credit: RailView

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  1. I’m praying that I will finally get to see number 9 at Didcot next Saturday. Fate seems to jinx all my efforts to see this engine…….


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