A GIANT steam locomotive that hauled the very first Bournemouth Belle train and used to pull the legendary Atlantic Coast Express from London to Exeter will be operating on the Settle to Carlisle line this summer.

“British India Line” is one of three historic stream engines lined up for West Coast Railways’ Dalesman and Scarborough Spa excursion trains when they get back on track from July 28 following the coronavirus pandemic.

The other two are “Scots Guardsman”, which featured in the 1936 black and white documentary Night Mail film over the soundtrack of W H Auden’s classic poem, and Jubilee Class “Alberta”.

The Dalesman will be diesel-hauled from York before picking up passengers at Leeds and Skipton. Then one of the three steam locomotives will take over from Hellifield.

The Scarborough Spa Express is diesel-hauled from Carnforth through Hellifield, Skipton, Keighley and Shipley and then steam from York to the coast.

Special safety measures are being introduced on both trains following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Social distancing will reduce the number of seats in the vintage former British Railways carriages, and all passengers will have to wear face masks while on board.

A West Coast Railways spokesman said: “Obviously safety of our passengers and staff is paramount. So we have reduced the number of seats and only members of the same family or ‘social pods’ will be allowed to sit together.

“But we are confident that that none of these measures will detract from a great day out on our trains.”

For more details see westcoastrailways.co.uk.