Luxury train heading to Brighouse stays on track despite loco blowing her top

THE famous steam locomotive that should have pulled a the Northern Belle, Britain’s most luxurious train, from Brighouse this month has blown her top.

By Ian Hirst
Friday, 17th September 2021, 8:30 am
The steam loco Princess Elizabeth on a previous visit to Brighouse. Picture Stuart Black
The steam loco Princess Elizabeth on a previous visit to Brighouse. Picture Stuart Black

Crimson-painted Princess Elizabeth sprung a leak from her boiler which will need a major repair. And that means the engine won’t be back on track until early next year.

There were fears that the journey over the spectacular Settle-Carlisle line on Saturday September 25 might have to be cancelled.

But Huddersfield businessman David Pitts, who bought the Northern Belle from the Orient Express group four years ago, managed to find a heritage diesel engine instead.

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He said: “Obviously it is a blow losing Lizzie, as Princess Elizabeth is affectionately known. But the engine is 88 years old and these things happen.

“Our engineers found a crack in the throat plate which means that she needs a full boiler rebuild.

“It won’t stop the show, though. We couldn’t let our passengers down so I have arranged for a replacement engine.

“This will be a heritage diesel locomotive like Scarborough Castle, which is painted the same umber and cream colour as our 1930-style Pullman carriages.

“So it will still be a a wonderfully luxurious trip for our pampered passengers as they tuck into a sumptuous five-course dinner with wine while travelling between Carlisle and Settle.”

Passengers will be welcomed with a glass of champagne when they board the Northern Belle over a red carpet as it sets off from York at 7.30am on September 25, before calling at Wakefield Westgate at 8.15am and then Brighouse at 8.30am.

They will be served brunch as the train heads for Carlisle, where it stops just long enough for a quick tour of the castle or the cathedral.

Then following more champagne, dinner will be served on the return journey through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

The train is scheduled to arrive back in Brighouse at 8.30pm, Wakefield at 8.45pm and York at 9.30pm.

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