Double delight as two iconic steam trains to travel through Northamptonshire

Record crowds are predicted

Union of South Africa PHOTO: Paul Westrup
Union of South Africa PHOTO: Paul Westrup

Rail enthusiasts are in for a treat after it was announced that two famous steam locomotives will travel through the north of the county in one day.

Record crowds are predicted to turn out when the engines pass through our towns and villages on Saturday, March 7.

As part of a return trip from York to London the outward journey will see a train hauled by A4 Pacific steam locomotive No. 60009 Union of South Africa, travelling up the Midland Main Line through Wellingborough and arriving at Kettering, to depart at about 9.47am.

The Duchess of Sutherland. Photo by Paul Davies

It will then pass through Corby Station and up to the iconic Harringworth Viaduct, the longest masonry viaduct in Britain, before travelling through neighbouring Rutland.

And on the return journey the train will be hauled by by Princess Coronation class No. 46233 Duchess of Sutherland.

It should arrive into Kettering by about 8.37pm.

David Fursdon, a friend of Harringworth Viaduct, said: "To have them both in one day will bring record crowds, particularly the Union of South Africa.

"The engine is very popular and unfortunately last October had to diverted away from Kettering because of works on the Midland Main Line upgrade.

"But this is definitely going to make up for it."

The Union of South Africa locomotive was built at Doncaster Works in 1937.

In 2015 it hauled a train carrying Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The Duchess of Sutherland was built in 1938 at Crewe Works and in 2002 was the first steam locomotive to haul the Royal Train for 35 years in north Wales.

In 2005 it again hauled the Royal Train, transporting the Prince of Wales over the Settle-Carlisle Railway.

To buy tickets for the March 7 trip click here.