An article by Get Surrey reporter Laura Nightingale on the 20th April 2016 talks about the fact that Cathedrals Express, Steam train Galatea is to be replaced with vintage diesels after developing a fault ahead of Queen’s birthday tour of Surrey.
The celebratory train tour for the Queen’s 90th birthday will still go ahead but with two replacement trains,
Cathedrals Express vintage diesel Number 47 will be one half of the replacement.
A vintage steam train, brought down specially from Lancashire for a celebratory tour of Surrey to mark the Queen ‘s 90th birthday on Thursday, has had to be replaced at the 11th-hour.
Just a day before the Cathedrals Express tour, it was announced the Jubilee Class 45699 Galatea had been withdrawn after suffering a minor problem with its boiler. Expected to take five days to fix, the tour will instead be hauled by two vintage diesel locomotives, one behind the other.
Cathedrals Express vintage diesel Number 37 (built in 1959) is the other replacement.
Passengers have been notified of the changes and of the “double-headed” replacement – a Class 37 (built in 1959) diesel and a Class 47 (of similar vintage).
Galatea was, itself, a replacement after the Royal locomotive Queen Elizabeth had to be withdrawn after repairs fell behind.
Marcus Robertson, chairman of Cathedrals Express operator Steam Dreams, said: “This has been a very difficult period for steam.”
He explained a number of engines expected to be available for the week were out out action, with Galatea the only locomotive on West Coast Railways’ books that could have completed the itinerary.
Mr Robertson added Network Rail had also carried out special gauging to run the special steam tours.
“This is very frustrating as a lot of hard work has gone to waste,” he said. “There is no doubt that there will still be a festive atmosphere on board tomorrow [Thursday] as we celebrate the Queen’s remarkable life and reign.
“As usual, the Steam Dreams team will be redoubling its efforts to ensure we can all still celebrate our longest serving Monarch in style.”
Passengers have been offered compensation of at least £10 per person (depending on their ticket type) or credit for a future trip.