Free Unseen Steam DVD!

Steam Railway has again teamed up with Unseen Steam - the online and DVD home of rare and captivating railway footage - to present a half-hour, action-packed programme, FREE with SR466

We’ve selected an eclectic mix of sequences from 1967; steam’s last full year on British Rail.

Highlights of the all-colour material include melancholy footage from the very last day of Southern steam on July 9 and, in the same month, the last of the region’s suburban steam-hauled passenger services traversing the Thames.

The year was also renowned for its eclectic mix of railtours, which is epitomised by the double-headed brake van tour of the severely graded Cromford & High Peak, juxtaposed with preserved Garter blue ‘A4’ No. 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley romping along the East Coast Main Line at Little Bytham.

You’ll also see double-headed Bulleid 4-6-2s; banking over Shap; ‘9F’ No. 92203 (‘Black Prince’) at Shotton steelworks immediately before preservation; and Britain’s last working pre-Grouping engines on coal duty in the North East.

A particular favourite reel is taken from the footplate of ‘Jubilee’ No. 45593 Kolhapur on railtour duty over the Settle & Carlisle line - charging through Garsdale. The same engine is then seen again moving gingerly on Carlisle Kingmoor shed, with a small child leaning from the driver’s cab window!

We hope that you enjoy your free, exclusive gift.

  • Unseen Steam brings you the best from a huge collection of rare and stunning archive railway film from decades past. Subscribe for just £2.99 a month and watch hundreds of clips with dozens added every week. Perfect for the steam enthusiast, modeller and historian. Go to www.unseensteam.co.uk now!  

SR466 Feature Highlight: UK vs US - which was first to 100mph?

Tornado may be the latest steam locomotive to join the 100mph club, but which was first - and from which country? Bryan Benn examines the data from Britain and America. 

City of Truro - one of the locomotives that lays claim to being the first to reach 100mph. MEL HOLLEY/SR

City of Truro - one of the locomotives that lays claim to being the first to reach 100mph. MEL HOLLEY/SR

This article is the result of considerable research years before the dates shown in my conclusions. Indeed, in some into one of the most controversial areas of steam locomotive performance, in an attempt to settle one question: which country was the first to achieve an authenticated 100mph?

My studies have covered Europe and North America in detail. From both those parts of the world came a significant number of claims for steam locomotives considered to have been the first to reach the magic three figures. Some claims are wildly inaccurate and not considered here. But one of those erroneous claims is covered, as the engine was subsequently preserved on the basis of its apparent exploits.

  • To read the full article, involving the seven front runners from both sides of the ‘Pond’, see pages 46-52 of the new issue.

SR466 News Highlight: Tornado makes 100mph history

Reaching 100mph is the “culmination” of the project to build Tornado, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s Mark Allatt has told Steam Railway

New-build 'A1' No. 60163 Tornado - the first British steam locomotive to officially do 100mph since 1967 - at speed. ROBIN COOMBES

New-build 'A1' No. 60163 Tornado - the first British steam locomotive to officially do 100mph since 1967 - at speed. ROBIN COOMBES

The new-build Peppercorn ‘Pacific’ officially became the first British steam engine to achieve the symbolic figure since 1967, during a night-time trial in the early hours of April 12. The speed was reached on the return leg of a trip from Doncaster to Newcastle and back.

Tornado undertook the unannounced trial run as part of progress towards the A1 Trust’s long-held ambition to haul passenger trains at 90mph, rather than the current 75mph limit.

  • To read the full, exhaustive story of this special run – including timing data and on train analysis, see the new issue of Steam Railway.

SR466 feature highlight: Bulleid bonanza!

A quintet of Bulleid 'Pacifics', glorious spring weather on every day and thousands of visitors - the stars aligned for the Swanage railway, as it pulled off the most spectacular gala of the year so far…

Two of the Swanage Railway's five-strong gala line-up: 'Battle of Britain' Nos. 34053 Sir Keith Park and 34070 Manston. JACK HAYNES

Two of the Swanage Railway's five-strong gala line-up: 'Battle of Britain' Nos. 34053 Sir Keith Park and 34070 Manston. JACK HAYNES

You’re standing on Platform 2 at Swanage station, basking in glorious sunshine. At one end of the train, facing the bufferstops, is a rebuilt ‘Battle of Britain’. At the other is a gleaming BR Standard ‘4MT’ 2‐6‐4T, No. 80146. Both the platform and train are heaving with enthusiasts, all desperate to be a part of this unique and historic experience. The Swanage branch may never see its like again.

It could almost be June 18 1967, when the RCTS ‘Farewell to Southern Steam’ railtour (top and tailed by the aforementioned motive power) became the last steam‐hauled train operated over the ‘Purbeck Line’.

Except it isn’t. It’s 2017 and it’s the resurrected Swanage Railway’s ‘Strictly Bulleid’ gala.

It was the greatest event of the year so far.

  • See pages 94-98 of the magazine to see the full report.

Steam Railway issue 466 – ON SALE NOW!

This month's edition of Steam Railway is a Speed Special, in honour of Tornado's 100mph test run.

SR467 - ON SALE NOW!

SR467 - ON SALE NOW!

Not only can you read the inside story of the 'A1's' historic feat, but also which country (and more importantly which engine) did the 'ton' first – was it the UK? Or was it the US?

Elsewhere we explore the claims that, in the dying days of steam, a Stanier 'Black Five' did nearly 100mph. We speak to the people who were there on the day that a workaday '5MT' pushed the limits of what a two-cylinder 4-6-0 can do.

We also have a follow-up to our round-up of the Bulleid 'Light Pacifics', this month featuring their bigger cousins – the 'Merchant Navies' – as well as full coverage of the enthusiast event of the year so far – the Swanage Railway's 'Strictly Bulleid' gala.

Sticking with Swanage, we cover the National Railway Museum’s decision to donate the unique LSWR 'T3' to the 'Purbeck Line', why they did so and find out what the Swanage Railway plans to do with it.

You can read all this and more in the latest edition of Steam Railway, the world's biggest-selling steam magazine. On sale now!