Iconic era of steam trains

Billowing steam: Jubilee Ceylon leaving Colne, 1965

Billowing steam: Jubilee Ceylon leaving Colne, 1965

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It’s a wonderful sight that has gone forever: here steam and smoke fills the air as Jubilee 4-6-0 steam locomotive no. 45604 “Ceylon” heads out over Colne’s Victorian viaduct on a rainy April day in 1965.

Within just three months, this mighty LMS engine had been withdrawn from service, never again to steam along the rails in splendid style.

The iconic Jubilee class of locomotives numbered 191 and were built between 1934 and 1936. Many of my generation will recall with nostalgia those engines named Silver Jubilee, South Africa, India, Gold Coast, Nyasaland, Zanzibar, Renown and Swiftsure.

Today we are fortunate indeed to have four superb Jubilee engines in preservation: nos 45593 (Kolhaper), 45596 (Bahamas), 45690 (Leander) and 45699 (Galatea) – every one a gem.