STEAM train fans have the chance next week to travel over the picturesque Settle-to-Carlisle line on a special excursion pulled by a 73-year-old locomotive that once hauled the crack Bournemouth Belle expresses.

The Dalesman will leave Warrington Bank Quay at 8.30am on Tuesday behind a vintage diesel engine as far as Hellifield in North Yorkshire.

Then British India Line, a Merchant Navy class loco built in 1945, will take over to Carlisle.

The giant 94-ton loco, numbered 35018, spent 15 years in a Welsh scrapyard after being withdrawn from service with British Railways before being bought and restored by a team of enthusiasts.

With its huge 6ft driving wheels, it was capable of hitting speeds of 90mph in its heyday hauling expresses from London Waterloo to England’s South Coast cities and seaside resorts.

British India Line’s first outing on the mainline network since being scrapped in 1964, was in September last year, pulling West Coast Railway’s Lune Rivers Trust train to York.

Passengers in Premier Dining Class will be served breakfast on the outward journey, with dinner on the return trip, and fares from Warrington start at £65 return.

The train will also run on May 15, June 19, July 17, August 14 and September 4.

For further details and to book tickets, phone 0844 850 4685 or visit