NHS workers honoured as Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway rename steam locomotive

Illingworth to be renamed
Credit: Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway

Steam locomotive Illingworth, built in 1916, will be renamed Nightingale and Seacole, the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway has confirmed.

The renaming of the locomotive is to show support and salute the work of those on the front line fighting against the Coronavirus.

The Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway said that “it will be a lasting remembrance of this difficult time, honouring the frontline staff and others who have put their lives at risk”.

Mary Seacole was a half-Jamaican nurse who, like Florence Nightingale, made great advancements in nursing during the Crimean War.

Illingworth to be renamed
Credit: Matt Anderson

Illingworth currently has two names, Illingworth and Mitchell Of Bradford Corporation. However, the locomotive, which is resident at the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway, will soon carry the two names of nursing pioneers.

The Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway is currently closed due to the Coronavirus and has launched an appeal to help survive the virus and adapt to the new conditions as quickly as possible. To donate to the appeal, please visit their website here.

Representatives from the Florence Nightingale Foundation and the Mary Seacole Trust will unveil the nameplates once travel restrictions are lifted.

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  1. Ah That’s A Truly Good and Honorable Idea of this Well-Restored Yorkshire Heritage Railway on renaming one it’s preserved ex-industrial steam locos to honor those we all know as the NHS.

    Especially as this steam locomotive shall from now on be called ”Nightingale and Seacole”
    I think it’s A Terrific Rename for this ex-industrial steam loco within the UK Preservation Movement and one of Yorkshire’s own sectors of Railway Heritage, Which we (as well as I myself) all know… As the Embsay & Bolton Abbey (Steam) Railway.

    The Illingworth name’s alright, However though – I think ”Nightingale and Seacole” is much more suitable name to honor the NHS on it’s heroic efforts to fight back the dastardly dreary two-timing Covid-19 Pandemic in anyways possible.

    Also, I still hope the E&BASR (which I myself have visited ‘in-person’ plenty of times) can someday extend/return down the line through the 220yrd long Rly Tunnel, Across the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and down alongside the Airedale Line into ”what’ll shall one-day be restored platforms 5-&-6” of Skipton railway station itself… Someday (I hope fingers/signals crossed).

    Even when it does happen someday (in many years time) maybe the NHS Honor Renamed steam loco could haul the Skipton Extension train.

    Oh and well done to the E&BASR on it’s fundraising appeal, As well as it’s projects in-between.

  2. Thank you William for your support. I wonder if this little engine is a record breaker – 8 names is not bad! We hope to interpret the story of these two remarkable ladies and the current pandemic. It will be educational and a true gesture of remembrance.


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