THE WORLDS GREATEST RAILWAY JOURNEY
With the release of the fantastic West Highland Line Extension route for Train Simulator, thoughts turned to running the Jacobite steam service on the line. I have had the privilege of experiencing this train on two occasions, and it is without a shadow of doubt, the greatest railway journey I have ever experienced! As many of you will know, we have a scripted Black 5, West Coast 44932, available as free bonus content in the Stanier 8F Collection Part 3. This Black 5 gives you the CJB particles, script, adjustable lamps on both loco and tender and headboards. Well it is with great pleasure that we announce that another free scripted Black 5 in coming soon - 45231 Sherwood Forester.
Stanier Black 5 45231
5231 was built by Armstrong-Whitworth in 1936. She spent most of her early life at Patricroft shed, working mainly to North Wales and Leeds. After nationalisation in 1948, she was renumbered 45231 by British Railways. She was transferred to Northampton in October 1954, but was only officially there for a month — such allocation changes were often only carried out on paper — and then transferred to Aston, where she remained for nine years. 45231 was officially transferred to Rugbyin February 1963, but was moved a short time later (July) to Chester. She stayed at Chester until closure of Chester shed in April 1967. She was then transferred to Speke Junction and finally Carnforth, where 45231 lasted until the last day of steam on BR in August 1968. She was sold by BR directly into preservation and was restored at Carnforth to LMS livery.
After being initially preserved at Carnforth, 5231 became associated with the preserved Great Central Railway. In 1973 she hauled the official opening train between Loughborough and Quorn. 5231 was sold to the GCR in late 1996, who repainted it in BR lined black in 1997. She also acquired a set of nameplates, The Sherwood Forester. The loco is now owned by Bert Hitchen and the loco has recently returned to traffic after a major overhaul was carried out at Carnforth MPD. 45231 has been employed on various working during it's mainline career - WCRC's Fellsman trains, the Jacobite and some Cathedrals Express workings in the south.
In 1984, British Rail re-introduced a steam-hauled service over part of the Fort William to Mallaig line, in an effort to encourage tourism and boost income on the heavily subsidised line. Called the "West Highlander", it proved so successful that it was continued for subsequent years. It was later renamed "The Lochaber". In 1995 following the privatisation of British Rail, the operating licence for the West Highlander trains was granted to the West Coast Railway Company, and they began operating the service that summer under the new name of "The Jacobite". The daily service departs Fort William at 10.15am and arrives at Mallaig at 12.25pm. The Return from Mallaig departs at 2.10pm arriving back into Fort William at 4pm. The service crosses the additional afternoon train at Glenfinnan on Mondays to Fridays and this is the only regular crossing of two steam services passing each other on the national network. In 2011, for the first time, train operator West Coast Railway Company added a second daily Jacobite service from Fort William to Mallaig due to demand, using Ian Riley's Black 5 44871 and a spare set of coaches that were formerly used for "The Cambrian". The additional service departs Fort William at 2.30pm with an arrival time back in Fort William of 8.24pm and runs from June to August, Monday to Friday.
The Jacobite runs a distance of 41 miles between Fort William and Mallaig, passing through an area of great scenic beauty including alongside Loch Eil, Glenfinnan Viaduct and Arisaig. Trains cross with regular service trains at Glenfinnan station.
What exactly is going to be in our new addon 'The Jacobite'?