Photo by Dave Hadley courtesy Wikimedia Commons
The atmosphere of ‘Platform Nine and Three Quarters’ may be recreated at King’s Cross tomorrow (Saturday 28 November) with the rare arrival of a vintage steam train.
The Sir Nigel Gresley was a ‘streamliner’ class locomotive built in Yorkshire in 1937 for the London-Newcastle-Edinburgh service, heralding a departure from the British Railways’ standard boiler-on-wheels look with sweptback sleek lines inspired by Bugatti and a dramatic royal blue livery. In 1959 she became the holder of the post-war steam record speed of 112mph.
Her more famous sibling ‘Mallard’ lies lifeless in the National Railway Museum at York, but tomorrow Sir Nigel draws a special excursion service from the North-East, organised by the enterprising Railway Touring Company and due to arrive King’s Cross at 14.07, when for a short time there’ll be opportunities to see her from the platform.
If you want to catch her in glorious motion, the train passes through Potters Bar at 13.23 and Finsbury Park at 13.54.
If you’d like to actually travel on this nostalgic express in vintage rolling stock and hauled northwards by Sir Nigel Gresley, there’s a day-trip from London on Saturday 19 December, with a choice of afternoon stopovers in York, Durham or Newcastle. Tickets from £79 to £189 depending on your seating and dining options.
Availability can be checked on this website.