Steam to return to Settle-Carlisle line

Timetabled services on a world-famous railway line have been powered by steam for the first time in decades.

Tornado, the newest steam locomotive in Britain, will pull 12 Northern services on the Settle-Carlisle line over three consecutive days.

It is part of celebrations to mark the upcoming reopening of the line after landslides closed a long stretch.

The line takes in the Yorkshire Dales and passes over Ribblehead viaduct before entering Cumbria's Eden Valley.

The eight-carriage trains will run two return journeys a day between Appleby and Skipton from Tuesday to Thursday (14-16 February).

It took 18 years for a group of enthusiasts in Darlington and Doncaster to build the £3m Tornado 60163. It can achieve speeds of 75mph (120km/h) and it was completed in 2008.

For over a year the Settle to Carlisle route has been severed in Cumbria by a huge landslide and, with Northern wanting to give the route a high-profile boost before the reopening.

Coincidentally it was on the Settle-Carlisle line that the UKs last commerical steam passenger train ran in August 1968.

The Appleby to Carlisle stretch of line closed in February 2016 after a 500,000-tonne landslip, the line is due to officially reopen on 31 March.

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