What could be more enjoyable than a steam train trip around the beautiful Kent coast? This tour is perfect for those wanting to enjoy a leisurely lunchtime trip to celebrate the festive season with glorious views of Dover Castle and the English Channel.
This unique journey from London Victoria takes passengers across Grosvenor Bridge and past the now decommissioned Battersea Power Station. We chug out through the suburbs towards Kent, where we'll pass oast houses and the castles at Deal and Walmer. Our engine will tackle challenging gradients as we approach Dover which pays dividends as we reach the summit and are rewarded with views over the town and castle. When we reach the coast, with France just 17 miles away across the Dover Straits it is possible to spot Cap Gris Nez on a clear day. We continue along the coast to Folkestone and head inland. We will then pass through Ashford and Tonbridge and head back to the capital as the sun sets.
We fully expect to operate this trip with our usual level of service. Please rest assured we are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment on board, whilst adhering to Public Health regulations. We will be in touch with all customers prior to your trip, with further information about what to expect on board and what to bring with you.
DINING ON BOARD
In one of our dining classes you can indulge in a wonderful four course Christmas meal, complete with Christmas Crackers, figgy pudding and mulled wine whilst enjoying views of Dover Castle and the English Channel.
Built for the London & North Eastern Railway, 61306 Mayflower is one of two surviving B1 Class locomotives.
The B1's were designed as mixed traffic locomotives capable of hauling express passenger trains as well as freight traffic. As powerful, go anywhere engines, the B1's worked across most of the UK rail network from East Anglia to Scotland.
Mayflower was built in 1948 by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow but was delivered post-nationalisation and acquired the number 61306 by British Railways. She was first allocated to Hull Botanic Gardens Depot followed by a spell at Hull Dairycotes Depot before being finally transferred to Low Moor Depot, Bradford. She was the last B1 in service, her final trip was hauling the 'Yorkshire Pullman' from Leeds in September 1967.
Mayflower was immediately purchased for preservation and was initially based at Steamtown in Carnforth. She was fully restored for mainline operation and worked a number of railtours in the 1970's. Acquired by Steam Dreams owner David Buck in 2014, she returned to the mainline in 2015 before being withdrawn for an extensive overhaul. Resplendent in the early British Railways apple green livery as she was originally given when delivered in 1948 she returned to full mainline operation in early 2019.
Mayflower has two cylinders, 6 driving wheels, a firebox grate area of 30 square feet and can operate at 75mph.
Whilst this locomotive is rostered for the trips listed, it cannot be guaranteed.
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