It continues through the great era of steam making fascinating stopping points along the way, through to today's dynamic steam scene in the preservation era. The Liverpool & Manchester Railway remains the premier trunk route between the two cities and is used by the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo's "Live Steam from Lime Street" excursion programme. Begun last summer, these eight steam train excursions sold-out, departing on different dates from Liverpool Lime Street to Carlisle, Holyhead and York. Many photographs will be featured of these fine trains as they raced along the North Wales coast, pounded over the fells of the Settle & Carlisle Railway and across the Pennines to York. Also included will be news of this year's programme, which is likely to be a huge success due to services hauled by the newly-restored Britannia class steam loco Oliver Cromwell and the newly-built A1 class Tornado (planned to do a high-speed coast-to-coast run from Liverpool to Scarborough and return) and the former Edge Hill top-link loco, Duchess of Sutherland.
Oliver Cromwell hauled the last British Railway's scheduled passenger train in 1968, which started and ended at Liverpool Lime Street, and Tornado is the first mainline steam loco built in Britain in 48 years. There will be interviews with National Railway Museum boss Andrew Scott (which owns Oliver Cromwell) and Mark Allatt, chairman of A1 Steam Loco Trust, builders of Tornado. We'll also go behind the scenes to see what it takes to keep these great beasts of steam in action. On the nostalgic side, there will be reminiscences by Edge Hill's entertaining retired steam loco drivers and photos of the 1950s Indian summer of steam, stretching on into the end of Britain's mainline steam in 1958. Priced at just GBP4.99, this 84-page A4 glossy special is a must buy for railway and local history enthusiasts as well as those wanting to revel in the magic of a bygone era.