West Coast Railways

Coordinates: 54°07′52″N 2°46′22″W / 54.1311°N 2.7727°W / 54.1311; -2.7727
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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
  • North-East Railtours (Part operated by SRPS Railtours)
  • Pathfinder Tours
  • Railway Touring Company
  • Saltburn Railtours
  • SRPS Railtours
  • Spirit of the Lakes
  • West Coast Railtours (Formerly Compass Tours)
  • 21st Century Steam Ltd (Formerly Tornado Railtours)(Operations shared with DB Cargo UK)

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)
  • Nenta Traintours (No longer operated by WCR, now operated by DB Cargo UK)
  • PMR Tours (Ceased trading in 2020)
  • Railtourer (Ceased trading in 2013)
  • Shepherd Neame (Ceased tour operations in 2013)
  • Spitfire Railtours (Ceased trading in 2012)
  • Statesman Rail (No longer operated by WCR, now operated by Locomotive Services)
  • Steam Dreams (No longer operated by WCR, now operated by Locomotive Services)


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 Air Brk's ETCS Fitted Location Photograph Present Status Mainline Certified Notes
4936 Kinlet Hall GWR "Hall" 4-6-0 N/A Kinlet Hall & Thornbury Castle Ltd[33] 98536 No No Tyseley LW Hoodown 4936 Torbay Express.jpg Under Overhaul No, to be certified
5972 Olton Hall GWR "Hall" 4-6-0 Hogwarts Crimson David Smith 98572 No No Leavesden 5972 Olton Hall at Hellifield.jpg Static Display No On loan to Warner Bros.[34]
6024 King Edward I GWR "King" 4-6-0 BR Green, Late Crest (On completion) Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust 98824 Yes No Minehead King Edward I 6024 Didcot (1).jpg Under Overhaul No, to be certified
6880 Betton Grange GWR "Grange" 4-6-0 BR Green, TBC (On Completion) The Betton Grange Society 98580 No No Tyseley LW 6880 Betton Grange in Llangollen Shed.JPG Under Construction No, to be certified New build of next member of class.
9466 - GWR "9400 Pannier Tank" 0-6-0PT BR Black, Early Emblem Johnathan Jones-Pratt[35] 98466 No No Bishops Lydeard 9466 Didcot.jpg Operational No
30777 Sir Lamiel LSWR N15 4-6-0 BR Green, Early Emblem (on completion) National Collection 98577 No No Loughborough Restored locomotive Sir Lamiel 2011-07-20.jpg Under overhaul[36] No, to be certified
31806 - SR "U Boat" 2-6-0 BR Black, Late Crest John Bunch 98406 No No Swanage 31806 at Kidderminster 2 (8088069099).jpg Operational Yes (2021 - ongoing)
34016 Bodmin SR "West Country" 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest David Smith 98716 No No Carnforth MPD West Country class pacific No 34016 Bodmin at Ropley shed yard (2).jpg Stored No
34067 Tangmere SR "Battle of Britain" 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest David Smith 98767 Yes No Carnforth MPD 34067 Tangmere, west of Bath.jpg Operational Yes (2021 - ongoing)
35018 British India Line SR "Merchant Navy" 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest David Smith 98818 No No Carnforth MPD British India Line arriving in Carlisle.jpg Operational Yes (2017 - ongoing)
35028 Clan Line SR "Merchant Navy" 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Group 98828 Yes No Stewarts Lane Hugh llewelyn 35028 (6956923664).jpg Under Repair Yes (2017 - ongoing) Undergoing firebox repairs and retube.[37]
44767 George Stephenson LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 N/A David Smith 98567 No No Carnforth MPD Black Five 44767 George Stevenson - geograph.org.uk - 1897362.jpg Stored No
44871 - LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 BR Black, Early Emblem Ian Riley 98571 Yes No Southall MPD LMS 44871 in the loop at Preston.jpg Operational Yes (2017 - ongoing)
44932 - LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 BR Black, BR Lettering David Smith 98532 No No Carnforth MPD 44932 arriving into Preston with the 1T57 Fellsman.jpg Operational Yes (2022 - ongoing) Worked inaugural post overhaul railtour on 24 Sept 2022.[38]
45212 - LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 BR Black, Late Crest Keighley & Worth Valley Railway[39] 98512 Yes No Haworth 45212 Waiting in platform 3 at Keighley.jpg Operational Yes (2017 - ongoing)
45305 Alderman A.E Draper LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 N/A Draper family 98505 No No Loughborough Hugh llewelyn 45305 & 70013 (5829915330).jpg Under Overhaul No, to be certified
45407 The Lancashire Fusilier LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 BR Black, Early Emblem Ian Riley 98507 Yes No Leeming Bar LMS 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier in Carlisle.jpg Operational Yes (2018 - ongoing)
45596 Bahamas LMS "Jubilee" 4-6-0 BR Green, Late Crest Bahamas Locomotive Society 98696 No No Haworth Bahamas reversing of Tyseley's turntable.jpg Operational Yes (2019 - ongoing) Only surviving jubilee with double chimney. Returned to mainline on 15/1/19.[40]
45690 Leander LMS "Jubilee" 4-6-0 BR Black, Early Emblem Chris Beet 98690 No No Carnforth MPD LMS 45690 Leander at Barrow Hill Roundhouse.JPG Under Repair Yes (2014 - ongoing)
45699 Galatea LMS "Jubilee" 4-6-0 BR Green, Late Crest David Smith 98699 No No Carnforth MPD 45562 Alberta taking on water at Sowerby Bridge.jpg Operational Yes (2023 - ongoing) Presently disguised as scrapped classmate 45627 Sierra Leone
46115 Scots Guardsman LMS "Royal Scot" 4-6-0 BR Green, Late Crest David Smith 98715 No No Carnforth MPD LMS 46115 Scots Guardsman at Carlisle Citadel.JPG Operational Yes (2019 - ongoing)
6201 Princess Elizabeth LMS "Princess Royal" 4-6-2 LMS Crimson Lake Princess Elizabeth Locomotive Society 98801 Yes No Carnforth MPD 6201 Princess Elizabeth in Preston.jpg Stored No
6233 Duchess of Sutherland LMS "Princess Coronation" 4-6-2 LMS Crimson Lake Princess Royal Class Loco. Trust 98834 Yes No Butterley LMS 46233 Duchess of Sutherland at Didcot Railway centre (geograph 1692948).jpg Operational Yes (2018 - ongoing)
48151 - LMS Stanier 8F 2-8-0 BR Black, Late Crest David Smith 98851 No No Carnforth MPD LMS 48151 at Llandudno Junction.JPG Under Overhaul No, to be certified Withdrawn August 2019[41]
60007 Sir Nigel Gresley LNER A4 4-6-2 BR Blue (On completion) Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust 98898 Yes No Locomotive Services, Crewe[42] 2011-04-24 SirNigelGresley.jpg Operational Yes (2022 - ongoing) Painted in LNER wartime black for running in and mainline test runs. To be repainted to BR Blue at later date.
60103 Flying Scotsman LNER A3 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest National Collection 98872 Yes No Bury LNER 60103 Flying Scotsman at the NRM.JPG Operational Yes (2022 - ongoing)
60163 Tornado LNER A1 4-6-2 BR Apple Green (on completion) A1 Steam Locomotive Trust[43] 98863 Yes Being Fitted Loughborough 60163 Passing through Chester station.jpg Under Overhaul No, to be certified Being fitted with ETCS as part of Pathfinder Project.[44]
1264 - LNER B1 4-6-0 LNER Lined Black Thompson B1 Loco Trust 98564 No No Ruddington Thompson B1 No. 61264 - 2004-03-13.jpg Under Overhaul No, to be certified
62005 - LNER K1 2-6-0 N/A NELPG 98605 No No Carnforth MPD 62005 Lord of the Isles Tyseley (3).jpg Under Overhaul No, to be certified
70013 Oliver Cromwell BR Standard Class 7 4-6-2 BR Green, Late Crest (on completion) National Collection 98713 No No Loughborough 70013OliverCromwell0209.jpg Under overhaul[45] No, to be certified
76017 - BR Standard Class 4 2-6-0 BR Black, Early Emblem John Bunch 98417 No No Southall MPD Class 4MT 76017.jpg Operational No, to be certified Intended to be mainline certified following change of ownership.
76084 - BR Standard Class 4 2-6-0 BR Black, Early Emblem 76084 Locomotive Company Limited 98484 No No North Norfolk Railway 76084 & 45690 Leander at Brighouse.jpg Operational Yes (2017 - ongoing)

Modern Traction[edit]

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

Diesel locomotives[edit]

Note: Marked names indicate that the loco is not presently wearing them[clarification needed].

Shunting Engines[edit]
Number Class Name Livery Date Acquired Into Traffic Previous Operator Status ETCS Fitted Max Speed
D2084 Class 03 BR Green January 2010 January 2010 ex-Preservation Depot Shunter Not Required 15 mph
03196 BR Green July 2002 July 2002 ex-British Rail
D2381 BR Green March 1976 March 1976 ex-British Rail Stored
08418 Class 08 EWS Red August 2010 November 2010 ex-EWS
08485 BR Blue August 2010 September 2010 ex-EWS Depot Shunter
08678 Artila WCR Maroon November 1994 November 1994 ex-Glaxo, Ulverston
Mainline Diesels[edit]
Number Class Name Livery Date Acquired Into Traffic Previous Operator Status ETCS Fitted Max Speed Notes
33025 Class 33 WCR Maroon September 2005 November 2005 ex-Direct Rail Services Operational No 80 mph
33029 September 2005 March 2006 No
33207 Jim Martin September 2005 November 2005 No
37516 Class 37 Loch Laidon February 2009 June 2009 ex-EWS No
37517 Loadhaul December 2007 N/A Stored No
37518 Fort William WCR Maroon October 2013 October 2013 ex-Ian Riley Operational No
37668 December 2007 October 2014 ex-EWS Yes
37669 March 2011 March 2015 Yes
37676 Loch Rannoch November 2007 November 2008 No
37685 Loch Arkaig December 2007 May 2010 No
37706 December 2007 December 2008 No
37712 December 2007 June 2008 Stored No
47237 Class 47 January 2011 July 2011 ex-Advenza Freight Operational No 95 mph
47245 V.E. Day 75th Anniversary [46] April 2004 April 2006 ex-Harry Needle Railroad Company No
47270 Swift BR Blue May 2010 May 2010 ex-Preservation No
47355 FM Rail May 2010 N/A ex-European Metal Recycling Stored No
47746 Chris Fudge 29.7.70-22.6.10 WCR Maroon March 2011 October 2013 ex-Preservation (BT4F) Operational No
47760 February 2007 April 2008 ex-EWS No
47768 Undercoat March 2011 N/A ex-Preservation Stored No
47772 Carnforth TMD WCR Maroon June 2008 August 2017 ex-EWS Operational No
47776 Rail Express Systems February 2007 N/A Stored No
47786 Roy Castle OBE WCR Maroon February 2007 October 2008 Operational No
47787 February 2007 February 2008 Under repair No
47802 September 2014 August 2015 ex-Direct Rail Services Operational No
47804 February 2007 June 2007 ex-EWS No
47812 April 2021 N/A ex-Rail Operations Group[47] No
47813 April 2021 April 2021 No
47815 Great Western BR two-tone Green April 2021 April 2021 No
47826 WCR Maroon April 2005 June 2005 ex-Virgin CrossCountry No
47832 September 2014 October 2014 ex-Direct Rail Services No
47848 April 2021 April 2021 ex Rail Operations Group[47] No
47851 April 2005 June 2005 ex-Virgin CrossCountry No
47854 Diamond Jubilee June 2003 February 2004 No
57001 Class 57/0 January 2011 March 2011 ex-Freightliner Awaiting repair No 75 mph
57005 Advenza Freight Blue January 2011 N/A ex-Advenza Freight Stored No
57006 WCR Maroon April 2011 June 2012 Awaiting repair No
57008 DRS Blue March 2022 N/A ex-Direct Rail Services Stored No
57009 March 2022 N/A No
57010 WCR Maroon March 2022 N/A Operational No
57011 DRS Blue March 2022 N/A Stored No
57012 WCR Maroon March 2022 N/A Operational No
57313 Class 57/3 Scarborough Castle Pullman January 2013 April 2013 ex-Porterbrook No 95 mph Formerly named Tracy Island.
57314 WCR Maroon January 2013 April 2013 No Formerly named Firefly
57315 January 2013 March 2013 No Formerly named The Mole
57316 Alnwick Castle January 2013 March 2013 No Formerly named FAB1.
57601 57/6 Windsor Castle Pullman November 2003 February 2004 No
Donor Locos[edit]

Under Construction

Number Class Livery Date Acquired Previous Operator Max Speed
33030 Class 33 DRS Blue September 2005 ex-Direct Rail Services 80 mph
47194 Class 47 Railfreight September 2005 ex-FM Rail 95 mph
47236 RfD December 2006
47368 Railfreight December 2006
47492 Rail Express Systems March 2010 ex-Preservation
47526 BR Large Logo December 2006 ex-FM Rail

Preserved locomotives[edit]

Bold = Current number

Class Name Livery Owner Status Location Photograph Notes
D345 40145 40 BR Green Class 40 Preservation Society Operational East Lancashire Railway 40145 at Carlisle.JPG
D1762 47580 47 County of Essex BR Blue (with Union Jack) Stratford 47 Group Operational Mid Norfolk railway 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 Operational 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 Chromatic Blue 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 'Les Ross' at London Euston.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[48]

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. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. 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 Archived 10 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine 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. No. 1212. April 2002. p. 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 Magazine. No. 779. 27 April 2016. p. 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 Magazine. No. 779. 28 May 2003. p. 13.
  29. ^ "Locomotive Exchange: Four 33s for two 37s". The Railway Magazine. No. 1255. November 2005. p. 65.
  30. ^ "West Coast buys Advenza locos". The Railway Magazine. No. 1320. April 2011. p. 80.
  31. ^ "Second Advenza 57 at Carnforth". The Railway Magazine. No. 1322. June 2011. p. 79.
  32. ^ "Remaining Class 57/3s snapped up by DRS and West Coast Co". The Railway Magazine. No. 1343. March 2013. p. 80.
  33. ^ & 4936 owing group/owner
  34. ^ [1] Harry Potter and the Magic of Steam
  35. ^ "Steam locomotive 9466 for West Somerset Railway". 24 June 2019.
  36. ^ "Sir Lamiel back on the main line in 2023 after overhaul". Heritage Railway. No. 270. August 2020. p. 42.
  37. ^ https://www.railadvent.co.uk/2022/10/steam-locomotive-35028-clan-line-withdrawn-from-service-for-repairs.html 35028 Withdrawn for repairs
  38. ^ https://www.railadvent.co.uk/events/the-cumbrian-mountain-express-london-euston-carlisle-13 44932 Inaugural post overhaul railtour
  39. ^ [2] Info page for 45212
  40. ^ [3] light test run
  41. ^ "End of the line for Carnforth's 8F". Railways Illustrated. No. November 2019. p. 35.
  42. ^ "A4 60007 makes way for Wonderlab". Steam Railway. No. 521. July 2021. p. 24.
  43. ^ 60163 Tornado Al Steam Locomotive Trust
  44. ^ "Tornado's Overhaul 2022".
  45. ^ "GCR awarded custody of Oliver Cromwell by NRM". Heritage Railway. No. 257. August 2019. p. 21.
  46. ^ "47245 V.E. Day 75th Anniversary'". 5 August 2021.
  47. ^ a b West Coast Railways buys non-standard ROG 47/8s Rail issue 929 21 April 2021 page 29
  48. ^ West Coast Railways secure 86401 Railways Illustrated April 2020 page 17


External links[edit]

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