AN historic steam engine that starred in the iconic 1936 black and white documentary Night Mail film over the soundtrack of W H Auden’s classic poem is one of three locomotives lined up to operate an excursion train that runs from Warrington this summer.

The green-painted 93-year-old Scots Guardsman – once the pride of the LMS region – will be coupled up at Carnforth in Lancashire before hauling the Dalesman train to Carlisle and then back over the spectacular Carlisle-to-Settle line.

The other two engines in the frame are Alberta, a Jubilee Class locomotive, and the massive British India Line, which hauled the very first Bournemouth Belle luxury train and often pulled the legendary Atlantic Coast Express between London and Exeter.

Warrington Guardian:

British India Line

A spokesman for West Coast Railways, who operate the Dalesman, said: “These are three stunning locomotives which will be thrilling for both passengers and spectators.”

The train will set out diesel-hauled from Chester before picking up more passengers at Frodsham, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan, Leyland and Preston.

Passengers will spend two hours in Carlisle before the return journey via Settle and Hellifield.

The railway line between Carlisle and Settle, which crosses the 24-arched Ribbleshead Viaduct and plunges through 14 tunnels, has been voted the most scenic in England.

Special safety measures are being introduced on the train following the Covid-19 pandemic to maintain social distancing.

And all passengers will have to wear face masks while on board the vintage former British Railways carriages.

The spokesman said: “Obviously safety of our passengers and staff is paramount. So we have reduced the number of seats and only members of the same family or ‘social pods’ will be allowed to sit together.

“But we are confident that none of these measures will detract from a great day out on our train.”

The Dalesman service starts on July 28 and will operate fortnightly until September 22. Fares start at £85 for adults, £42 for children. For more details see