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Steam train B1 Class locomotive Mayflower travels through Kent calling at Folkestone, Canterbury, Medway and Maidstone on Steam Dreams trip

A steam engine will be touring around the Kent countryside next week.

The B1 Class locomotive Mayflower will pull a train around the county passing through several stations en route to Windsor on Tuesday.

B1 class locomotive 'Mayflower' passes through Chilham earlier this year on a previous trip. Picture: Chris Davey
B1 class locomotive 'Mayflower' passes through Chilham earlier this year on a previous trip. Picture: Chris Davey

The majestic engine will set off from Borough Green and Wrotham at 8.15am before travelling down to Folkestone and then up to London via Canterbury East, Rainham and Bromley.

Built in 1948 in Glasgow for London and North Eastern Railway, No 61306 Mayflower is one of two surviving B1 locos and still carries the apple green livery she was first painted with when she launched.

Known as one of the most powerful workhorses of the late steam era, she operated for the LNER on the mainline across the east coast between East Anglia to Scotland.

Departing Borough Green and Wrotham at 8.15am, the train can then be seen at:

  • Maidstone East at 8.29am
  • Charing at 8.47am
  • Ashford International (where it will not stop)
  • Folkestone at 9.35am
  • Canterbury East at 10.15am
  • Faversham at 10.29am
  • Rainham at 11.02am
  • Bromley South at 11.51am
  • Arriving in London at 12.37pm

The B1 Class was designed to carry freight traffic and express passenger services and worked across vast areas of the network.

Mayflower, which can run at speeds of up to 75mph, was the final B1 in active service before steam engines were removed from active service.

Her final trip saw her haul the Yorkshire Pullman from Leeds in September 1967.

Timings for Mayflower's trip through Kent. Picture: Steam Dreams (22859703)
Timings for Mayflower's trip through Kent. Picture: Steam Dreams (22859703)

After leaving service, Mayflower was taken to Steamtown in Carnforth, Lancashire and was restored for rail tours in the late 1970s.

Mayflower underwent a major restoration in 2015 after being bought by Steam Tours the previous year. She returned to service on the mainline earlier this year.

Since then, Mayflower has visited Kent on several occasions including in September and earlier in the summer.

Organisers will hope her trip is not blighted by the same problems suffered by No 70014 Iron Duke when pulling the Golden Arrow service through the county in October.

The Britannia Class loco - originally built as No 70000 and called Brittania - broke down near Bearsted blocking the line through Maidstone and Ashford.

The trip, organised by travel firm Steam Dreams, will take passengers to Windsor for a specially arranged carol concert at Windsor Parish Church.

Mayflower stream train near Egham (12223571)
Mayflower stream train near Egham (12223571)

Fares start at £89 with a full Pullman dining option for £249.

The return journey will be hauled by a diesel loco.

Operators say Mayflower is rostered for the journey but is not guaranteed to be pulling the train.

For more information go to steamdreams.co.uk

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