The Jacobite train is continuing to be hauled by a steam locomotive during the current heatwave, according to operator West Coast Railways.
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Bosses of the Jacobite – which doubled as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies – planned to replace 72-year-old locomotive ‘Lord of the Isles’ with a diesel engine due to worries about fire risk in dry trackside vegetation. But rain saved the day.
‘Given the number of complaints I received about the noise of the two diesel engines echoing around Glenfinnan, I think local residents will be relieved to hear from Network Rail that this was a ‘one-off’,’ said local MSP Kate Forbes.
‘To have a multi-millionaire travelling hundreds of miles to take in the stars from the viaduct sends out the completely wrong signal, and undermines efforts north and south of the Border to stay home and stay safe’ – Kate Forbes MSP
However, operators of what are classed as ‘heritage’ carriages, such as those hauled by the Jacobite have a dispensation that allows the practice to continue until 2023.
The Jacobite steam train operator intends carrying on taking comprehensive anti-Covid measures, both on the train and at the stations, when new 2021 season starts at Easter.
The spokesman would not reveal when the two steam locomotives would haul the vintage carriages back to WCR’s depot at Carnforth in Lancashire.