Carlisle Station will host the famous Tangmere Steam Locomotive

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RAIL history is set to be made in Carlisle next week when the famous Tangmere steam locomotive, which once hauled legendary expresses like the Golden Arrows and Bournemouth, pulls one of the world’s most luxurious trains through the station of the Citadel.

The Green Engine – named after Spitfire ace Douglas Bader’s Second World War RAF fighter base in Sussex – is teaming up with the Northern Belle’s 1930s-style Pullman coaches for the first time to hit the road spectacular towards Settle.

The 260 tickets for next Thursday’s full-day excursion – which includes a champagne brunch followed by a five-course dinner with wine in the evening – sold out days after going on sale despite being priced at £395.

Yorkshire advertising mogul David Pitts, who bought the Northern Belle from iconic group Orient Express for an undisclosed sum, was amazed at the response.

He said: “We were surprised by the demand for tickets but it seems people are desperate to get out and have fun after being locked up at home with all the Covid lockdowns.

“Of course, part of the attraction of this trip is seeing the magnificent Tangmere engine in action.

“This will be his first time shooting Beauty and we’re all excited about the idea.”

The same journey with a different steam locomotive was featured on Channel 5’s ‘The World’s Most Scenic Rail Journeys’ last year, when actor Bill Nighy described the Northern Belle as ‘the Grand Duchess luxury train travel.

He loved the individually designed and hand-decorated horse-drawn carriages, the gourmet cuisine and the spectacular scenery across Lancashire, Cumbria and the Dales.

Tangmere is a Battle of Britain class locomotive originally built at Brighton in 1947 for the Old Southern Railway.

She was withdrawn from service in 1963 and sent to a Welsh scrapyard after completing 588,269 miles as diesel began to take over from steam.

But railway enthusiasts saved the engine from being turned into pots and pans and painstakingly restored the engine so it can now pull heritage trains on the mainline.

The Northern Belle will serve different destinations across the country from various stations throughout the year. Fares start at £295.

For details, call 01270 899681 or visit northbelle.co.uk.

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