The 8D Association

The 15 Guinea Special 1968 and 2013.

Stanier Black 5 4-6-0 No 45110 coasting into Rainhill station on the original run.
11th August 1968. Photo by Les Fifoot.

On 11th August 1968 British Railways intended to run the final steam working from Liverpool Lime Street to Carlisle and back to commemorate the end of steam working. From 11th August steam engines would effectively be banned from the network. The tour became known as the 15 Guinea Special as this was the cost of a ticket and fittingly the first leg was via Rainhill to Manchester Victoria passing the site of the Rainhill Trials synonymous with the introduction of the steam engine.

With a 'few' locals in attendance 45110 simmers away under the public footbridge at the east end of the Manchester platform. 11th August 1968. Photo by Les Fifoot.

An incredible view from the footbridge at the east end of the station with crowds swarming all over the track with a lone policeman attempting to restore order so the train can pass. 11th August 1968.
Photo by Richard Mercer.

Black 5, No 45305 was the loco of choice for the first leg of the recreation and is seen here passing Whitemoss between Widnes East Junction and Sankey. 11th August 2013. Photo by Lee Woods.

Black 5 45305 should have been used as the original locomotive for the first leg from Lime Street to Victoria and return but was ruled out due to collapsed fire box brick arch. 45110 was then scheduled to take its place and performed admirably. The roles were reversed for the 2013 rerun 45110 was out of service at the Barrow Hill roundhouse and 45305 was called upon to take its place. There was a recreation at the Severn Valley Railway too with 45407 disguised as 45110 and run along the line carrying the headcode 1T57.

45305 is working hard to draw its train up the incline from Liverpool Lime Street captured here at Edge Hill. 11th August 2013. Photo by the late Stuart Daniels.
To view more of Stuarts Flickr photostream click here

Speeding towards Moorfield Road overbridge with the crew waving to people on the bridge 45305 heads towards Manchester. 11th August 2013. Photo by John Wilson.
To view a video of the train passing click here:-15 Guinea Special video

So on 11th August 2013 The Railway Touring Company organised a 45th Anniversary recreation of the original working from Liverpool to Carlisle and back. Owing to engineering works on the original route via Rainhill, in conjunction with the electrification of the route to Manchester the train had to run via the C.L.C. This provided the opportunity to see the first steam working along there since 1970. A nice touch was the recreation carried the same reporting number as the original, 1T57.

45305 is seen here thundering through Widnes station with many people on the platform to witness the event. 11th August 2013. Photo by Peter Murray.

45305 is seen here on the sandstone viaduct approaching Warrington Central.
11th August 2013. Photo by Martin Peers.

The recreation provided as much of a draw to the general public and enthusiasts in 2013 as it had in 1968 with hundreds turning out along the route to witness 45305 thundering along the C.L.C. Many members of 8D turned out along the route to record this historic event.

Having just passed Hunts Cross station the train begins to pick up speed for the run through to Warrington. 11th August 2013. Photo by Paul Wright.

With one of the train crew observing the line ahead the train enters Widnes station.
11th August 2013. Photo by Tony Foster.

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