York station saw the arrival of two steam engines with The Valentine’s White Rose on Saturday.
This was a welcome visit, with the city struggling to endure the flooding brought on by Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis.
Coronation class No. 6233 Duchess of Sutherland brought the tour up from Ealing Broadway before moving round to the National Railway Museum.
Passengers were then able to spend a few hours taking in the sights and sounds on offer around York.
A4 No. 60009 Union of South Africa took over with the return leg back to Ealing Broadway, revisiting its former stomping ground along the East Coast Mainline.
History comes to life
Union of South Africa is a classmate of 4468 Mallard, which is famous for holding the world steam speed record since 1938 when it reached 126 mph.
Duchess of Sutherland is also of the same class as 6229 Duchess of Hamilton, which is a streamlined example of these engines.
Duchess of Hamilton takes pride of place alongside 4468 in the Great Hall at the National Railway Museum and are publicly available to view.
York contains a wealth of railway history, and is fortunate enough to see frequent railtours, particularly during the summer season.
James McLeish, a railway enthusiast who filmed the tour in York, said: “It’s always great to see steam out on the mainline, particularly my favourite, 6233.”
Volunteers keep the trains moving
Although railtours such as this one are largely operated by private companies, they also largely require volunteers.
Like heritage railways, these trains often rely on individuals and groups providing time out of their lives to ensure they can actually run.
James said, “I have a lot of respect for the volunteers who give up their free time and efforts to maintain and care for these locos.”
In fact, the former will again be ran by 6233 and 60009, whilst The White Rose will have 70000 Britannia at the helm.