Trainspotters’ delight as steam train pulls into Welwyn Garden City

PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 September 2011 | UPDATED: 16:01 27 September 2011

Welwyn Garden City train station. Steam Train.

Welwyn Garden City train station. Steam Train.

A BLAST from the past chuffed into Welwyn Garden City railway station, to the delight of steam train buffs.

The Cathedrals Express service pulled into the station on Thursday morning, and again in the evening on its return – the first steam locomotive to stop there for 13 years.

It was a welcome arrival for Michael France, 63, who was eagerly waiting on the platform for a glimpse of the 60163 Tornado, running from Woking to Leeds.

The Pippens resident said: “Steam trains offer the real drama of the past as well as personal memories from childhood days.

“Often you might hear people making comment about them being alive and it is true in many ways for as they pass you become aware of the heat from the thing.

“The smell of a real burning coal fire, the warm orange glow from inside the cab, especially is seen after dark as on Thursday evening.

“The smell of steam mixed with hot oil and, of course, the sound they make even when crawling along, for there is a sighing sound as if the locomotive is breathing as it passes, and then when stopped there is usually a bit of venting off, that sounds like a last gasp of breath anyone might take after coming to rest following some kind of heavy exercise routine or a hard run.

“As a lad I used to sit on the track side with my dad when it was allowed and watch them go past.”

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