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In Pictures: The golden age of railways as UK marks anniversary of end of steam

Events are marking 50 years since the end of mainline steam rail services.

Railway enthusiasts gather on the platforms at Barbican Station to bid farewell to the last steam train on London Transport railways (PA)
Railway enthusiasts gather on the platforms at Barbican Station to bid farewell to the last steam train on London Transport railways (PA)

The Great Central Railway heritage line in Loughborough is marking the 50th anniversary of British Rail’s last mainline, steam-hauled passenger service with an End of Steam gala.

The event will feature the 70013 Oliver Cromwell, which was used during the charter return trip from Liverpool to Carlisle via Manchester 50 years ago.

Here we take a look through the archives at images from the golden age of steam railways.

The Flying Scotsman, drawn by a Great Northern Railway Stirling 8-footer, pictured in 1888 at Holloway Station between King’s Cross and Finsbury Park (PA)
The Chatham Express leaves Victoria Station in January 1920 – passing new signalling apparatus (PA)
An oil-fired steam locomotive on the London and North Western Railway, leaving Euston Station in 1920 (PA)
A steam train carrying royalty leaves Portsmouth Docks en route to London in October 1920 (PA)
The Bournemouth Belle leaves Waterloo Station in October 1946 (PA)
Schoolchildren try out the Emmett ‘Neptune’ train at the Festival of Britain in London’s Battersea Park, in April 1951 (PA)
Luxury and comfort in the ‘Hercules’ first class parlour of the all-Pullman Golden Arrow train in 1951 (PA)
A crowd line the track at Ealing as the funeral train bearing the coffin of King George VI passes on the way to Windsor, in February 1952 (PA)
The Eastern Region’s express The Elizabethan leaves King’s Cross Station in 1954. It travelled the 393 miles to Edinburgh in six-and-a-half hours – the fastest ever non-stop journey between London and Edinburgh, with average speed of 60 miles per hour (PA)
The Cornish Riviera express ploughs at walking pace through flood waters at Plympton, Devon, in 1954 (PA)
The Caledonian leaves Euston Station on its inaugural run to Glasgow in June 1957 (PA)
The Evening Star, a 2-10-0 steam locomotive, leaves Swindon Works after her naming ceremony in 1960. Evening Star was the last steam locomotive to be built by British Railways as a result of the dieselisation and electrification policy (PA)
The Flying Scotsman leaves King’s Cross Station on her final run to Doncaster in January 1963 (PA)
Derby, birthplace of countless hundreds of steam locomotives in the past, said goodbye to the iron horse for good in September 1963 when Number 75042, a class 4 4-6-0 tender engine, had a civic send-off as the last steam locomotive to receive a general repair at the British Railway Works (PA)
Great Western Railway steam locomotive Castle, class 4-6-0 No 7029, pulls out of Paddington Station at the start of the Farewell to Steam run, in November 1965 (PA)
Thousands gathered to get a look at Britain’s last mainline steam passenger train as it passed through Rainhill station, between Liverpool and Manchester, in August 1968 (PA)
The King George V locomotive pulls the Bulmer’s Cider Train on the remaining section of the Hay and Brecon Line in November 1968 (PA)



From Belfast Telegraph