An early Christmas treat, as a steam train will be chugging along the London Overground on the morning of Saturday (2nd Dec). It’s the Cathedral Express, hauling passengers on a day trip from Southend to Alton, and going via North London.
You can either be on the train (if feeling rich), or watch it charge past as it steams around London.
You’ll be seeing one of the iconic Black Five locomotives, built in 1935 and was the final steam-hauled revenue-earning service for British Railways on 4th August 1968.
The Black Five 45212 is owned by the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and is normally based there. In 2017, it was fitted with the necessary equipment for main line running and has now been certified for main line use.
This class of locomotive is often a favourite amongst drivers and railway fans.
The best way to watch it pass through North London is either from a convenient footbridge, or be on the stations as it passes through. A reminder, no flash photography, or tripods on the stations.
Don’t forget to wave to the people on board!
The estimated times it passes through railway stations are as follows:
They now expect to leave Southend around 11am — so add about 2 hours to the times below to get a revised timetable.
|Timetabled||Passing through:||Estimated Time|
|09:12||Southend Central (Platform 3)|
|09:18||Leigh-on-Sea (Platform 1)||11:10am|
|09:25||Pitsea (Platform 2)|
|09:30||Laindon (Platform 1)||11:20am|
|09:42||Upminster (Platform 1)||11:30am|
|09:58||Barking (Platform 8)||11:58|
|10:03||Woodgrange Park (Platform 1)||12:08|
|10:08||Forest Gate (Platform 3)||12:12|
|10:14||Stratford (Platform 10)||12:17|
|11:07||Acton Central (Platform 1)||12:59|
|11:38||Hounslow (Platform 2)||13:20|
|11:43||Feltham (Platform 2)||13:25|
|11:50||Staines (Platform 2)||13:32|
|11:59||Virginia Water (Platform 4)||13:41|
|12:27||Byfleet & New Haw||14:09|
|12:35||Woking (Platform 5)||14:17|
|13:04||Aldershot (Platform 3)||14:33|
|13:11||Farnham (Platform 2)||14:40|
Note that it will be coming back in the evening, but will be diesel hauled, not steam.