The 1980s are held in high regard as the zenith of main line steam specials by many steam railway enthusiasts. For during the 1980s many routes hitherto closed to steam traction were opened up, particularly during 1985 with the GWR 150 celebrations, when steam returned to the south-west. And although the Settle & Carlisle route had returned to steam in 1978, it was the 1980s that saw an abundance of workings over this beautiful line. In Scotland steam became a regular feature between Fort William and Mallaig, with trains being introduced in 1984. Steam also returned to Inverness, Kyle of Lochalsh and the far north lines, as well as the regular Edinburgh Christmas trains. Add to this fine selection of motive power, from the diminutive NBR 0-6-0 Maude to the mighty ex-LMS Coronation Pacific No 46229 Duchess of Hamilton, the BR infrastructure of the period - signals, stations and so on - and it is easy to see why the decade is so popular for steam enthusiasts. Roger Siviter's book draws together the best of his photographs from the 1980s and these, combined with informative captions, recapture the excitement of the period, when steam was seen again on the main lines of Britain.
Main Line Steam in the 1980s