Shropshire Star

Two steam locos to run through Shropshire on Saturday - when and where you can see them

Railway enthusiasts will have two opportunities to enjoy the sights and sounds of a steam locomotive in Shropshire on Saturday when two make their way through the county.

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Black 5 no. 44871 will be running from Bristol to Chester and back this weekend, passing through Shropshire. Photo: David Stubbings

Two excursion trains will pass through Shropshire, both hauled by locomotives of the same class.

The first train, the Capital Christmas Express, will be taking day trippers from Chester to London, while the second, the Christmas Cheshireman, is heading to the old Roman city from Bristol.

Both will be pulled by former London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) Black 5 locomotives, a type which was regularly seen in the county during the days of steam. Loco no. 44932 will be in charge of the train to London while classmate no. 44871 will pull The Christmas Cheshireman.

Both locos date back to 1945 and spent 23 years working for the LMS and then British Railways before withdrawal in 1968. At their peak there were 842 Black 5s in operation, now just 18 survive, with only seven of those in working order.

No. 44871 was one of the four locos chosen to be used on the last British Rail-run steam-hauled passenger train, the Fifteen Guinea Special on August 11 1968, which ran from Liverpool to Carlisle and return. No. 44871, along with a classmate, hauled the train from Carlisle to Manchester.

While the train going from Bristol to Chester is steam-hauled both ways, the Capital Christmas Express will return from London with a diesel on the front.

The Capital Christmas Express - southbound 44932

It's an early start for those wanting to see the first train make its way towards London.

Chester - 6.42am

Wrexham - 7am-7.06am

Gobowen - 7.22am

Shrewsbury - 7.53a-7.55am