The Future of Mainline Steam?

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I am sure many of you have read or heard through the heritage railway press that the future of Mainline Steam is currently resting on whether the Office of Rail Regulation pass legislation to remove a cap on fines for late running services caused by charter trains.  Currently, the cap stands at £5,000, but if this legislation is passed, the risk to charter train operators of costly damages will increase massively and will probably result in them being no longer being viable.  For all of you who love to see or be pulled by a heritage steam locomotive on the mainline, this is a travesty.  The mainline is the only place where these glorious machines can still do what they were designed to do – run at speed, with heavy load.  The likes of Tornado, Princess Elizabeth, the Duchess of Sutherland, Bittern, Clan Line, the Duke of Gloucester and Britannia and many others are really only mostly viable as working steam engines on the mainline.  Why would a 25mph limited, 7 coach preserved railway train; ever require such power?  I urge you all to act by signing this petition (click here) and sharing this link with all like-minded people you know.  If you, like me want to continue to see such scenes as above, you need to sign the petition, so please do.

4 thoughts on “The Future of Mainline Steam?

    • That’s a good point, there may well be some hidden agenda’s. At any rate, the railtour operators are an easy target, being small fish in a big pond. I can’t imagine the railtours significantly impacting the tocs or nr and hope the matter is resolved. It’d be such a shame for so many people, railtours are one of the few things to put a smile on the face of many rail users & commuters… Myself included! Thanks for the comment!


  1. Thank you, the petition stands at almost 5000 signaturies at the monment Sat 26th Jan, we have only 79 days to collect a further 95,000 signatures, 1,215 a day! Spread the news far and wide, amongst all your friends, not just those who are enthusiasts, but everyone. Keep up the good work, but it needs to be fast and soon,

    One person signs and gets one friend to sing…. then they each do the same…..

    1 / 2 / 4 / 8 / 16 / 34 / 64 / 128 / 256 / 512 / 1,024 / 2,048 / 4,096 / 8,192 / 16, 384 / 32,768 / 65,536 / 131,072

    Eighteen steps later the petition has exceeded it’s goal by over 30,000 signatures – so please keep asking…

    Remember when you sing the petition you’ll need to verify your email, you will reveive such a request from HM Government in you inbox, without following up this your signature will not be counted – PASS THIS ON.

    Also I hope you don’t mind the plug, but there is a Face Book page run along the same lines (groaning pun).



  2. Some years ago there was this very same arguement that steam was holing up or delaying schedule train companies so the steam loco owners had an independent organisation ,some one like mori do a survey and when the results came back the mainline specials had better punctuality and reliabilty than companies than virgin and most other operators.Also why does steam get the blame when the majority of specials arrive at the change over point late .Is that not down to the modern traction bringing the train in not the if they are arriving late at the change over point who is delaying them, reasons not the fault of the steam locomotives late running service trains in front of them usually.Also if they are to increase the fine for delays then i think steam locomotive owners should charge any operators of service or freight trains if a loco has to remove a failed train in its path if they do not already.


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