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DB Cargo UK

Steam rail services offered by DB Cargo UK

DB Cargo UK has provided the crew for some of the world’s most famous steam locomotives including the Flying Scotsman, and Tornado.


Enlarge imageSteaming Ahead, Bob Green

Photograph courtesy of Bob Green


First introduced in the 19th Century, steam trains continue to be seen on our railways and are a form of leisure and enjoyment for people of all ages. DB Cargo UK is one of only two companies still able to operate steam locomotives on the country’s mainlines.

DB Cargo UK’s specialist staff have decades of experience and are trained traction inspectors, drivers and firemen. This includes the UK’s youngest mainline steam driver, 35-year-old Jim Clarke.

Steam services DB Cargo UK offers are: 

  • Staff to fully crew steam services
  • Arrangement of train paths
  • Arrangement of steam locomotive and carriage hire
  • A full steam package including all the above - if you want to run a steam locomotive DB Cargo UK can make the full arrangements  

The company traces its ability to offer steam hauled services nationwide back to the days of British Rail and has operated many hundreds of steam charters across Great Britain through Rail Express Systems (RES), English, Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) and now DB Cargo UK.

This includes many of the most famous British steam locomotives from the 1903 built GWR 4-4-0 ‘City of Truro’ to the recently built LNER A1 Pacific ‘Tornado’.

Regular steam operation forms part of contracts held with Belmond British Pullman and the Torbay Express, as well as other steam services covering most of the UK.

In 2017 DB Cargo UK will be involved in the operation of the SR Merchant Navy Class ‘Clan Line’, marking the 50th anniversary of the end of steam in the Southern Region of England.

Enlarge imageJim_Clarke, DB Cargo UK - Julie Whelan

DB Cargo UK’s Jim Clarke, photograph courtesy of Julie Whelan


Case Study: Steam service marks re-opening of Settle to Carlisle line 

From Valentine’s Day to 16 February 2017 DB Cargo UK provided the crew for the Pacific 60163 ‘Tornado’ when it ran on the Settle-Carlisle Line. It was the first steam train to offer timetabled passenger services on the mainline in over 50 years.

The services were organised by Northern to celebrate the re-opening of the line, which was closed in February 2016 after a 500,000 tonne landslip caused severe damage.

A major £23million engineering project was required to restore the line which included Network Rail shoring up the collapsed bank. DB Cargo UK supported this work by transporting stone to be used in the repair programme.

Richard Corser, DB Cargo UK’s Account Manager for Charters, Special Trains and Resource Hires, said: “We were delighted to collaborate with our industry colleagues on these momentous services.

“The steam services in February paid tribute to the Settle-Carlisle line's history and future and we were pleased to provide a highly experienced train crew for 60163 Tornado, with a combined experience of approximately 80 years working on steam locomotives.”

The event drew huge interest and was covered by media outlets including the BBC, ITV, the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Yorkshire Post.

Enlarge imageTornado on the Settle-Carlise line, DB Cargo UK

Tornado on the Settle-Carlise line


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Last modified: 23.03.2017

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