Famous steam loco to run through county four times this week - when and where to see it
Railway enthusiasts will have another chance to see a steam locomotive this week.
Two weeks after Mayflower ran through Shropshire and Staffordshire on test runs, operating a circular route to and from Crewe via Chester, Shrewsbury and Stafford, another engine will be following the same route on four consecutive days this week.
British Railways-built Britannia class No. 70000 Britannia, the first loco of 999 to be built by the nationalised company back in 1951, will be running from Tuesday to Friday.
Like Mayflower, the journeys are for training staff at Locomotive Services Ltd on the express passenger loco, which it operates on behalf of Britannia's owning group, before the company starts its 2023 railtour programme next month.
Times for the journeys this week are as follows:
Wrexham General - 10.59am
Ruabon - 11.05am
Chirk - 11.10am
Gobowen - 11.13am
Once at Shrewsbury station, the train then reverses to Coton Hill sidings, where it arrives at 11.55am before departing at 12.42pm for the return leg to Crewe.
After leaving Coton Hill, it will pass through:
Shrewsbury - 12.47pm
Wellington - 1.05pm
Oakengates - 1.10pm
Telford Central - 1.12pm
Shifnal - 1.16pm
Cosford - 1.23pm
Penkridge - 2.52pm
Rickerscote - 2.59pm
Stafford - 3.02pm
People can follow the train's progress on Real Time Trains to see if it's running to time or not.
Tuesday, Crewe to Shrewsbury
Tuesday, Shrewsbury to Crewe
Wednesday, Crewe to Shrewsbury
Wednesday, Shrewsbury to Crewe
Thursday, Crewe to Shrewsbury
Thursday, Shrewsbury to Crewe
Friday, Crewe to Shrewsbury
Friday, Shrewsbury to Crewe
Britannia was completed in January 1951, and built to haul express passenger services between London and Norwich, and in 1952 pulled the funeral train of King George VI from Sandringham in Norfolk, where the King died, to London.
After spending the first 10 years of its working life working in East Anglia, the loco was moved to north London in 1961 and then Crewe in 1963.
The locomotive was withdrawn from service in Newton Heath, Manchester, 1966, before being saved by preservationists.
It returned to steam at the Severn Valley Railway in 1978. After spells at preserved railways it hauled railtours on the main line between 1991 and 1997, before being withdrawn for overhaul.
It returned to the main line again in 2011 and the following year pulled the Royal Train, carrying Prince Charles, from Preston to Wakefield.
In one of her most important roles, Britannia hauled The Royal Train from Preston to Wakefield in January 2012.
Last year the loco was tested at the Severn Valley Railway following its most-recent overhaul, before pulling more test trains on the Crewe-Chester-Shrewsbury-Stafford-Crewe circuit.