A STEAM train which was rusting away in a Welsh scrapyard is now preparing to spend the summer in and out of Stratford station.
Former British Rail Stanier Class 8F locomotive number 48151 will haul a series of Merchant of Avon steam special trains from Stratford after being restored to her original glory.
The engine that once pulled heavy freight trains across the LMS (London, Midland and Scottish) region was withdrawn from service in January 1968 as diesel and electric-operated services replaced steam.
But before the locomotive was turned into pots and pans a group of railway enthusiasts bought her and began painstakingly rebuilding her.
Now Number 48151 is based at West Coast Railway’s headquarters in Carnforth in Lancashire and hauls special steam excursion trains across the country.
She will operate the Merchant of Avon train on Sundays – July 28, August 25 and September 8 and 22 – running between Birmingham Snow Hill, Stratford and Burton stations.
A spokesman for West Coast Railways said: “She is one of our most popular engines – hundreds of trainspotters and railway enthusiasts turn out to see her every time she runs.
“We had planned to use an engine called Princess Elizabeth, which once hauled the Queen’s Royal Train, on the route, but operational reasons mean we had to switch to 48151.
“Still I’m sure nobody will be disappointed and there has already been a big demand for advance tickets.”
Visit www.westcoastrailways.co.uk or call 0844 850 4685 for tickets and further details.