Anyone recall the last steam train?
A Parkeston footplate man has told me that on Christmas Eve 1963 he and his driver waited on the end of March station, N1 platform, to relieve the March crew bringing the boat train from Sheffield. They would then work forward to Harwich Parkeston Quay.
A Parkeston footplate man has told me that on Christmas Eve 1963 he and his driver waited on the end of March station, N1 platform, to relieve the March crew bringing the 'boat train' from Sheffield. They would then work forward to Harwich Parkeston Quay.
The locomotive working the train in the morning had been number D201 - not the normal type associated with the train.
However, at Sleaford on the return D201 developed a fault and had to be replaced by the Sleaford 'pilot' engine which on this occasion was an ex LMS Class 5 steam engine which was commandeered to work the train forward.
The March engine crew were wearing newly-issued green diesel uniforms of the period - but they were as black as "your hat".
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They told my informant's driver that "she's a good un mate" but he refused to take the steam engine further and it was duly replaced by another diesel, hastily summoned from March Loco. It was an English Electric Type 3 (Class 37).
This was very likely the last time a steam engine worked a regularly scheduled passenger train to March.
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Through your newspaper can I enquire if any local footplatemen remember this incident and add any further details.