West Coast Railways

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West Coast Railways
  • Locomotive spot-hire
  • Charter train operations
PredecessorSteamtown Carnforth
FoundedJune 1998
Key people
David Smith (Majority owner)
Patricia Marshall (Managing Director)

West Coast Railways (WCR)[1] is a railway spot-hire company and charter train operator based at Carnforth MPD in Lancashire. Using buildings and other facilities previously owned by the Steamtown Carnforth visitor attraction, in June 1998 the company became the first privately owned company to be given a licence as a train operating company.


57601 passing Brockhampton in April 2005
48151 at Llandudno Junction in August 2014
45231 & 44932 on the Settle & Carlisle line in August 2013

Before 1998[edit]

After British Rail closed the Lakeside branch to passengers on 6 September 1965,[2] a group of enthusiasts chaired by Dr Peter Beet formed the Lakeside Railway Estates Company, with the idea of preserving both the line and Carnforth MPD, to provide a complete steam operating system.[3] After agreeing to rent out part of the Carnforth MPD site, but with the counter the development of the A590 road meaning that the complete vision was unsuccessful, Beet developed the visitor attraction Steamtown Carnforth, which became a mecca for steam enthusiasts from 1967.[4]

In 1974, Sir Bill McAlpine became a shareholder in the company,[3] with his 4472 Flying Scotsman making Carnforth its home.[5] McAlpine subsequently acquired a controlling interest in the company, in order to fund the purchase of the complete site including the track from British Rail.[6]

In light of McAlpine's declining interest, in 1990 his controlling interest in Steamtown Railway Museum was sold to David Smith, who over the following years has bought out most of the minority shareholders. With increasing Health & Safety Executive regulations, and an increased reliance on revenue from supplying and servicing steam locomotives to power enthusiast trains, the commercial decision was taken not to reopen Carnforth as a museum or visitor attraction for the 1998 season. Steamtown Railway Museum still exists today as the holding company, and operates an extensive railway repair and operating facility on the site.

After 1998[edit]

In June 1998, West Coast Railway Company was granted an operating licence to become a train operating company.[3][7] WCR is a spot hire company which provides locomotives, stock and crews to other companies within the rail industry. The company operates charter trains, some of which are hauled by steam locomotives. The company provides stock and crews for steam workings on the national network, and for diesel tours. The headquarters, engineering base and depot are at Carnforth, where locomotives and stock are stored and maintained, and where contract work is undertaken for other operators.[citation needed]

WCR own and operated steam locomotive 5972 Olton Hall under the guise of Hogwarts Castle for the Harry Potter film series, with the Hogwarts Express.

March 2015 incident and operating licence suspension[edit]

On 7 March 2015, the 16:35 east bound Cathedrals Express operated by WCR (Bristol Temple Meads to Southend East) approaching from Chippenham, headed by Battle of Britain class No. 34067 Tangmere and 13 coaches passed signal SN45 at danger at Wootton Bassett Junction on the Great Western Main Line, overrunning the signal by 700 yards (640 m) and coming to a stand blocking the junction.[8][9][10] This occurred less than a minute after the up/east bound First Great Western (FGW) service from Swansea to London Paddington passenger service approaching via the South Wales Main Line from Badminton, Gloucestershire and operated by an InterCity 125 set, had cleared the junction at 100 miles per hour (160 km/h).[8][9][10][11] The signal was being maintained at danger to ensure the safety of the FGW train after it had passed through the junction, as is signalling practice.[9][11]

The incident was investigated by track owner Network Rail (NR), the Office of Rail Regulation and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB). The RAIB launched an investigation into the incident on 27 March, releasing a statement in which they described the incident as a "dangerous occurrence".[9] According to the RAIB, the incident was caused by driver error, after the traincrew isolated the Automatic Warning System and Train Protection & Warning System on approach to a temporary speed restriction in the area of line immediately after signal SN43, the signal before signal SN45.[9] These were not reinstated on approach to signal SN45;[9] as a result, the train was not automatically stopped by the safety systems as it passed the signal at danger.[9] 700 yards (640 m) down the line, the train was manually brought to a stop by the driver; it came to a rest across Wootton Bassett Junction.[9]

WCR and NR met on 30 March 2015. NR subsequently expressed the view that at that meeting "WCR demonstrated that its controls, communication and commitment following the recent SPAD were inadequate" and that since then "the response by the senior management of WCR to the issues raised" had been "inadequate",[10] suspending WCR's operator's licence effective from midnight 3 April 2015.[8][10] Previously operators had been banned from certain routes, but this was a total network ban unprecedented since privatisation.[10] The suspension notice states:[8]

Network Rail has had concerns about WCR's performance of its Safety Obligations for some time, and recent events lead Network Rail to believe that the operations of WCR are a threat to the safe operation of the railway. If five of the seven required remedies are completed by May 15, with demonstrable progress towards completion of the other two, the suspension notice will be withdrawn. The required steps include introducing a risk-based driver monitoring regime, and demonstrating that there is an effective and secure system of tamper-evident seals for train protection isolator cocks on all relevant traction.

WCR stated that it was in negotiations with NR regarding the terms of the suspension, and also with other train operating companies in order to prevent the cancellation of many scheduled WCR operated railtours during the period of suspension.[12]

46115 Scots Guardsman, in BR green livery, at Hellifield, being prepared for the weekly "Dalesman" run on the Settle - Carlisle line.

On 8 May 2015, Network Rail lifted the track access ban off the company.[13] This meant that the company could continue its scheduled tours for the coming months including the first of the Jacobite railtours.[14][15]

Network Rail has confirmed that it reinstated West Coast Railway Company's track access agreement as of 00:01 this morning, five weeks after suspending the organisation over safety concerns. In a letter to West Coast Railway Company, Paul McMahon, Director for Freight at Network Rail, said that the company welcomed the commitment WCR has made to improving safety through changes to the Safety Management System (SMS), and the appointing of a new Director/General Manager, Head of Safety and Non-Executive Director. The new interim Head of Safety, Alex McGregor, from Lloyds Register and a Non-Executive Director are being appointed before services recommence.

On 9 December 2015, the Office of Rail & Road (ORR) announced that the WCR and the driver of the train involved in the incident at Wootton Bassett were to be prosecuted for offences contrary to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. An initial hearing was scheduled at Swindon Magistrates Court for 11 January 2016.[16] The case came to trial at Swindon Crown Court on 27 June 2016. WCR and driver Melvyn Cox both pleaded guilty. WCR was fined £200,000 and £64,000 costs. Cox was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for eighteen months. He was also ordered to do 80 hours unpaid work.[17][18]

November 2015[edit]

On 24 November 2015 it was reported that the ORR had temporarily prohibited WCR from operating steam trains on the mainline rail network, following an initial investigation into an incident near Doncaster on 2 October 2015 when 45231 The Sherwood Forester was hauling a WCR 'Spirit of the Lakes' charter train and the footplate crew of the engine had isolated the Train Protection & Warning System equipment which would have applied the emergency brake if the driver made a safety critical error.[19]

February 2016 Prohibition Notice[edit]

On 17 February 2016 the ORR issued a Prohibition Notice to WCR preventing it running its heritage rail services on the mainline railway. The notice related to concerns about WCR's management of safety, following a number of incidents over the past year.

Under the terms of the notice, the company was not able to operate trains on the mainline network until the ORR was satisfied its governance and operations meet industry practice. Steps the company were required to take included: the introduction of clearer governance structures with proper accountability for safety; more robust risk assessments; and enhanced processes for managing staff with a focus on safety culture.[20] Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways at ORR, said the decision to revoke the company's safety certificate had "not been taken lightly".[21]

On 23 March 2016 the track access ban was lifted.[22]

On 25 September 2018, the ORR, after extensive review and consultation with other affected parties, renewed West Coast Railway safety certificate for a period of five years.[citation needed]


45231 The Sherwood Forester at Fort William after hauling The Jacobite from Mallaig; this is a regular service run by West Coast Railways from early May till late October.
46115 working one of WCR's regular trains from York to Scarborough

WCR operates several regular steam-hauled excursions every summer. The most famous of these trains is The Jacobite (named for the historic Jacobite political movement). It runs along the West Highland Line from Fort William to Mallaig, crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct. It runs Monday to Fridays from the middle of May until the end of October and also runs at weekends from the end of June until the end of August. In 2011, WCR added a second Jacobite service, leaving Fort William in the afternoons from the start of June until the end of August running on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. 2012 saw this second service increase to five days a week, between June and August.

In July 2002, WCR began to operate the steam-hauled Scarborough Spa Express operated from York to Scarborough three times a week between July and September.[23] After a steam ban on the eastern region in 2014 which resulted in the season being axed a restricted season ran for 2015 over three days in October. This was once again put into place for three days in October 2016; the tour was also renamed The Scarborough Flyer for the 2016 season.

In 2007, West Coast Railways took over operation of the Cambrian Coast Express running over the Cambrian Line from Machynlleth to Porthmadog and Pwllheli and renamed it The Cambrian. The service ran from the last week of July until the end of August between 2007 and 2010. Before the 2011 season, WCR issued a statement stating that due to Network Rail's implementation of the new European Train Control System (ETCS) signalling on the Cambrian Coast, which necessitated new in-cab signalling equipment, the seasonal steam services had to cease running because there isn't yet a system available for fitment in steam locomotives.

In 2014, The Dalesman was brought back after a few years absence. The tour started at York and travelled to Carlisle via Normanton, Wakefield, Leeds, Keighley, Skipton, Hellifield and the Settle & Carlisle line. The tour was diesel-hauled from York to Hellifield where steam traction took over the train and travelled along the Settle and Carlisle line to Carlisle and then back to Hellifield. It had been planned to run only on Thursdays for 2016 but due to a landslip north of Appleby on the Settle and Carlisle line, The Dalesman did not run again until 2017 when the line re-opened.

In 2016, to replace The Dalesman season, a new set of tours of The Scarborough Spa Express were run from Carnforth to Scarborough with steam haulage being between York and Scarborough. Alternating each week the tour would for one week run from Carnforth to York via Hellifield and Keighley and then the following week would run via Preston, Blackburn and Brighouse. As of 2020 these trips are still running in place of the original Scarborough Spa Express trains; the tours start off diesel worked from Carnforth with a steam loco taking over in York.

In June 2018, West Coast Railways ran a service on the Windermere branch line between Oxenholme and Windermere after Arriva Rail North cancelled all trains on the line in the short term in an attempt to fix the disruption and cancellations around their network.[24]

Train Operating Company[edit]

WCR provides locomotives, stock and crews for railtour organisers. It provides crews to SRPS and Vintage Trains, who own their own stock. WCR act or have acted as train operating company to the following companies:

  • Branch Line Society
  • PMR Tours
  • The Railway Touring Company
  • Saltburn Railtours
  • SRPS Railtours
  • Spirit of the Lakes
  • Steam Dreams
  • West Coast Railtours (Formerly Compass Tours)
  • North-East Railtours (Part operated by SRPS Railtours)

Former companies operated with:

  • Vintage Trains (WCR unable to provide crews for tours from start of 2018, trains now operated by Vintage Trains CBS)[25]
  • The Royal Scotsman (Contracted ended April 2016 by owners due to running issues with WCR and awarded to GB Railfreight)[26]
  • Budgie Transport (Ceased railtour operations in 2011)
  • Compass Tours (Ceased trading in 2014, company with similar name now operating)
  • Daylight Railtours (Ceased trading in 2004)
  • Railtourer (Ceased trading in 2013)
  • Shepherd Neame (Ceased tour operations in 2013)
  • Spitfire Railtours (Ceased operating with WCR)
  • Statesman Rail (No longer operated by WCR, now operated by Locomotive Services)
  • Nenta Traintours (No longer operated by WCR, now operated by DB Cargo UK


Routes commonly operated over by WCR include the nearby Cumbrian Coast Line and Furness line, Little North Western Line, the Settle & Carlisle line and the West Highland Line. The company utilises several sidings at Hellifield, south of Settle Junction, where the lines to Carlisle and Carnforth diverge, allowing easy access to the WCR home base.


The headquarters and main depot is at Carnforth MPD. The former LMS depot coded 10A has workshops for steam and diesel locomotives, and also carriage and wagon facilities to maintain the company's fleet of Mark 1 and Mark 2 carriages. The site includes extensive sidings plus a paint shop.

The company's second base is the former Great Western Railway depot at Southall Railway Centre in West London which it has occupied since 2008.[27] "The Green Train" is based here, used on "The Cathedrals Express".

For half of the year the company also uses part of Fort William depot as a base for the stock and locomotives for its Jacobite service. The Transport for Wales depot at Machynlleth has also been used previously for the Cambrian trains, but due to the line having the new ETCS system fitted which presently isn't compatible with steam locos the services had to cease.

Rolling stock[edit]

47851 Traction Magazine at Ely with a charter train in British Railways two-tone Green livery

The company owns and operates a fleet of diesel locomotives, which are primarily used to haul charter trains, but have also been hired to other railway operators. The fleet is mainly composed of Class 37 and Class 47 locomotives, but also includes Class 57 locomotives, including the prototype passenger locomotive 57601.[28]

Several Class 37 locomotives were purchased from Ian Riley Engineering, which ceased its spot-hire operations in mid-2004. In 2005, WCR won the contract to haul The Royal Scotsman luxury train. As a result, its two operational Class 37 locomotives and a Class 47 were repainted into a revised maroon livery, officially known as Royal Scotsman Claret, based on that of the Royal Scotsman carriages. In late 2005, WCR sold its two operational Class 37 locomotives (nos. 37197 and 37261) to Direct Rail Services, and received four Class 33 locomotives in exchange.[29] As of 2011, WCR started investing in more Class 57 locomotives, bought from Advenza Freight, Harry Needle Railroad Company, Freightliner and Porterbrook.[30][31][32]

The company's coaching stock consists of vacuum and air plus dual braked Mark 1 and Mark 2 coaches, mostly painted in the British Railways maroon livery, albeit with West Coast Railways branding on the bodyside. Some of these coaches were built as British Railways Pullman coaches.

Fleet details[edit]

Steam locomotives[edit]

Locomotives listed here are not owned by WCR, but are made available to operate on the mainline by their respective owners (assuming they have the appropriate mainline certification).

Some engines may not now be operated on the mainline because their mainline or boiler ticket has expired or may be on display away from the national network. 5972 Olton Hall was on a 2-year loan agreement from November 2014 to the Warner Bros Studio Tour in Leavesden for their Harry Potter tour.

Number Name Class Livery Owner TOPS No Mainline until Air Brk's Location Photograph Notes
4936 Kinlet Hall GWR "Hall" 4-6-0 N/A Kinlet Hall & Thornbury Castle Ltd[33] 98536 - No Tyseley LW Hoodown 4936 Torbay Express.jpg
5029 Nunney Castle GWR "Castle" 4-6-0 N/A Icons of Steam[34] 98728 - Yes Crewe LNWR Paignton - 5029 Nunney Castle.jpg
5972 Olton Hall GWR "Hall" 4-6-0 Hogwarts Crimson David Smith 98572 - No Leavesden 5972 Olton Hall at Hellifield.jpg On loan to Warner Bros.[35]
6024 King Edward I GWR "King" 4-6-0 BR Green, Late Crest (On completion) Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust 98824 - Yes Minehead King Edward I 6024 Didcot (1).jpg
6880 Betton Grange GWR "Grange" 4-6-0 BR Green, TBC (On Completion) The Betton Grange Society 98580 - No Tyseley LW 6880 Betton Grange in Llangollen Shed.JPG New build of next member of class.
9466 - GWR "9400 Pannier Tank" 0-6-0PT BR Black, Early Emblem Johnathan Jones-Pratt[36] 98466 2023 No Bishops Lydeard 9466 Didcot.jpg
30777 Sir Lamiel LSWR N15 4-6-0 BR Green, Early Emblem (on completion) National Collection 98577 - No Loughborough Restored locomotive Sir Lamiel 2011-07-20.jpg Under overhaul[37]
31806 - SR "U Boat" 2-6-0 BR Black, Late Crest John Bunch 984## 2025 No Swanage 31806 at Kidderminster 2 (8088069099).jpg
34016 Bodmin SR "West Country" 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest David Smith 98716 - No Carnforth MPD West Country class pacific No 34016 Bodmin at Ropley shed yard (2).jpg
34046 Braunton SR "West Country" 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest Icons of Steam 98746 2023 Yes Crewe LNWR A 34046 Braunton travelling through Farncombe, Surrey (2016).jpg
34067 Tangmere SR "Battle of Britain" 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest David Smith 98767 - Yes Carnforth MPD 34067 Tangmere, west of Bath.jpg
35018 British India Line SR "Merchant Navy" 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest David Smith 98818 2024 No Carnforth MPD British India Line arriving in Carlisle.jpg
44767 George Stephenson LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 N/A David Smith 98567 - No Carnforth MPD Black Five 44767 George Stevenson - geograph.org.uk - 1897362.jpg
44871 - LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 BR Black, Early Emblem Ian Riley 98571 2024 Yes Bury LMS 44871 in the loop at Preston.jpg
44932 - LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 N/A David Smith 98532 - No Carnforth MPD 44932 arriving into Preston with the 1T57 Fellsman.jpg
45212 - LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 BR Black, Late Crest Keighley & Worth Valley Railway[38] 98512 2024 Yes Fort William 45212 Waiting in platform 3 at Keighley.jpg On long term loan to Ian Riley.
45231 The Sherwood Forester LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 BR Black, Late Crest Icons of Steam 98531 2026 Yes Crewe LNWR 45231 Rabbit Bridge.jpg
45305 Alderman A.E Draper LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 BR Black, Late Crest Draper family 98505 2020 No Loughborough Hugh llewelyn 45305 & 70013 (5829915330).jpg
45407 The Lancashire Fusilier LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 BR Black, Early Emblem Ian Riley 98507 2027 Yes Fort William LMS 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier in Carlisle.jpg
45596 Bahamas LMS "Jubilee" 4-6-0 BR Green, Late Crest Bahamas Locomotive Society 98696 2026 No Haworth Bahamas reversing of Tyseley's turntable.jpg Only surviving jubilee with double chimney. Returned to mainline on 15/1/19.[39]
45690 Leander LMS "Jubilee" 4-6-0 BR Black, Early Emblem Chris Beet 98690 2021 No Carnforth MPD LMS 45690 Leander at Barrow Hill Roundhouse.JPG
45699 Galatea LMS "Jubilee" 4-6-0 BR Green, Late Crest David Smith 98699 2023 No National Railway Museum, York 45562 Alberta taking on water at Sowerby Bridge.jpg
46100 Royal Scot LMS "Royal Scot" 4-6-0 BR Green, Early Emblem Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust 98702 2022 Yes Crewe LNWR 46100 Royal Scot at Crewe.JPG
46115 Scots Guardsman LMS "Royal Scot" 4-6-0 BR Green, Late Crest David Smith 98715 2026 No Carnforth MPD LMS 46115 Scots Guardsman at Carlisle Citadel.JPG
6201 Princess Elizabeth LMS "Princess Royal" 4-6-2 LMS Crimson Lake Princess Elizabeth Locomotive Society 98801 - Yes Carnforth MPD 6201 Princess Elizabeth in Preston.jpg Withdrawn July/August 2021 due to cracked firebox.
6233 Duchess of Sutherland LMS "Princess Coronation" 4-6-2 LMS Crimson Lake Princess Royal Class Loco. Trust 98834 2025 Yes Butterley LMS 46233 Duchess of Sutherland at Didcot Railway centre (geograph 1692948).jpg
48151 - LMS Stanier 8F 2-8-0 BR Black, Late Crest David Smith 98851 - No Carnforth MPD LMS 48151 at Llandudno Junction.JPG Withdrawn August 2019[40]
60007 Sir Nigel Gresley LNER A4 4-6-2 BR Blue (On completion) Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust 98898 - Yes Locomotive Services, Crewe[41] 2011-04-24 SirNigelGresley.jpg
60009 Union of South Africa LNER A4 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest John Cameron 98809 - Yes East Lancashire Railway[42] 60009 Union of South Africa at Condover 01.jpg Withdrawn from mainline 2020. Boiler ticket expires mid 2022.
4464 Bittern LNER A4 4-6-2 LNER Garter Blue Icons of Steam 98819 - Yes One:One Collection, Margate[43] 4464 Bittern at Kidderminster (3).jpg
60103 Flying Scotsman LNER A3 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest National Collection 98872 2023 Yes National Railway Museum, York LNER 60103 Flying Scotsman at the NRM.JPG
60163 Tornado LNER A1 4-6-2 BR Apple Green A1 Steam Locomotive Trust[44] 98863 2021 Yes Bo'ness 60163 Passing through Chester station.jpg
60532 Blue Peter LNER A2 4-6-2 N/A Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust 98832 - I/H Crewe LNWR Roundhouse, Barrow Hill - geograph.org.uk - 1593135.jpg Under Overhaul.
1264 - LNER B1 4-6-0 LNER Lined Black Thompson B1 Loco Trust 98564 2021 No Grosmont Thompson B1 No. 61264 - 2004-03-13.jpg
61306 Mayflower LNER B1 4-6-0 BR Apple Green David Buck 98506 2025 No Southall MPD[45] Under the wires, 'Mayflower' goes north from King's Cross to York, March 2015 - panoramio.jpg
62005 - LNER K1 2-6-0 BR Black, Late Crest NELPG 98605 - No Carnforth MPD 62005 Lord of the Isles Tyseley (3).jpg Withdrawn for overhaul.
70000 Britannia BR Standard Class 7 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust 98700 - Yes Crewe LNWR Britannia at Severn Tunnel Junction, September 2012.jpg Under Overhaul. Return to service anticipated for late 2022
70013 Oliver Cromwell BR Standard Class 7 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest National Collection 98713 - No Loughborough 70013OliverCromwell0209.jpg Under overhaul.[46]
76084 - BR Standard Class 4 2-6-0 BR Black, Early Emblem 76084 Locomotive Company Limited 98484 2023 No North Norfolk Railway 76084 & 45690 Leander at Brighouse.jpg

Modern Traction[edit]

All locomotives below are owned and operated by West Coast Railways.

Diesel locomotives[edit]

Number Class Name Livery Date Acquired Into Traffic Previous Operator Status ETCS Fitted Max Speed
D2084 03 - BR Green January 2010 January 2010 ex-Preservation Depot Shunter Not Required 15 mph
03196 03 - BR Green July 2002 July 2002 ex-British Rail Depot Shunter Not Required 15 mph
D2381 03 - BR Green March 1976 March 1976 ex-British Rail Stored Not Required 15 mph
08418 08 - EWS Red August 2010 November 2010 ex-EWS Stored Not Required 15 mph
08485 08 - BR Blue August 2010 September 2010 ex-EWS Depot shunter Not Required 15 mph
08678 08 Artila WCR Maroon November 1994 November 1994 ex-Glaxo, Ulverston Depot Shunter Not Required 15 mph
33025 33 WCR Maroon September 2005 November 2005 ex-Direct Rail Services Operational No 80 mph
33029 33 WCR Maroon September 2005 March 2006 ex-Direct Rail Services Operational No 80 mph
33030 33 - DRS Blue September 2005 N\A ex-Direct Rail Services Spares Donor No 80 mph
33207 33 Jim Martin WCR Maroon September 2005 November 2005 ex-Direct Rail Services Operational No 80 mph
37516 37 Loch Laidon WCR Maroon February 2009 June 2009 ex-EWS Operational No 90 mph
37517 37 - Loadhaul December 2007 N/A ex-EWS Stored No 90 mph
37518 37 Fort William WCR Maroon October 2013 October 2013 ex-Ian Riley Operational No 90 mph
37668 37 - WCR Maroon December 2007 October 2014 ex-EWS Operational Yes 90 mph
37669 37 - WCR Maroon March 2011 March 2015 ex-EWS Operational Yes 90 mph
37676 37 Loch Rannoch WCR Maroon November 2007 November 2008 ex-EWS Operational No 90 mph
37685 37 Loch Arkaig WCR Maroon December 2007 May 2010 ex-EWS Operational No 90 mph
37706 37 - WCR Maroon December 2007 December 2008 ex-EWS Operational No 90 mph
37712 37 - WCR Maroon December 2007 June 2008 ex-EWS Stored No 90 mph
47194 47 - Railfreight September 2005 N/A ex-FM Rail Spares donor No 95 mph
47236 47 - RfD December 2006 N/A ex-FM Rail Spares donor No 95 mph
47237 47 WCR Maroon January 2011 July 2011 ex-Advenza Freight Operational No 95 mph
47245 47 V.E. Day 75th Anniversary [47] WCR Maroon April 2004 April 2006 ex-Harry Needle Railroad Company Operational No 95 mph
47270 47 Swift BR Blue May 2010 May 2010 ex-Preservation Under repair No 95 mph
47355 47 - FM Rail May 2010 N/A ex-European Metal Recycling Stored No 95 mph
47368 47 - Railfreight December 2006 N/A ex-FM Rail Spares donor No 95 mph
47492 47 - Rail Express Systems March 2010 N/A ex-Preservation Spares donor No 95 mph
47526 47 - BR Large Logo December 2006 N/A ex-FM Rail Spares donor No 95 mph
47746 47 Chris Fudge 29.7.70-22.6.10 WCR Maroon March 2011 October 2013 ex-Preservation (BT4F) Operational No 95 mph
47760 47 - WCR Maroon February 2007 April 2008 ex-EWS Operational No 95 mph
47768 47 - Undercoat March 2011 N/A ex-Preservation Stored No 95 mph
47772 47 Carnforth TMD WCR Maroon June 2008 August 2017 ex-EWS Operational No 95 mph
47776 47 - Rail Express Systems February 2007 N/A ex-EWS Stored No 95 mph
47786 47 Roy Castle OBE WCR Maroon February 2007 October 2008 ex-EWS Operational No 95 mph
47787 47 WCR Maroon February 2007 February 2008 ex-EWS Under repair No 95 mph
47802 47 - WCR Maroon September 2014 August 2015 ex-Direct Rail Services Operational No 95 mph
47804 47 - WCR Maroon February 2007 June 2007 ex-EWS Operational No 95 mph
47812 47 - ROG Blue April 2021 N/A ex Rail Operations Group[48] Operational No 95 mph
47813 47 - ROG Blue April 2021 April 2021 ex Rail Operations Group[48] Operational No 95 mph
47815 47 - BR two-tone Green April 2021 April 2021 ex Rail Operations Group[48] Operational No 95 mph
47826 47 - WCR Maroon April 2005 June 2005 ex-Virgin CrossCountry Operational No 95 mph
47832 47 - WCR Maroon September 2014 October 2014 ex-Direct Rail Services Operational No 95 mph
47848 47 - WCR Maroon April 2021 April 2021 ex Rail Operations Group[48] Operational No 95 mph
47851 47 WCR Maroon April 2005 June 2005 ex-Virgin CrossCountry Operational No 95 mph
47854 47 Diamond Jubilee WCR Maroon June 2003 February 2004 ex-Virgin CrossCountry Operational No 95 mph
57001 57 WCR Maroon January 2011 March 2011 ex-Freightliner Under repair No 75 mph
57005 57 - Advenza Freight Blue January 2011 N/A ex-Advenza Freight Stored No 75 mph
57006 57 - WCR Maroon April 2011 June 2012 ex-Advenza Freight Operational No 75 mph
57313 57 Scarborough Castle Pullman January 2013 April 2013 ex-Porterbrook Operational No 95 mph
57314 57 Firefly WCR Maroon January 2013 April 2013 ex-Porterbrook Operational No 95 mph
57315 57 The Mole WCR Maroon January 2013 March 2013 ex-Porterbrook Operational No 95 mph
57316 57 FAB1 WCR Maroon January 2013 March 2013 ex-Porterbrook Operational No 95 mph
57601 57 Windsor Castle Pullman November 2003 February 2004 ex-Porterbrook Operational No 95 mph

Preserved locomotives[edit]

Bold = Current number

Class Name Livery Owner Status Location Photograph Notes
D1762 47580 47 County of Essex BR Blue (with Union Jack) Stratford 47 Group Operational Burton-On-Trent 47580 , Claycross Junction (7465908038).jpg
D407 50007 50 Hercules GBRF Class 50 Alliance Operational Kidderminster 50007 at St Philip's Marsh (2).jpg
D444 50044 50 Exeter GB Railfreight Class 50 Alliance Under Overhaul Kidderminster Hugh llewelyn D444 (5581607177).jpg
D449 50049 50 Defiance GB Railfreight Class 50 Alliance Operational Kidderminster Hugh llewelyn 50 049 (5582194790).jpg
D1015 ~ 52 Western Champion BR Maroon Diesel Traction Group Operational Kidderminster D1015 Western Champion old oak common depot.jpg
E3137 86259 86 Les Ross BR Electric Blue Les Ross Operational Rugby 86259 Crewe 25.08.11R edited-2.jpg Named Les Ross on one side & Peter Pan on the other.
E3199 86401 86 Mons Meg Caledonian Blue David Smith Operational Carnforth MPD Glasgow Central - AC 86401 ecs off the Caledonian Sleeper.JPG Purchased in February 2020 from AC Locomotive Group[49]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 3066109 West Coast Railway Company Limited
  2. ^ Butt 1995, p. 115
  3. ^ a b c "Obituary - Dr Peter Beet". The Guardian. 7 December 2005. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  4. ^ "Steamtown miniature railway". Mike Hanson. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Steamtown Museum, carnforth". BBC Domesday Project. 6 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Steamtown early 1970s". Mike Hanson. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  7. ^ "West Coast Railway Co becomes a TOC" The Railway Magazine issue 1168 August 1998 page 12
  8. ^ a b c d STATEMENT - West Coast Railways suspension notice, Network Rail, 2 April 2015
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Rail Accident Investigation Branch (27 March 2015), "Dangerous occurrence at Wootton Bassett junction, Wiltshire", www.gov.uk
  10. ^ a b c d e "West Coast Railways track access suspended".
  11. ^ a b Johns, Cedric (8 April 2015). "SPAD stops Tangmere at Wootton Bassett". Heritage Railway. Horncastle: Mortons Media Ltd (201): 59. ISSN 1466-3562.
  12. ^ Urgent Announcement West Coast Railways
  13. ^ STATEMENT – Network Rail revoke West Coast Railways suspension notice, Network Rail, 8 May 2015
  14. ^ "Railway Herald :: Network Rail lifts WCR ban".
  15. ^ "STATEMENT – Network Rail revoke West Coast Railways suspension notice".
  16. ^ "ORR prosecutes West Coast Railway Company and train driver over signal incident". Office for Road and Rail. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  17. ^ "West Coast steam train 'near miss' firm fined £200k". BBC News. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  18. ^ Browne, Stephanie. "WCR fined £200k for safety failings". Rail. Bauer Consumer Media Ltd. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  19. ^ "ORR issued prohibition notice on WCR". Railway Herald. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  20. ^ "Revocation of safety certificate" (PDF). Office of Rail & Road. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  21. ^ West Coast Railway steam train firm banned from operating BBC News 17 February 2016
  22. ^ "West Coast Railway Company prohibition lifted". Rail. Bauer Consumer Media Ltd. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  23. ^ "West Coast to start York - Scarborough summer trips" The Railway Magazine issue 1212 April 2002 page 70
  24. ^ "Train services return to the Lake District thanks to Tim Farron and West Coast Railways". Rail Advent. 16 June 2018.
  25. ^ "Vintage Trains CBS Share Offer" (PDF). Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  26. ^ "GBRf takes over Royal Scotsman train contract" Rail issue 799 27 April 2016 page 19
  27. ^ "West Coast Railways takes over at Southall" The Railway Magazine issue 1290 October 2008 page 11
  28. ^ "Porterbrook to sell 57601 to West Coast" Rail issue 462 28 May 2003 page 13
  29. ^ "Locomotive Exchange: Four 33s for two 37s" The Railway Magazine issue 1255 November 2005 page 65
  30. ^ "West Coast buys Advenza locos" The Railway Magazine issue 1320 April 2011 page 80
  31. ^ "Second Advenza 57 at Carnforth" The Railway Magazine issue 1322 June 2011 page 79
  32. ^ "Remaining Class 57/3s snapped up by DRS and West Coast Co" The Railway Magazine issue 1343 March 2013 page 80
  33. ^ http://www.kinlethall.co.uk/7027 & 4936 owing group/owner
  34. ^ http://www.iconsofsteam.com/locos/ Website link for all Icons of Steam locos
  35. ^ https://www.steamrailway.co.uk/gaugingreaction/2017/6/26/harry-potter-and-the-magic-of-steam Harry Potter and the Magic of Steam
  36. ^ "Steam locomotive 9466 for West Somerset Railway". 24 June 2019.
  37. ^ Sir Lamiel back on the main line in 2023 after overhaul Heritage Railway issue 270 August 2020 page 42
  38. ^ https://kwvr.co.uk/steam-train/london-midland-scottish-railway-class-5mt-black-5-4-6-0-no-45212/ Info page for 45212
  39. ^ http://www.uksteam.info/tours/t19/t0115q.htm light test run
  40. ^ End of the line for Carnforth's 8F Railways Illustrated November 2019 page 35
  41. ^ A4 60007 makes way for Wonderlab Steam Railway issue 521 July 2021 page 24
  42. ^ No 9 back in action at East Lancashire Heritage Railway issue 281 June 2021 page 7
  43. ^ Margate’s museum in the making takes further steps forward Heritage Railway issue 263 January 2020 page 8
  44. ^ 60163 Tornado Al Steam Locomotive Trust
  45. ^ http://www.uksteam.info/tours/t19/t0304p.htm UK Steam Timings for 61306 move
  46. ^ GCR awarded custody of Oliver Cromwell by NRM Heritage Railway issue 257 August 2019 page 21
  47. ^ "47245 V.E. Day 75th Anniversary'". 5 August 2021.
  48. ^ a b c d West Coast Railways buys non-standard ROG 47/8s Rail issue 929 21 April 2021 page 29
  49. ^ West Coast Railways secure 86401 Railways Illustrated April 2020 page 17


  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°07′52″N 2°46′22″W / 54.1311°N 2.7727°W / 54.1311; -2.7727