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Saturday 27 April 2024

Timings now confirmed

UK Railtours have been associated closely with the MNLPS and 35028 Clan Line for many years. She was our founder John’s favourite steam locomotive and hauled the memorial John Farrow Salute railtour to commemorate his life. For the last couple of years she has been undergoing extensive overhaul, and we’re delighted that her return to the main line will be hauling the British Pullman on the 50th anniversary of her first main line run in  preservation!

Clan Line pictured at London Victoria following The John Farrow Salute in 2021

Built in 1948, 35028 Clan Line is an iconic steam locomotive. After operating out of London for nearly 20 years, she was retired from British Rail service and bought by MNLPS (the Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Society) to be restored to glory. The engine made her public return to the mainline on 27 April 1974, running from Basingstoke to Westbury and back. At that time, a “steam ban” prevented Clan Line from operating between London and Basingstoke, but on your journey today you can enjoy the full, unexpurgated version of the original route, plus an added scenic section to Bath.

Fifty years ago, when traditional Pullmans were being phased out, no one thought such a beautiful train would again grace the UK rail network. But with the elegant umber and cream carriages of British Pullman in tow, Clan Line heads a true return to the heyday of rail travel and the glory of steam – one we invite you to cherish on this celebratory journey.

The interior of one of the unique Pullman carriages

Board the British Pullman at London’s Victoria Station and settle into your art deco carriage. Soon, the whistle blows, the train departs and a sparking Bellini is in your hand. The adventure has begun!

Heading out of London to join the former Atlantic Coast Express route at Wimbledon, you may notice crowds of onlookers smiling and waving at the train. Heralded by puffs of smoke, the sounds and smells of the engine evoke memories of a time when the journey was as magical as the destination. Savour a delicious brunch alongside the heart-warming nostalgia.

Passing Basingstoke, Clan Line reprises her original route of exactly 50 years ago to the day, when she returned triumphantly to the mainline. A pause at Salisbury to take on water gives you time to admire this hardworking locomotive. Proceeding onwards through Warminster and Westbury, you reach the World Heritage city of Bath.

The historic public baths of Bath

On arrival, the city is yours to explore at leisure – though if you have your sights set on a ticketed attraction, such as the Roman Baths or Jane Austen Centre, we recommend booking your own tickets in advance. Or simply stroll around the inviting streets and shops, admiring the Abbey, majestic Pulteney Bridge and the River Avon. Comfortable shoes are advised.

Please make your way back to the station to be on the platform ten minutes before the scheduled departure time. Shortly after boarding you’ll find yourself with a glass of chilled champagne in hand, which is soon followed by a sensational four-course dinner.

Still full of steam, Clan Line retraces the outward route via Westbury before facing a stiff climb to the summit at Upton Scudamore. After pausing again for water at Salisbury, she continues onwards via Woking, Staines and Hounslow to London Victoria, where your unique adventure ends.

Your Pullman fare includes a welcome Bellini, a three-course brunch on the outward journey and a morning tea or coffee, a four-course dinner on the return journey accompanied by wine selected by the sommelier.  Please note that this is an excursion arranged and operated by Belmond British Pullman, on which UK Railtours have placed a group booking. Our usual terms and conditions apply to your booking. 

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Confirmed Timings  

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