A HISTORIC Keighley-based steam locomotive is returning to the national rail network after 25 years.

The Bahamas 45596 locomotive will pull a train on the Settle and Carlisle Railway on February 9 to re-enact its last British Rail journeys in the early 1960s.

The loco – now renamed The Bahamas Renaissance – is the property of the Bahamas Locomotive Society, based at Ingrow station, and in recent years has undergone extensive renovation thanks to a £996,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The society teamed with the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway to organise the locomotive’s comeback trip, with a Railtour from Oxenhope to Keighley and on to Carlisle, then returning.

The locomotive was a popular sight among railway preservation fans in the early 1990s, being a regular performer on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway and enjoying a stint at the Dinting Railway Centre, near Glossop, Derbyshire.

Bahamas was the last steam engine to be modified by British Rail in its attempts to improve its steam fleet, with the fitting of a unique double chimney and blastpipe in 1961.

After that the engine worked on a few heritage railways, and after hauling Santa Steam Specials on the KWVR in 1997, the loco’s boiler certificate expired and it was placed into store at Oxenhope.

In 2013 the society gained the lottery grant and sent the locomotive to Tyseley Locomotive Works for its most extensive overhaul since 1961.

Keith Whitmore, chairman of the Bahamas Locomotive Society, said: “We have waited for 25 years to see Bahamas back on the main line.

“It is so appropriate that we are steaming from the railway where we are based and are travelling between Settle and Carlisle where so many enthusiasts and families loved to see our popular loco perform to perfection.”

Tickets cost £79 for standard class, and £265 for premier dining. Visit kwvr.co.uk/bahamas-railtour.